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kbetts01
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Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter


Peppermill wrote:

hpthatbme wrote:
Did it ever occur to Hannah that she never saw Grace practicing shorthand, even though Hannah did so for hours?

Hannah is not particularly observant in a number of ways, again reflecting this one way direction of knowledge.




I think Hannah needed to belive that Grace know shorthand. She needed someone to share in her secrets. As much as Hannah loved secrets I think she hated to be alone. Having Grace to share her secret provided the stronghold she needed to "play" her games.
Regards, Kathy B
Proud mom to three boys
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter

Kathy B -- three boys -- what fun! How old, if you are willing to share online?

I made a slight change to the attributions below. I think I am accurate about these changes.

Fascinating -- I think you are saying Hannah deliberately overlooked any clues that Grace didn't know shorthand because she wanted a relationship that "knew" she, Grace, was taking lessons.

It is true that she eventually told Emmie and Grace was crest fallen when she did, but certainly at least up to that point ....?


kbetts01 wrote {ed.}:

Peppermill wrote {excerpted}:

Did it ever occur to Hannah that she never saw Grace practicing shorthand, even though Hannah did so for hours?

Hannah is not particularly observant in a number of ways, again reflecting this one way direction of knowledge.


I think Hannah needed to believe that Grace knew shorthand. She needed someone to share in her secrets. As much as Hannah loved secrets I think she hated to be alone. Having Grace to share her secret provided the stronghold she needed to "play" her games.
"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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kbetts01
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



Peppermill wrote:
It is true that she eventually told Emmie and Grace was crest fallen when she did, but certainly at least up to that point ....?


kbetts01 wrote {ed.}:

Peppermill wrote {excerpted}:

Did it ever occur to Hannah that she never saw Grace practicing shorthand, even though Hannah did so for hours?

Hannah is not particularly observant in a number of ways, again reflecting this one way direction of knowledge.


I think Hannah needed to believe that Grace knew shorthand. She needed someone to share in her secrets. As much as Hannah loved secrets I think she hated to be alone. Having Grace to share her secret provided the stronghold she needed to "play" her games.





The boys are 6 1/2, 5, 2 1/2. The are great fun!!

I don't remember Grace and Emmie ever discussing shorthand. I know Hannah thought Grace could read it until the fatal events occurred. I think if I were Grace, I would have kept a shorthand book available if I wanted to keep participated in the lie that I know shorthand.
Regards, Kathy B
Proud mom to three boys
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hpthatbme
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Registered: ‎02-17-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter

I think your are right about getting a book about shorthand, but would it change anything. If she didn't have time to translate since there were two letters she would have done the same thing and we would have had the same ending. My other thought about getting a book about shorthand is how easily would have been for Grace to get one? I am thinking about it money wise as well as being able to find one for sale period.
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jilliemarie
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Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter

I'm glad to see someone that doesn't blame Grace for everything. This whole, "Grace should've known her place" thing doesn't sit well with me. She was the same age and felt a connection to both sisters. Hannah was just as responsible for the "blurring of the line" as was Grace. Emme didn't invite Grace in like Hannah did. I do think Grace should've been honest about her inability to read shorthand, but there still would've been some tragedy from the fallout of her leaving her marriage and Emme's reaction and her perceived betrayal. I do not think Grace could've (outside the shorthand secret) acted any different.
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Wrighty
Posts: 1,762
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter


jilliemarie wrote:
I'm glad to see someone that doesn't blame Grace for everything. This whole, "Grace should've known her place" thing doesn't sit well with me. She was the same age and felt a connection to both sisters. Hannah was just as responsible for the "blurring of the line" as was Grace. Emme didn't invite Grace in like Hannah did. I do think Grace should've been honest about her inability to read shorthand, but there still would've been some tragedy from the fallout of her leaving her marriage and Emme's reaction and her perceived betrayal. I do not think Grace could've (outside the shorthand secret) acted any different.



Now that I've finally finished the book I can read the rest of the posts. There are some really interesting comments here with so much insight. I have a hard time placing blame for the tragic endings for so many of these characters. I don't see many of them as bad people (except Deborah, couldn't stand her!) but as people who made some bad decisions. I had to remind myself how different the times were then and how many of their issues were a product of that time period. People didn't speak out much, especially servants and most woman and children. Some of these families were very wealthy and enjoyed many advantages but they still had restrictions. The children were often spoiled but bored. They didn't get to make many decisions on their own.

I don't have a problem with Grace not telling the tutor where the children were when she first came to Riverton. She was only 14, lonely, new, she had been asked to do a favor in a split second and wasn't trying to cause trouble. She was often put in tough situations but she was desperate for approval and was loyal to the family. Yes, the issue with the shorthand added to the drama at the end but it hardly caused it and it was never a problem in the past. How could anyone have predicted that would happen? She did help and protect Hannah when she was having her affair but it wasn't her place to turn her in. She wasn't the moral police she was the maid. That was a tough position to be in. Should someone's maid, babysitter, etc. tell about an affair now days? Again, a tough position to be put in but it's not their responsibility.

I also found it hard to place any specific blame on one person for Robbie's death. It was a tragedy that had all of the right elements fall into place. I think it happened too quickly for anyone to think about their choices or the consequences. They froze or reacted in an instant and the shooting occurred. Sure other things could have happened but they didn't. The affair was wrong but I don't think Robbie deserved to die and I don't think that was Hannah's intention, she was trying to stop him and she shot. And when Emme decided to say it was a suicide was also a split second decision to protect her sister and herself. Many mistakes made by many people. That's what made a sad story interesting.
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KathyS
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter - shorthand

Here are a few of my own observations.

One: I don't think [even if Grace was taking classes] Grace would be practicing shorthand "in front" of Hannah, ever...her private life was kept private. Segregation of classes.

Two: Once you learn shorthand (which was what Hannah assumed Grace of knowing), you would not need a book to use for translation, it's read easily, just as any other script.

Three: I don't think it ever occurred to Grace that Hannah would be sending her another note in shorthand. Especially one that would be as important as this letter.

It was all a big game to Hannah, and I believe Grace simply [and innocently] wanted to feel the closeness that these types of intimate performances/games extract. It is just a shame that these two people were not better equipped to handle a relationship/friendship, face to face. It would have saved a lot of lives, not just Robbie's.
K.
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Amanda-Louise
Posts: 156
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



goingeast wrote:
I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't have fired that gun. I couldn't murder anyone.




I think you perhaps just have not been put in a situation where it was you or someone else - you likely could easily kill at that point. And it was either Robbie or her sister, so someone was going to die and Hannah chose Robbie.

Amanda
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vivico1
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter


Amanda-Louise wrote:


goingeast wrote:
I don't know about anyone else, but I couldn't have fired that gun. I couldn't murder anyone.




I think you perhaps just have not been put in a situation where it was you or someone else - you likely could easily kill at that point. And it was either Robbie or her sister, so someone was going to die and Hannah chose Robbie.

Amanda


Agreed, and thats the final triangle Morton set up. I would hope I wouldn't freeze if this scenerio played out with me and my sister, my child, my friend, or even just myself. As a cop told me once,"you hope you never have to do it, but if you have to, shoot to kill, do NOT let them have a chance to get up and wrestle the gun from you, especially if you are a woman."
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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kiakar
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



jilliemarie wrote:
I'm glad to see someone that doesn't blame Grace for everything. This whole, "Grace should've known her place" thing doesn't sit well with me. She was the same age and felt a connection to both sisters. Hannah was just as responsible for the "blurring of the line" as was Grace. Emme didn't invite Grace in like Hannah did. I do think Grace should've been honest about her inability to read shorthand, but there still would've been some tragedy from the fallout of her leaving her marriage and Emme's reaction and her perceived betrayal. I do not think Grace could've (outside the shorthand secret) acted any different.




You are so right,jilliemarie; not telling that she didn't know shorthand, didn't make Hannah have an affair and to me, that was the wrong thing that started the ball rolling,not the simple lie, and it really wasnt a lie, she just didnt acknowledge that she didnt know shorthand.
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mvenus929
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



Everyman wrote:
I had trouble with the letter.

The letters are, as I recall, placed on Hannah's pillow, so that she will be sure to seem before she goes to bed.

We are told that Hannah knows that Grace can't read shorthand. So Hannah knows that Grace will have to go somewhere else to get the letter to her read. Hannah can hardly expect Grace to do this before she goes to bed, can she? So Hannah knows, or should know, that her letter to Grace won't get read that night.

Hannah knew Grace did not read shorthand after the events of that night, not before. She remarks it to Grace when she is mourning Robbie's death, and blames Grace for it, by sending her away at that moment. She fully intended to have Grace read her letter that night, know the contents of Emme's letter, and then deliver it accordingly the next morning.

I do agree that Hannah is responsible for her part, though. Had she left no note to Grace, and left Emme's note where Emme would find it, Grace wouldn't have done anything, and Hannah and Robbie would have made it away together. Perhaps Grace would be wracked with guilt for Hannah's death, and never find out the truth, or perhaps Emme would take her into her confidence when she later heard from Hannah, as she was intending.

Robbie, of course, has his own role to play, as unstable as he was. But he got his wish in the end, didn't he. He didn't have to live without Hannah for long. Just when she first moved back to Riverton.
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mvenus929
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



hrnaylor wrote:
One thing that I've noticed throughout this thread for the most part is the reference to Grace's white lie...is it really a lie if Hannah assumed that Grace was taking shorthand lessons?? Just because Grace didn't correct her, is that why it is considered a white lie?



Letting someone believe an untruth is just as much a lie as telling them an untruth. It hurts just as much when the truth comes out. I know from experience.

Grace may have not said 'oh sure, I know shorthand,' but not correcting her, or even telling her she didn't understand later in life is just as bad. In the end, both the omission and the lie itself would have lead to the events.
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mvenus929
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



vivico1 wrote:The two, Hannah, and Robbie must take the blame for their own tragic story, they created, fed it, lied for it, dishonored themselves for it and all for what? They could not rise above it and had no desire to. This night is squarely on their shoulders, 50-50, no one elses. Grace couldnt read shorthand, Em was there with a gun, these are just backdrops to what happened. They became part of the perfect storm but not, not a cause of it to be guilty of it. Other things yes, this -no.



I find this interesting. Remember Em was sitting there for a good part of the novel going on about how she could love like Romeo and Juliet, and in the end, it's Hannah that lives like this, sneaking away to be with the man she loves. And they both die from the tragedy that ensues. Certainly, Em dies as well, and this undoubtly pushed Hannah further, knowing that she was responsible for the hate her sister probably felt for her.
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YAChick
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Registered: ‎09-28-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter

SPOILER in HERE !
If all had gone as Hannah planned, and she and Robbie stole away and lived out their lives, it would have shown she had immense trust in Grace to keep this huge secret for like 40, 50 years. I'm not sure I would have left the bearing of my entire future to a note on a pillow....
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istoria
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



mvenus929 wrote:


hrnaylor wrote:
One thing that I've noticed throughout this thread for the most part is the reference to Grace's white lie...is it really a lie if Hannah assumed that Grace was taking shorthand lessons?? Just because Grace didn't correct her, is that why it is considered a white lie?



Letting someone believe an untruth is just as much a lie as telling them an untruth. It hurts just as much when the truth comes out. I know from experience.

Grace may have not said 'oh sure, I know shorthand,' but not correcting her, or even telling her she didn't understand later in life is just as bad. In the end, both the omission and the lie itself would have lead to the events.




While I definitely agree that the fault lies with Grace, I just get stuck on the fact that this otherwise intelligent and curious woman, Hannah, just didn't see that it was a lie. It doesn't bother me too much, I understand why the author did this. It's more... I really want to go back a few chapters and shake Hannah into seeing the truth.
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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter


YAChick wrote:
SPOILER in HERE !
If all had gone as Hannah planned, and she and Robbie stole away and lived out their lives, it would have shown she had immense trust in Grace to keep this huge secret for like 40, 50 years. I'm not sure I would have left the bearing of my entire future to a note on a pillow....



Immense trust in Grace... or self-sabotaging recklessness?...

Maybe a combination of both?
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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



KxBurns wrote:

YAChick wrote:
SPOILER in HERE !
If all had gone as Hannah planned, and she and Robbie stole away and lived out their lives, it would have shown she had immense trust in Grace to keep this huge secret for like 40, 50 years. I'm not sure I would have left the bearing of my entire future to a note on a pillow....



Immense trust in Grace... or self-sabotaging recklessness?...

Maybe a combination of both?




I don't think Grace would have betrayed Hannah, if she and Robbie had gotten away. I do think Hannah would have regretted her decision almost immediately.
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Wrighty
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter


istoria wrote:


mvenus929 wrote:


hrnaylor wrote:
One thing that I've noticed throughout this thread for the most part is the reference to Grace's white lie...is it really a lie if Hannah assumed that Grace was taking shorthand lessons?? Just because Grace didn't correct her, is that why it is considered a white lie?


Letting someone believe an untruth is just as much a lie as telling them an untruth. It hurts just as much when the truth comes out. I know from experience.

Grace may have not said 'oh sure, I know shorthand,' but not correcting her, or even telling her she didn't understand later in life is just as bad. In the end, both the omission and the lie itself would have lead to the events.


While I definitely agree that the fault lies with Grace, I just get stuck on the fact that this otherwise intelligent and curious woman, Hannah, just didn't see that it was a lie. It doesn't bother me too much, I understand why the author did this. It's more... I really want to go back a few chapters and shake Hannah into seeing the truth.


This was a very interesting story and I enjoy hearing all of the different opinions. We all have different values and moral codes. Discussing and judging their behaviors may be easier because they are characters in a book. I've already mentioned my opinion is that I don't feel that most of these people are bad but sometimes their choices were. Most of them weren't trying to cause any harm either. Even though the shorthand proves to be important I don't think that Grace was responsible for Robbie's death because of it. I don't even think she lied about it in the first place. Maybe she should have corrected Hannah once she realized what the misunderstanding was but in her young mind she thought that this secret made them closer. It also was only important years later although it was at a critical moment. But come on, if you're planning to run away do you leave such an important detail to chance? :smileywink: SO many things caused Robbie's death and the downfall of other characters. I think the shorthand issue was only important for the drama of the story not for the cause.
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dhaupt
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter



Tarri wrote:


KxBurns wrote:

YAChick wrote:
SPOILER in HERE !
If all had gone as Hannah planned, and she and Robbie stole away and lived out their lives, it would have shown she had immense trust in Grace to keep this huge secret for like 40, 50 years. I'm not sure I would have left the bearing of my entire future to a note on a pillow....



Immense trust in Grace... or self-sabotaging recklessness?...

Maybe a combination of both?




I don't think Grace would have betrayed Hannah, if she and Robbie had gotten away. I do think Hannah would have regretted her decision almost immediately.




I don't know Tarri, I think if Hannah and Robbie had gotten away it would have been a whole different story and I don't think she would have regretted her decision.
Debbie
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kbetts01
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Re: PART FOUR: Hannah's Letter

I don't know Tarri, I think if Hannah and Robbie had gotten away it would have been a whole different story and I don't think she would have regretted her decision.
Debbie




I wanted them to get away, for Hannah to live the life she dreamed of. I'm not sure if Robbie could have given that to her though...his social terror's would have put a damper on Hannah's adventurous nature. I'm not sure if the outcome would be the same for Grace. Either she would have stuck around just in case Hannah came back or she would grieve just the same for her loss and move on with her life...I'm still torn.
Kathy
Regards, Kathy B
Proud mom to three boys
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