06-13-2008 10:40 AM
06-13-2008 11:13 AM
06-13-2008 12:25 PM - edited 06-13-2008 12:39 PM
Thank you so much for being part of the First Look book club. I don't really have a question I just wanted to make a statement.
I really enjoyed your book very much, I found the characters very real and memorable, and the story line while haunting and very emotional reminded me more of a work of non-fiction with the great details and the heroics and blundering that really goes on in one of these situations.
I will be singing your praises to everyone I know to read this book. This was my first opportunity to read one of your books, but I will be looking for more to read.
Thank you again.
Message Edited by dhaupt on 06-13-2008 12:39 PM
06-13-2008 04:28 PM
06-13-2008 08:25 PM
"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader
"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
The Time Traveler's Wife
It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
06-13-2008 08:37 PM
06-13-2008 10:20 PM
06-13-2008 10:39 PM
The first question dealt with the chapter titled "The Killer Next Door". This chapter troubled me for a variety or reasons. It was confusing because the killer was not in their neighborhood or next door; the abruptness of the chapter, the lack of details or of details which added up. I think I felt similarly to the Mimi character and how a sparkie and her dog found Kim. These pieces did not feel right to me in terms of integration with the flow of the book. However, I dealt with them and allowed myself to continue with the story which I felt was indeed a very powerful one told eloquently.
This first question was:
I have enjoyed this book very much and actually learned a lot. One chapter which was a pivotal and important chapter was the one titled The Killer Next Door. For me, there was not enough transition made for this chapter and for its revelations. It left me with a lot of questions. Had Kim run out of gas after she left her home on her way to her job? We know that she was running low because Fran had made her feel guilty about taking her sister out to practice driving. Did she think she had enough, ran out and sought help from a random wrong older man? At first, I thought you were referring to someone in Kim's neighborhood where she lived which made me think that she had come home to change and someone waylaid her while she was inside. Lindsay saw Kim's bathing suit hanging up so I assumed she got home. I found the chapter a bolt out of the blue, for such an important chapter lacking in details with the chapter title being a little misleading. I am wondering if you have heard any other comments about this chapter etc.
The second question dealt with the First Look experience. I was wondering how you felt about this kind of advance reading and what were your objectives for participating in this pre-read and what did you hope to gain from the experience. Will the input in any way change any element, paragraph, or chapter in the book or was this simply from your perspective a way to increase readership of some of your other novels? I am always curious about process and the reason for a decision such as this one.
Mr. O'Nan, this is the first book of yours which I have read; but I want you to know it will not be my last. I enjoyed the experience very much.
06-14-2008 09:44 AM
06-14-2008 10:20 AM - edited 06-14-2008 10:25 AM
Message Edited by Redhead525 on 06-14-2008 10:25 AM
06-14-2008 10:37 AM
- if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! - Dorothy - Wizard of OZ
06-14-2008 10:38 AM
06-14-2008 06:42 PM
06-14-2008 09:03 PM
I have a question or two and comment or two. First, thank you for being with us, its always so nice to be able to talk to the authors. I have to say up front, I knew this was not going to be a mystery thriller, or something like that, but instead a character story about those left behind after a girl goes missing, and I was excited to read it done this way. However, as the story goes on, it seemed to me to be an emotional story, told unemotional, or from a distance, like a news story would talk about the emotions or thoughts of those involved and I became disappointed about midway through the book. Some have said, well they are tired of the hysterical parents type of book, but when I say emotional, thats not what I mean. I never felt like I was really let inside the characters to know any of what they really thought or felt and so I began to not care about them. I think you have a great cast of characters, but their emotions seemed to just be touched from the periphery. I know there were quite a few of us that felt that disconnect, but i know there were many who felt it was emotion. I felt the story idea, the idea of a missing girl, a family member and friend was emotional, but not the telling of it. I did connect some to Lindsay, I felt you let us see how this affected her the most and so since I was not getting that insight from the story being told in the third person (where so much more about every character could have been explored), then I thought this might have been a great book told from Lindsay's point of view and threw it out there in the discussions to see how others felt. There was a lot of agreement on that, so I guess my first question is, did you ever consider telling it from a first person narrative point of view, with third person on the others or was third person always the way you saw writing it? I think third person would have been the best way to go, if we got to be inside the characters more, so we could not only sympathize with them, as we do anytime we hear something like this, but also empathize with them, from the inside out.
Also, this may just be me, but the "secret", it was very intriguing what it was and why the family had turned against the friends, especially JP. I thought, man they must know something more about what happened to her that day then they are saying. Is the "secret" just that she had been hanging out with Wooze, (the sex and drugs)? I do not mean to take this lightly, its not. But at the same time, its often one of those things you find out about someone after they die and it may hurt and shock you and I can understand why they could be upset about the kids not mentioning this sooner, but once they did, why ostracize the kids and why JP in particularly? Did I miss something? The kids worried it might mean something, they told what they probably never would have, if this hadn't happened, but now that they have, and you know they are worried too, why the reaction and as I said especially to JP? I didn't get that part at all.
I do want to say tho, that the beginning of the book, the description of the kids, their hangouts and things were very well done and I enjoyed reading that. Also, and this may sound strange, but when Ed gets back to work and is looking at the house he is going to try to sell, all those thoughts and feelings he had about it, had me more drawn into him than the tragedy going on. I found your description of things very interesting, but the emotional side fell flat for me, and I just wound up with some questions and characters I really didnt care about because I was only getting the tip of anything going on inside them in a really emotionally charged crisis, and again, I am not saying, make them hysterical, just help me know more about them as you wrote them, but from the inside.
Thanks again for being here with us to discuss your book and thanks in advance for your replies.
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
06-14-2008 09:17 PM
06-15-2008 07:47 AM
06-15-2008 12:47 PM
06-15-2008 03:43 PM
06-15-2008 06:15 PM