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shesha35
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Registered: ‎03-31-2008
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Re: Resolution



KxBurns wrote:
The real topic of this thread is closure, but I didn't want to give anything away by using that word on the schedule...
 
Is it possible for anyone to have closure in this situation, or is acceptance the best for which they can hope? If it is possible, who in your opinion achieves it? What are some of the individual turning points that precipitate acceptance or closure for various characters?
 
-Karen



I don't think they could have total closure but deal with the resolution they were given.
They will always miss Kim and there will always be a piece missing in the family but i think with time and therapy they could come together as a family.
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bookhunter
Posts: 322
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Re: Resolution



BookWoman718 wrote:
...I just wanted to tell you that the next 6 or 8 years were a really terrific time in our relationships!  It was much more fun to relate to young adults than to be the arbiter of teenage behavior  :-)    Watching them find themselves in school, and then in careers, relocate, enter and leave relationships, grow, grow, grow!  was exciting as a parent and we sure had some good times together.  Now everyone's married and while we still have lots of good times, it's a bit different.  They have more divided loyalties, as they should, they're raising children, they're in the midst of busy years.   So enjoy the next stage, meet their friends, take 'em out to dinner, go fishing or shopping or whatever is fun.  They're actually almost adults and they're going to like you again!   :-)

BookWoman, thank you for your encouragement!  It is one of those bitter-sweet things--mourning the loss of one stage and excited aobut the opportunities in the new.
 
I heard a quote this weekend (in reference to Fathers' Day) that once a rocket is launched, no one is looking at the launching pad.  So we are putting the focus on our daughter's exciting future and TRYING not to be too pitiful!  Reading this book will be my only visit to the pity party, I hope. :smileyhappy:
 
Ann, bookhunter
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LucyintheOC
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Registered: ‎03-05-2008
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Re: Resolution

BookWoman wrote: "Closure" is one of those words that we bandy about, and yet it has multiple dictionary definitions and undoubtedly means something different to anyone who uses it.   .......I think we were shown pretty clear resolution on the major points in this book.  ...... I think all of these characters - including the former druggie bad-boy - were resilient enough to find a way to carry on and hopefully, maybe, triumph. 
 
thewanderingjew wrote: i don't think there can ever be closure with such an unfair, unnecessary, unnatural event. it never should have happened. there is no way to even  justify such violence. in the end, there is no way even to gain some sort of satisfaction or sense of justice being done in this situation. ...... in the end, though, everyone seems to find a way, i think, even if we don't agree with it.
______________
 
Thank you both for your most excellent posts! Each of you said exatly what I felt and thought, and said it better than I could ever have.
 
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Resolution

I agree with Bookhunter that Nina and Elise jumping off the railroad tressle was the only closure I saw in the story. I loved that part. Kim's family members have to just accept what is and go on. Yvonne
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Librarian
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Re: Resolution



darma51 wrote:
True closure can never be achieved unless the murderer told you why he did it and the victim said why they were at the abdcution point.  Here the alledged murder kills himself so we'll never know.  I don't think he definitely admitted killing Kim.  The only closure here as I see it is the fact that her body was found and identified.  A family NEVER gets over such a tragedy.  They all seem to be coping in their own way.  It's sad that they couldn't cope together as a family however in my own experiences with people who have lost children coping alone seems to be the norm.  As a reader I wanted more closure, I felt left up in the air though I'm not sure what more the writer could have done. I remember reading the last page and saying "What? That's it?"


I agree with your statement, darma51. But after reading the questions for Stewart O'Nan thread, I wish he would share what he envisions happened to Kim. He says he wants to leave us in the same place as Ed and Fran and the other characters conjecturing about what happened to Kim but that in his mind he had a resolution to what happened. I don't think it would spoil the effect of the story, if he shares his idea with people who have already read the book.
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pheath
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Re: Resolution



Librarian wrote:


darma51 wrote:
True closure can never be achieved unless the murderer told you why he did it and the victim said why they were at the abdcution point. Here the alledged murder kills himself so we'll never know. I don't think he definitely admitted killing Kim. The only closure here as I see it is the fact that her body was found and identified. A family NEVER gets over such a tragedy. They all seem to be coping in their own way. It's sad that they couldn't cope together as a family however in my own experiences with people who have lost children coping alone seems to be the norm. As a reader I wanted more closure, I felt left up in the air though I'm not sure what more the writer could have done. I remember reading the last page and saying "What? That's it?"


I agree with your statement, darma51. But after reading the questions for Stewart O'Nan thread, I wish he would share what he envisions happened to Kim. He says he wants to leave us in the same place as Ed and Fran and the other characters conjecturing about what happened to Kim but that in his mind he had a resolution to what happened. I don't think it would spoil the effect of the story, if he shares his idea with people who have already read the book.
Librarian





He may change his mind after the book has been out for some time. However, giving us the answer before the book is generally available would likely be a disaster. The "what the author really meant but didn't write" blog entries would ruin the book. Most people would probably comply with a request not to repeat his response elsewhere, but it would only take one rogue.
-Philip
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KxBurns
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Re: Resolution



bookhunter wrote:


Everyman wrote:


bookhunter wrote:
...Shouldn't there be room in any literature, art, music, etc. for someone other than the creator to bring something of themselves to the experience? Or on the flip side of the coin, at what point does the observer's participation stop being personal growth and become WORK?

That's a great question. (Or two questions?)

I can't recall whether you were in the The Sister discussion group. I felt that Poppy Adams's refusal to give explanations was, frankly, weak and unpersuasive. While I didn't like the non-resolution O'Nan gave us, I really respect his decision to leave the reader with the same uncertainty that the family had to live with; that we had spent so long with this family that it was appropriate that we never know what they will never know. I'm still with Bentley in wanting to know just what happened to Kim, but I can understand and respect O'Nan's reasons for not giving us that information.

I'm wondering whether this "leave the situation unresolved" is a new trend in fiction. Certainly any of the classic writers who created and developed the novel form understood that a story isn't complete unless the major issues are resolved, but we have now had two First Look books where the author deliberately left key questions for the reader to resolve (or not resolve, as they chose). I don't read enough modern fiction to know whether this is a new trend, but if it is, it's another good reason to stick with the classics. :smileyhappy:

I didn't have a problem with unanswered questions in The Sister because they were due to the limited, unreliable narrator.  And in Songs the loose ends reflect the reality of the story.  I DID have a problem with subplots not carried through in The House at Riverton.
 
I think we all want to know what happened to Kim, but our frustration is a reflection of the frustration felt by the characters.  Why should we get to know all the answers when they do not?  Just because we hold the book?
 
Sometimes it is just as enlightening to know what you DON'T like as to know what you DO.  I know I have benefited from your departure from a reading list of strictly classics!
 
Ann, bookhunter
(who never really could see enough motivation for Romeo to fall head over heels with Juliet while on the prowl for Roslyn, if you want to talk unresolved issues :smileywink: )


I really like where you guys are taking this conversation! What do the rest of you think?
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Everyman
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Re: Resolution



KxBurns wrote:
I really like where you guys are taking this conversation! What do the rest of you think?

I didn't like it when I read the book, and I still don't like it much, but now that Stewart explained his purpose I understand it, and I see that from what he was trying to accomplish in the book, it makes sense. So though I want to know, I respect his right as the author to make the decision as long as he had a good reason to, which it's clear that he did.

However, I think it will be more difficult for people who don't have access to the author, as we did, and who are just left in the position of irresolution without knowing why. Some readers may understand what he's doing and respect it, but I think most won't.

I wonder whether he should add a one page note at the end of the book saying why he did it, so readers will at least understand the purpose.

I still want to know what happened to Kim, but there are a lot of things in life I want to know and never will, so this is just one more to live with.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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BookWoman718
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Re: Resolution

For those who may not be aware of it, there is a well-reviewed book out, now in paperback, called “the post-birthday world,” by Lionel Shriver, which may bring ambiguity and reader participation to new heights. In the first chapter a young woman who is in a committed but unmarried relationship with one man, finds herself - through no fault of her own - alone with another man, and strangely drawn to kiss him. The chapter ends as she pauses to think whether or not to act on her impulse. The rest of the book, told in alternating chapters, consists of the story line of what happens in her life once she has decided NOT to kiss him, and another story line consisting of what happens after she makes the decision TO kiss him. Two completely opposite and fully developed outcomes. There is no “what really happened.” The author simply wanted to explore those situations in which a decision may be life changing, and recognizing that,  how we often look back and wonder, “what if?”

The relevance of that book in this discussion is that it reminds us that Kim, too, is a fictional character. There is no “what REALLY happened” to Kim, either. She exists only in our minds and once she is there, she is our creation almost as much as she is O’Nan’s. We see that we have all brought our different views of these characters; we attribute to them various failings, or strengths; we judge their actions based on our own sensibilities, experience, moral values, child-raising opinions, and so on. This is not unlike what we do in real life, where we usually are kidding ourselves if we think we know the ‘real’ story. (Behind our parents’ marriage, our friend’s divorce, our neighbors’ wealth, our child’s sexual interests, or the embezzler who fooled our boss.)

We fill in the parts we don’t know so that the story makes sense to us, depending on whether we feel loyalty, estrangement, compassion, envy, fear.

One of the fascinations of this book and the sharing of our impressions through the discussions is that we are led to examine our own reactions and the ways in which we can bring our own sense of resolution to the story. I love that.

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KxBurns
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Re: Resolution



BookWoman718 wrote:

For those who may not be aware of it, there is a well-reviewed book out, now in paperback, called “the post-birthday world,” by Lionel Shriver, which may bring ambiguity and reader participation to new heights. In the first chapter a young woman who is in a committed but unmarried relationship with one man, finds herself - through no fault of her own - alone with another man, and strangely drawn to kiss him. The chapter ends as she pauses to think whether or not to act on her impulse. The rest of the book, told in alternating chapters, consists of the story line of what happens in her life once she has decided NOT to kiss him, and another story line consisting of what happens after she makes the decision TO kiss him. Two completely opposite and fully developed outcomes. There is no “what really happened.” The author simply wanted to explore those situations in which a decision may be life changing, and recognizing that,  how we often look back and wonder, “what if?”

The relevance of that book in this discussion is that it reminds us that Kim, too, is a fictional character. There is no “what REALLY happened” to Kim, either. She exists only in our minds and once she is there, she is our creation almost as much as she is O’Nan’s. We see that we have all brought our different views of these characters; we attribute to them various failings, or strengths; we judge their actions based on our own sensibilities, experience, moral values, child-raising opinions, and so on. This is not unlike what we do in real life, where we usually are kidding ourselves if we think we know the ‘real’ story. (Behind our parents’ marriage, our friend’s divorce, our neighbors’ wealth, our child’s sexual interests, or the embezzler who fooled our boss.)

We fill in the parts we don’t know so that the story makes sense to us, depending on whether we feel loyalty, estrangement, compassion, envy, fear.

One of the fascinations of this book and the sharing of our impressions through the discussions is that we are led to examine our own reactions and the ways in which we can bring our own sense of resolution to the story. I love that.


Perfectly put, BookWoman! That's why I personally have no interest in O'Nan revealing to us the full details of the abduction/murder through Kim's eyes or anyone else's. If it's not in the book, it's irrelevant to me because the world of the Larsens only exists between the covers of Songs. In my opinion, my task as a reader is to make peace with what is actually in those pages.
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Everyman
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Re: Resolution

KxBurns wrote: I personally have no interest in O'Nan revealing to us the full details of the abduction/murder through Kim's eyes or anyone else's. If it's not in the book, it's irrelevant to me because the world of the Larsens only exists between the covers of Songs. In my opinion, my task as a reader is to make peace with what is actually in those pages.

"What is actually in those pages" is, I think, more narrow than you intended, or would have intended if you thought about it. Indeed, O'Nan has specifically said that he wants us to proceed further than the information he gives us to develop our own understandings of his characters. I think in any book, at least any quality book, part of the process of reading is reading beyond what is actually in the pages. Are we never to speculate on what the married life of Lizzie Bennett and Darcy is to be like? Never to wonder whether Lady Macbeth ever had any children? Never ask what Anna Karenina's life would have been like if she had remained true to her wedding vows?

I think any good writer creates a world of which they fill only part in the actual pages of the book and invite us to complete the world with our own imaginations. If that is the case, then the details of the death of Kim become something we are not only invited but, I think, encouraged to speculate on just as Fran and Ed certainly speculate on them in the dark hours of the night.

(As an aside, we don't know for sure that it was an abduction/murder, do we? I have loaned out my book for the day so can't check specifically, but I don't think that was ever definitively established, was it? Couldn't she have died some other way and Wade have found the body, taken the jewelry, and made up a story for some reason of his own? Calling it an abduction/murder is already going beyond the pages of the book, isn't it?)
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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KxBurns
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Re: Resolution



Everyman wrote:
KxBurns wrote: I personally have no interest in O'Nan revealing to us the full details of the abduction/murder through Kim's eyes or anyone else's. If it's not in the book, it's irrelevant to me because the world of the Larsens only exists between the covers of Songs. In my opinion, my task as a reader is to make peace with what is actually in those pages.

"What is actually in those pages" is, I think, more narrow than you intended, or would have intended if you thought about it. Indeed, O'Nan has specifically said that he wants us to proceed further than the information he gives us to develop our own understandings of his characters. I think in any book, at least any quality book, part of the process of reading is reading beyond what is actually in the pages. Are we never to speculate on what the married life of Lizzie Bennett and Darcy is to be like? Never to wonder whether Lady Macbeth ever had any children? Never ask what Anna Karenina's life would have been like if she had remained true to her wedding vows?

I think any good writer creates a world of which they fill only part in the actual pages of the book and invite us to complete the world with our own imaginations. If that is the case, then the details of the death of Kim become something we are not only invited but, I think, encouraged to speculate on just as Fran and Ed certainly speculate on them in the dark hours of the night.

(As an aside, we don't know for sure that it was an abduction/murder, do we? I have loaned out my book for the day so can't check specifically, but I don't think that was ever definitively established, was it? Couldn't she have died some other way and Wade have found the body, taken the jewelry, and made up a story for some reason of his own? Calling it an abduction/murder is already going beyond the pages of the book, isn't it?)

But when I refer to additional info beyond what is in the book, I'm referring to the facts of the abduction (which is what others have expressed an interest in knowing) rather than an understanding of the book, which of course requires some input, some mulling on the part of the reader.
 
I think any speculation on the futures of the characters has to be based on what the author has given me, rather than on what I wish had been included. I just think it's fruitless to want information that's not there. Especially since, in the case of Songs, the exclusion of certain pieces of the story is meaningful in and of itself. I would rather focus on what additional insight the author has given me into the lives of the characters by chosing to withhold the details of Kim's ordeal from Kim's p.o.v.
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Veruca74
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Re: Resolution

I do think there was some sort of closure. I mean, without them finding her, her parents couldn't go on not knowing what happened.

Had she left of her own free will? Had she, in a sense, abandoned her family?

While the type of closure they got was horrible, they know what happened to her.

As for the why of it all, that will never get closure. Like someone mentioned already; why was she there? Why did the killer kill her? What were his motives?

At first, I was disappointed by the ending. I suppose I wanted a happier ending than I got. After thinking about it for a few weeks, though, I realized that it ended exactly as it should have. I can't explain what I mean. I suppose I have gotten spoiled with happy endings, when really, life is not always that way.
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Jo6353
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Re: Resolution



umlaut wrote:
As for the side note: I was happy, the dog had not died during these 2 1/2 stressful years. thank you stewart!

Message Edited by umlaut on 06-16-2008 09:59 AM


Amen to that! That would have been the final straw! Jo
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Wildflower
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Registered: ‎12-31-2006
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Re: Resolution

I feel exactly the same way about this being such a tough book to get through. I think it was probably one of the most difficult books for me to get through, and I think that it is due to the fact that I have a teenage daughter. I know that books are supposed to evoke thoughts and emotions (good books anyway), but reading this book took a physical toll on me (especially the chapter titled Where She Was). I had a scared, sick feeling in my stomach for the entire time, and it made me rather uncomfortable. I wonder if I had read this book at a different time in my life, if I would have enjoyed it more.

bookhunter wrote:

Whew-wee this was a tough book for me to get through. I brought more of myself to this book than to any book I have ever read, I think.

The ages of Kim and Lindsey make this story different from stories of abducted children. Kim is a young woman and even though she is still a "dependent" living at home, she is making adult decisions and carrying out activities that her parents do not know about. She is perched at the edge of the nest and her relationships with all of them--parents, sister, friends--are all about to change ANYWAY when she goes off to college.

Even before she goes missing, Kim has already started to disengage from the others.

I am living through this very same situation in our house. I am about to have a child “go missing” from our family when she goes off to college. The dependent, teenage daughter that I have now will never return, and I have been mourning that loss.

So much of what our family is going through is similar to the Larsen family. My daughter is distancing herself in little ways, the younger sister is coming out of big sis’s shadow, my husband and I are even having to redefine our relationship in some ways. Then I read this book that reminds me of all the RANDOM DANGER lurking out there for her!

For me personally, Mr. O'Nan has managed to create the "perfect storm" of loss and nightmare. From the first sentence to the last I was replacing the character names with those of our own family!

But reading, mulling over, and discussing this book has been very theraputic for me. I realize that while I am mourning the loss of my relationship with my daughter, I am not LOSING that relationship. It is changing and evolving, but not disappearing. I needed to see pictures of Lindsey in the new "young adult" role that will be coming to our house, so I thank Mr. O'Nan for ending the book with Lindsey close to where Kim began.

I hope I do not sound like I am putting our "loss of our little girl" to the death of a child. I know we are not suffering a tragedy like the Larsens and so many real parents have. If anything, this book put my feelings into perspective and made me thankful.

Ann, bookhunter

(today's song for the missing is "I'm a ramblin' wreck from Georgia Tech and a helluva' engineer!" )




"It's never to late to be what you might have been" -George Eliot
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bentley
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Re: Resolution


Everyman wrote:
KxBurns wrote: I personally have no interest in O'Nan revealing to us the full details of the abduction/murder through Kim's eyes or anyone else's. If it's not in the book, it's irrelevant to me because the world of the Larsens only exists between the covers of Songs. In my opinion, my task as a reader is to make peace with what is actually in those pages.

"What is actually in those pages" is, I think, more narrow than you intended, or would have intended if you thought about it. Indeed, O'Nan has specifically said that he wants us to proceed further than the information he gives us to develop our own understandings of his characters. I think in any book, at least any quality book, part of the process of reading is reading beyond what is actually in the pages. Are we never to speculate on what the married life of Lizzie Bennett and Darcy is to be like? Never to wonder whether Lady Macbeth ever had any children? Never ask what Anna Karenina's life would have been like if she had remained true to her wedding vows?

I think any good writer creates a world of which they fill only part in the actual pages of the book and invite us to complete the world with our own imaginations. If that is the case, then the details of the death of Kim become something we are not only invited but, I think, encouraged to speculate on just as Fran and Ed certainly speculate on them in the dark hours of the night.

(As an aside, we don't know for sure that it was an abduction/murder, do we? I have loaned out my book for the day so can't check specifically, but I don't think that was ever definitively established, was it? Couldn't she have died some other way and Wade have found the body, taken the jewelry, and made up a story for some reason of his own? Calling it an abduction/murder is already going beyond the pages of the book, isn't it?)




Brilliantly put Everyman and my sentiment exactly; the problem that I had with the book is that the time period that O'Nan was in fact describing had missing plot details and he included details in an ad hoc way which were never explained and did not add up. You know there are all sorts of possiblities as to how Kim passed away. Look at what Rowling did in terms of her last Harry Potter book; she has taken her young readers way beyond what was inside her books which were remarkably well done btw and let them in on the "inside thinking". At the beginning of the read, I thought that the style of writing, etc was excellent; but then the plot gave way for me and I ended up feeling exactly the way I did when I finished reading "The Sister". Reading is supposed to open up whole new worlds of imagination and I wholeheartedly disagree that if the author did not put it into the book; that these facts or any facts are irrelevant or should not have been included in the first place. The world of the Larsens never existed in the first place is a true statement; but once it did on the pages of this book; the author has made a contract with himself and the reader to tell the story and explain what happened and why. Alluding to gas cans, broken keys, dented cars, an unexplained discovery by a sparkie just did not add up to me; and I was forced to hypothesize like many here. The beauty of the masterpieces is that their stories and the details of their characters linger on with some completeness so that you can imagine a future or a different one for them. Here the present was so much in the air that you would have a hard time wondering what might have been; because the details of the what was were so nebulous and hazy. I felt frustrated at the end of the reading like I had been led astray or that the author was withholding information to play tricks on the reader or to not let them in on the inside information. Frankly, I felt left out in the cold...so it left me cold.

I think that Mr. O'Nan has been most gracious with his time and I like the style of his sentence structure and his imagery. I think part of the problem for him in writing a deep emotional book full of high drama is that you have to be that kind of person to feel it and to write it I think (MHO); just an hypothetical thought..maybe Stewart is not a high drama person; his style of writing is quite stark and minimalistic (sometimes with an Asian feel) and I am not sure if his great personal stark style did not get in the way and make this work anticlimatic in a sense. Just a thought. I know he explained what he wanted to accomplish and the donut hole example was used and I guess I feel that this was an interesting experiment; but for me...I wanted to know more about the donut hole which was the driving force for the entire novel without which there would be no book. If Kim had not disappeared; what would SFTM have been about.

I do not like experimental drama and art or modern dance with its avant garde techniques; fun to watch for performance or two but not a pull for me. I felt when I got done that I had read one of those experiments in print.

Bentley
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bentley
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Re: Resolution (Everyday People)

From reading the Final Chapters thread and this one; one thing for sure is that most of the readers anyway do not seem to sense any resolution; never mind the characters in the book.

I think maybe that for some of us; this was not just our kind of book. At Disney, they have different exhibits where you can come up with your own ending for a play or production. Everybody seemed to think that this was great fun there. But when you are reading a book, not reaching any resolution in terms of the character development and plot and/or leaving things up in the air for the reader to decide doesn't quite sit the same way for many.

I decided to read another of Stewart O'Nan's book to get a feel for him in another setting aside from SFTM. So I have downloaded Everyday People to my Kindle and will give that a whirl. One of the reviews for EP was by Manuel Luis Martinez of the Chicago Tribune who wrote:

"Stewart O'Nan is not concerned with having you know what every word in his narrative signifies at the moment you read it so much as assuring that if you follow the rhythm and pull of his jazz inflected virtuoso linguistic performance, you will come away touched, maybe even changed....Like a rendition of John Coltrain's A Few of My Favorite Things, Everyday People is dynamic, out there and operating at a frequency that has you feeling things at the most unexpected of moments...A complex and moving exploration of the depth of sadness and the shape of ordinary despair."

I thought this was a great review and there were so many just like this one regarding this work that I thought I would give another look. I honestly thought that I was going to like this First Look better than any of the others based upon the writing style and talent; but then everything seemed to cave in two thirds of the way into the book and of course the way it ended from The Killer Next Door chapter on changed everything from my perspective. I think that Stewart O'Nan has been most gracious to our group and hopefully he came away with some helpful input too; I am not sure that SFTM is the kind of topic or book for everyone despite what folks felt might be its shortcomings or for others its successes.

One thing that caught my eye when starting Everyday People was that it had a table of contents. Thought we were off to a good start. So far so good; I like chapter one.
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the_mad_chatter
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Re: Resolution (Everyday People)

I felt everyone had closure when Kim's body was found.  There were some lingering questions but I didn't think these were relevant.  The relevant part was that Kim was dead from unnatural causes.  Doesn't the issue just boil down to that?  Now the characters have to pick up the pieces and move on with life.  I feel that we have enough information in the book to deduce how each character will live the rest of their lives.  Is the lack of a happy ending making readers feel cheated of closure at the end of the book?
 
At the end of the book, I also felt like "What is this it?".  And I felt that way at the end of the Sopranos as well, but after thinking about it for some time-I respected and liked the decision to end the story that way. 
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Re: Resolution (Everyday People)



the_mad_chatter wrote:
I felt everyone had closure when Kim's body was found.  There were some lingering questions but I didn't think these were relevant.  The relevant part was that Kim was dead from unnatural causes.  Doesn't the issue just boil down to that?  Now the characters have to pick up the pieces and move on with life.  I feel that we have enough information in the book to deduce how each character will live the rest of their lives.  Is the lack of a happy ending making readers feel cheated of closure at the end of the book?
 
At the end of the book, I also felt like "What is this it?".  And I felt that way at the end of the Sopranos as well, but after thinking about it for some time-I respected and liked the decision to end the story that way. 


This is the only real closure of the book; a sad but great closure.  It has to be far more frustrating to have a missing loved one never found.  Now everyone can go on with life.  There are questions about what happened that will live on forever, but they all can live knowing that Kim is bured at home and they all now know where she is.  Closure is that; acceptance has to be for everything else about her death.
While I agree with Bentley as to the missing explanation about what happened to Kim, I can fully understand the author's position as to having the readers in the same position as the characters - as part of the story, and not knowing the true happenings to Kim.  Wade's suicide brought any possible knowledge to a sudden halt. 
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Re: Resolution (Everyday People)

I felt everyone had closure when Kim's body was found.

That might be true if they were able to believe that Wade was the killer. But if one still had questions, wondered whether there was still her killer lurking out there getting away with murder -- would that be closure?

And even if you were persuaded that Wade was the killer, wouldn't you have an underlying late-night searching in your mind to wonder whether Kim's abduction was unavoidable, or whether maybe it was something you as a parent had failed to do which made her vulnerable and led to her death; that if you had done something different, maybe not let her take a job that late, or checked her car more often (if it was a breakdown) or something, she might still be alive today? I don't think I would get past that very quickly.
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