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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Search

[ Edited ]
was anyone else disappointed with the way the reward money was used? i would have preferred it if the author had let fran accept mimi's initial rejection of the reward and then instead used the money to start a fund to help other families with missing children. of course, i didn't write the book! would that have been a too expected or anticlimatic choice?
twj

Message Edited by thewanderingjew on 06-07-2008 11:25 PM
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
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Re: The Search


thewanderingjew wrote: was anyone else disappointed with the way the reward money was used? i would have preferred it if the author had let fran accept mimi's initial rejection of the reward and then instead used the money to start a fund to help other families with missing children. of course, i didn't write the book! would that have been a too expected or anticlimatic choice?

TWJ -- I shared your disappointment. I think this is another case where broader community involvement could have helped. If Mimi had sat down with a Board that had been responsible for collecting the funds, the results might have been different and perhaps reflected the wishes of the givers a bit more. (But it quickly gets messy -- consider the 9/11 funds.)
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: The Search



bmbrennan wrote:

I believe O'Nan's point was to show how each person who knew Kim dealt with her disappearance in their own, unique way...some better than others. They carried the "baggage" of their relationship with Kim and that effected their reactions and behavior.

I think so too, however I thought that they all needed to redefine themselves in the absence of Kim.  If I was Kim's friend, mother, father, sister, etc.  who am I  without her,  what is my identity now that she's gone?




Thanks for a most thought-provoking post. I was widowed in my forties and found that although I still had a fulfilling work identity, children, friends, etc., I did indeed need to redefine myself in many ways. But a few years later, when some friends’ son committed suicide, and I spoke to them to offer condolences, they surprised me by observing that they felt my own loss was greater; they still had one another and their other children, and their lives would go on pretty much the same, excepting the large absence of their troubled son. So I’m not sure that most survivors really redefine themselves because of the loss of a friend or even a child. Kim’s mother, Fran, is still a mother and a wife and a nurse; she simply has added the role of survivor to the others, along with the lessons of all sorts that she may have learned. And that is in no way meant to minimize the depth of her grief. I felt no need at all for redefinition when my parents died; I was already an adult and I was who I was; the role of daughter - although I spent a good deal of time dealing with my mother’s last years, was simply not important in the essential “me.” Similarly, I lost friends when I was roughly the age of Kim’s friends, and never felt that I was not be the same person that I had been before. So I think “who are you?” after a loss depends a great deal on how you would have answered the question before. Perhaps a single parent, without a job or outside interests, without another child or adult relationship, might have his or her whole identity tied up in being “Kim’s mom.” And then, of course, they would have to find another whole person to be, if they could. (My own feeling, BTW, is that that’s not a very healthy place to find oneself in. My son has a friend whose mother committed suicide a few weeks after her husband’s sudden death. She had children and grandchildren but at this point her whole life was tied up in her husband. And when she could no longer be “Mrs. X” she apparently couldn’t think of anything else she wanted to be.)

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Peppermill
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Re: The Search

BMBrennan and BookWoman -- Thank you both for these thought-provoking posts. They have each been personally helpful. Pepper


BookWoman718 wrote:


bmbrennan wrote:

I believe O'Nan's point was to show how each person who knew Kim dealt with her disappearance in their own, unique way...some better than others. They carried the "baggage" of their relationship with Kim and that effected their reactions and behavior.

I think so too, however I thought that they all needed to redefine themselves in the absence of Kim. If I was Kim's friend, mother, father, sister, etc. who am I without her, what is my identity now that she's gone?




Thanks for a most thought-provoking post. I was widowed in my forties and found that although I still had a fulfilling work identity, children, friends, etc., I did indeed need to redefine myself in many ways.

But a few years later, when some friends’ son committed suicide, and I spoke to them to offer condolences, they surprised me by observing that they felt my own loss was greater; they still had one another and their other children, and their lives would go on pretty much the same, excepting the large absence of their troubled son. So I’m not sure that most survivors really redefine themselves because of the loss of a friend or even a child.

Kim’s mother, Fran, is still a mother and a wife and a nurse; she simply has added the role of survivor to the others, along with the lessons of all sorts that she may have learned. And that is in no way meant to minimize the depth of her grief. I felt no need at all for redefinition when my parents died; I was already an adult and I was who I was; the role of daughter - although I spent a good deal of time dealing with my mother’s last years, was simply not important in the essential “me.” Similarly, I lost friends when I was roughly the age of Kim’s friends, and never felt that I was not be the same person that I had been before.

So I think “who are you?” after a loss depends a great deal on how you would have answered the question before. Perhaps a single parent, without a job or outside interests, without another child or adult relationship, might have his or her whole identity tied up in being “Kim’s mom.” And then, of course, they would have to find another whole person to be, if they could. (My own feeling, BTW, is that that’s not a very healthy place to find oneself in. My son has a friend whose mother committed suicide a few weeks after her husband’s sudden death. She had children and grandchildren but at this point her whole life was tied up in her husband. And when she could no longer be “Mrs. X” she apparently couldn’t think of anything else she wanted to be.)



"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: The Search

Hi bookwoman, I agree with your first sentence but have different thoughts about the second. Not having seen Mimi earlier in the book (even in a non-obvious way, e.g. a couple sentences where she and Ed could have commiserated about searches, etc.), Mimi's role here seems (as pheath put it) too deus ex machina. Even things that happen in real life aren't necessarily believable in fiction ... I thought O'Nan needed to build this one better.
 
Or maybe he could have ended the story without tying up every loose end? On another thread, someone suggested ending the book after Fran's receipt of the butterfly.

BookWoman718 wrote:
The appearance of Mimi at the last minute seemed almost too pat. (snip) Just wanted to add that I think O'Nan did the right thing by leaving out any mention of Mimi and her obsession earlier in the book.  Mentioning her - a person who had no other contact with the family - would have been a dead giveaway as to her importance.  And what could it be, other than she was either the murderer or the person who ultimately finds Kim? 

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detailmuse
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Re: The Search

Very, very insightful. Not only regarding a death; it helps in understanding people's reactions after a job loss or divorce, too.

BookWoman718 wrote:
I think “who are you?” after a loss depends a great deal on how you would have answered the question before.

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paula_02912
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Re: The Search

bmbrennan wrote: "I think so too, however I thought that they all needed to redefine themselves in the absence of Kim.  If I was Kim's friend, mother, father, sister, etc.  who am I  without her,  what is my identity now that she's gone?"
 
I think that this is an excellent point bm...who are they without kim? So far the characters we met develop in relation to Kim herself, granted she is the protagonist (or is she?) of the story...how different would the story be if we were told about Kim's disappearance for primarily one of the other characters...hmmm...food for thought...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
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Re: The Search



BookWoman718 wrote:
...I was widowed in my forties and found that although I still had a fulfilling work identity, children, friends, etc., I did indeed need to redefine myself in many ways. But a few years later, when some friends’ son committed suicide, and I spoke to them to offer condolences, they surprised me by observing that they felt my own loss was greater; they still had one another and their other children, and their lives would go on pretty much the same, excepting the large absence of their troubled son. ... I felt no need at all for redefinition when my parents died ...


In his play Antigone Sophocles has Antigone contend that the loss of her brother, with her parents dead, is greater than the loss of a spouse or child. He has Antigone argue that losing a husband she could find another, she could have other children, but with her parents dead, she can never have another brother.

Is Lindsey's loss here greater than her parents'?
_______________
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Everyman
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Re: The Search

I agree that the involvement of Mimi seems an awkward contrivance to get some sort of closure to the book. I think frankly that it would have been a more powerful book of it had ended without our ever knowing for certain what had happened to Kim.

detailmuse wrote:
Hi bookwoman, I agree with your first sentence but have different thoughts about the second. Not having seen Mimi earlier in the book (even in a non-obvious way, e.g. a couple sentences where she and Ed could have commiserated about searches, etc.), Mimi's role here seems (as pheath put it) too deus ex machina. Even things that happen in real life aren't necessarily believable in fiction ... I thought O'Nan needed to build this one better.
Or maybe he could have ended the story without tying up every loose end? On another thread, someone suggested ending the book after Fran's receipt of the butterfly.

BookWoman718 wrote:
The appearance of Mimi at the last minute seemed almost too pat. (snip) Just wanted to add that I think O'Nan did the right thing by leaving out any mention of Mimi and her obsession earlier in the book. Mentioning her - a person who had no other contact with the family - would have been a dead giveaway as to her importance. And what could it be, other than she was either the murderer or the person who ultimately finds Kim?




_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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detailmuse
Posts: 180
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Re: The Search

I wanted to know what happened to Kim. When it seemed that we might not find out, I flashed back to "The Sister" and wondered if First Look books were selected based on their withholding-ness, argh! :smileyvery-happy: But I don't think I needed her body to be found. Either that, or the Mimi aspect, seemed too tidy.

Everyman wrote:
I agree that the involvement of Mimi seems an awkward contrivance to get some sort of closure to the book. I think frankly that it would have been a more powerful book of it had ended without our ever knowing for certain what had happened to Kim.

CAG
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CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: The Search



Jennd1 wrote:
I did think that the police and Ed and Fran were at odds early in the search. Ed and Fran wanted to leave no stone unturned while the police seemed to want to wait and see what happened. I also agree that it is a shame that no one noticed that Kim was missing earlier, although it is totally believable that it could happen that way. I also agree that the early hours are crucial and I was a bit fustrated that the police were not more willing to do more. I think the searching and the posting fliers was important because it helped the police and it raised more community awareness, but it gave Kim's friends and family a way to help which they desperately needed.

I agree it appeared that the police, Ed and Fran were at odds early in the search. I think any parent in that situation would feel more could be done and it should be done faster. However, I think the police were doing everything they could at that point. Small town or big town police have to act within the boundaries of the law. The best part of this small town is how many citizens were willing to assist in the search and  it helped that her family and friends were proactive.
CAG
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paula_02912
Posts: 492
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Search

Lucyinthe OC wrote: "It seems like looking for Kim gave Mimi a sense of purpose for whatever her motivation was--whether we understand it or not. Given what little we know of her, I think she was motivated by her lonliness, maybe by wanting to accomplish something important so she could feel she had made a contribution to something larger than herself (and not in an egotistical way...don't many of us wish we could do something that is/would be meaningful in a significant way?)."
 
It is also possible that she might have "lost" someone and the investigation stopped so she is still looking...while doing that she probably felt that she didn't want another mother to be in the same position she was in and dedicated her life to helping them...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
Posts: 492
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Re: The Search

Everyman wrote:"

I agree that the involvement of Mimi seems an awkward contrivance to get some sort of closure to the book. I think frankly that it would have been a more powerful book of it had ended without our ever knowing for certain what had happened to Kim."

I agree with you here E...I think the book would have been more powerful without the whole funeral process and Lindsay returning, then leaving again...ultimately, she got to do what Kim never got a chance to do...I wonder what O'Nan's purpose was in adding all that "extra" information...

Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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paula_02912
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Re: The Search

Karen wrote: "What does society and the public expect of a family in the Larsen's situation? How do various members of Kim's family fulfill or, conversely, fail to meet such expectations from the community?"
 
IMO, I think that society and the public expected a family like the Larsen's to react hysterically, crying and yelling and just breaking down completely. However, every situation is different, and people will react in the best way they know how...and I think that the Larsens reacted in such a way...they each played a specific role in dealing with their grief, although, based on numerous posts here, it didn't seem like a "normal" reaction...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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the_mad_chatter
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: The Search

I find it funny that there are some who find Mimi as an awkward contrivance.  I would think that we would appreciate that perhaps Fran's long media blitz did pay off in the form of being a constant reminder and motivation for someone like Mimi.  I was actually glad someone like Mimi provided the closure.  She's a virtual stranger who is slightly odd and yet she through great dedication (which does feel off, yes) did what no one else did do.  I'm glad for the closure and I'm glad Mimi (and not the police nor family nor friend) provided it. 
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: The Search



paula_02912 wrote:
Everyman wrote:"

I agree that the involvement of Mimi seems an awkward contrivance to get some sort of closure to the book. I think frankly that it would have been a more powerful book of it had ended without our ever knowing for certain what had happened to Kim."

I agree with you here E...I think the book would have been more powerful without the whole funeral process and Lindsay returning, then leaving again...ultimately, she got to do what Kim never got a chance to do...I wonder what O'Nan's purpose was in adding all that "extra" information...



I liked the longer term info about Lindsey that the author provided. Once we knew that Fran and Ed’s marriage would survive, and saw a few examples of how they tried to reach out to one another, you could imagine how their lives might play out. Not so with Lindsey, who was just coming of age as the tragedy unfolded. Her life might have gone in any direction… she might have stayed close to home, trying to take Kim’s place in her parents’ lives and being of comfort to them. She might have acted out in rebellion, or married early searching for the appreciation she felt denied by her family. So I was comforted to see that she did go on to establish an independent life, and seemed to have a healthy, if perhaps a bit distant, relationship with her parents. Despite the great tragedy that had befallen her family, she had mustered the strength she needed and was on her way into the larger world.


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paula_02912
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Re: The Search

Bookwoman wrote: "I liked the longer term info about Lindsey that the author provided. Once we knew that Fran and Ed’s marriage would survive, and saw a few examples of how they tried to reach out to one another, you could imagine how their lives might play out. Not so with Lindsey, who was just coming of age as the tragedy unfolded. Her life might have gone in any direction… she might have stayed close to home, trying to take Kim’s place in her parents’ lives and being of comfort to them. She might have acted out in rebellion, or married early searching for the appreciation she felt denied by her family. So I was comforted to see that she did go on to establish an independent life, and seemed to have a healthy, if perhaps a bit distant, relationship with her parents. Despite the great tragedy that had befallen her family, she had mustered the strength she needed and was on her way into the larger world."
 
Bookwoman, I liked learning more about Lindsay as well, but, I don't think we needed to know as much as we did...I feel like she tried everything she could to "replace" Kim in her families life...I feel she envied Kim and tried to step into her shoes to help fill the void...I am not saying that she was be self-serving or selfish, but I think she was trying to define herself by comparing herself to Kim...we get a hint of this during the first year of the incident...she tries to be perfect for her family, maybe to help distract them from their loss and let them know that she is here now...she did everything that was opposite of Kim as well, but she wanted JP for herself...she tried to strike up a friendship with Kim's friend, trying to become one of their circle...you know what, as I write this, I find that I just shot my own argument down...maybe Lindsay just wanted to be closer to Kim in some way and she latched on to things that Kim cleaved to...she even ends up working with her girlfriend, Dana, in a similar place as Kim did with Nina...in the end she "ran away" and found herself, which is what Kim wanted as well...you see Lindsay was also "missing"...you know what I mean...I just went off in a totally different direction...sorry
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

Author Unknown
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the_mad_chatter
Posts: 323
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Search tools

One other point...I was surprised by one glaring omission...Kim's cellphone.  As anyone who's been around a teenager with one knows, those things ring constantly with texts and so many "What's going on?" phone calls from friends.  Also, regardless of how old the teenager is, most parents give the cellphones to their kids so that they would be able to keep in touch throughout the day.  In this day of constant, instant communication, Kim's being missing 18 hours before it was discovered was a great surprise.
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BookWoman718
Posts: 220
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Re: Search tools



the_mad_chatter wrote:
One other point...I was surprised by one glaring omission...Kim's cellphone.  As anyone who's been around a teenager with one knows, those things ring constantly with texts and so many "What's going on?" phone calls from friends.  Also, regardless of how old the teenager is, most parents give the cellphones to their kids so that they would be able to keep in touch throughout the day.  In this day of constant, instant communication, Kim's being missing 18 hours before it was discovered was a great surprise.


Both Nina and JP tried to call her during the evening but got no answer so decided her cellphone was turned off.  I think Nina suspected that Kim had decided to skip work after all.  JP left word about where the kids were meeting up late.   With her friends being aware that Kim was playing around with some other stuff - drugs, another guy - and knowing she had not felt like going to work, they probably just assumed either the phone 'died' or that she had it off because she wanted to be unreachable.  Her parents would clearly never call her late at night to check up on her.   They had recognized her new 'adult' status by giving her freedom about where she went and when she came home.   People are only in instant communication when they want to be;  when they don't answer late at night, most friends will honor their privacy and leave a message.  In the morning, of course, Fran quickly makes her phone calls:  Nina, JP, Connie, the police.
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Search



CAG wrote:


Jennd1 wrote:
I did think that the police and Ed and Fran were at odds early in the search. Ed and Fran wanted to leave no stone unturned while the police seemed to want to wait and see what happened. I also agree that it is a shame that no one noticed that Kim was missing earlier, although it is totally believable that it could happen that way. I also agree that the early hours are crucial and I was a bit fustrated that the police were not more willing to do more. I think the searching and the posting fliers was important because it helped the police and it raised more community awareness, but it gave Kim's friends and family a way to help which they desperately needed.

I agree it appeared that the police, Ed and Fran were at odds early in the search. I think any parent in that situation would feel more could be done and it should be done faster. However, I think the police were doing everything they could at that point. Small town or big town police have to act within the boundaries of the law. The best part of this small town is how many citizens were willing to assist in the search and  it helped that her family and friends were proactive.



Yes, it would seem to parents dealing with this kind of pain, a missing child, that enought is never enought. No one is doing enought, they have no patience even with their own selves.
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