Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

PART FOUR: The Tape

Enough romance – back to tragedy!

For most of the climatic scene at the lake, I envisioned Grace to be standing off to the side; it was only when she heard Teddy approach that I realized she was hidden from view, a secret witness yet again. Do you think Hannah and Emmeline even knew Grace had witnessed everything?

It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches, sending Grace off with the suitcase and making up the suicide story. Did you reevaluate your opinion of Emmeline over the course of this chapter?

How did the game ultimately factor into Robbie's death? What about Grace's inclusion in the lives of the Hartfords – she says that she wishes "...for once, Hannah hadn't included me" (p. 461). How might events have played out differently if not for Grace's involvement? How do you reinterpret Grace's dream in light of actual events?

Who bears responsibility for Robbie's death?

Karen
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

Who bears the blame for Robbie's death? Hannah and Robbie. You play that particular game, you have no one else to blame. They even kept setting up Emmie to think he loved her, cared for her, a double cruelty.

Karen you say "It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches". Wasnt it Hannah with the gun now, who was saying no she couldnt shoot Emmie when Teddy was coming towards her and she had to decide who to shoot in the taunt triangle described (reminding me of the triangle of players in the last scenes of "the good, the bad and the ugly" lol), so it was after Hannah shoots him that Emmeline then comes into action as far as the cover up? Maybe in the end, Emmeline actually loved Hannah more than Hannah had realized. Speaking of Grace's involvement, for all her professed love of this girl, grown to woman who she adored throughout and now sees as her sister, she loved being the confidant to stay close to Hannah, but she didnt exactly do anything to try to protect Hannah when it got right down to it did she. Emmeline did. Grace did what she did best, watched life (and death) happening. She is almost voyeuristic.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Contributor
darma51
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

I don't believe they set up Emmeline to believe that Robbie cared for her. Hannah asked him if he had done anything to let Emmeline believe he had feelings for her and he said, "No". Hannah even asked Emmeline point blank if Robbie had professed his feelings for her and Emmeline said "No". I think it was just that Emmeline had a crush on Robbie.

As for Grace, she didn't do anything to help Hannah because she couldn't. Her place in that household was that of a maid. She had to keep her feelings and opinions to herself unless asked for them.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


darma51 wrote:
I don't believe they set up Emmeline to believe that Robbie cared for her. Hannah asked him if he had done anything to let Emmeline believe he had feelings for her and he said, "No". Hannah even asked Emmeline point blank if Robbie had professed his feelings for her and Emmeline said "No". I think it was just that Emmeline had a crush on Robbie.

As for Grace, she didn't do anything to help Hannah because she couldn't. Her place in that household was that of a maid. She had to keep her feelings and opinions to herself unless asked for them.


They did set up Emmeline by continuing to use her as a means to get notes to each other and a cover. He only went out for her for this purpose and he even wanted to stop doing that because he told Hannah that Emmeline was taking it to seriously. Hannah tells him, no just dont tell her you love her and keep seeing her or else how will we be together! They set her up every time he took her out, knowing she really did think it meant something to him, wouldnt you if a man kept taking you out all the time, asking for your time regardless of what he may say, when you are young and smitten? Lies of omission.

Sure Grace could have done something, if she really cared about Hannah more than herself or what she wanted the relationship between them to be, regardless of station or maybe even because of her station, she would have said, Ma'am, this is not a good thing to do, going out at night, seeing him,you know this is dangerous and you are a married woman. I can not help you do this, please think of what you are doing or I must let the master know. Or for that matter she could have said the same to Robbie and reasoned with him without even telling her precious Hannah what she had done. She has lied by ommission so far to keep the relationship, she could have done so to save Hannah from herself or at least try, even if it meant her job, if she loved this woman, she owed her that.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
paula_02912
Posts: 492
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

Karen wrote: "For most of the climatic scene at the lake, I envisioned Grace to be standing off to the side; it was only when she heard Teddy approach that I realized she was hidden from view, a secret witness yet again. Do you think Hannah and Emmeline even knew Grace had witnessed everything?

It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches, sending Grace off with the suitcase and making up the suicide story. Did you reevaluate your opinion of Emmeline over the course of this chapter?

How did the game ultimately factor into Robbie's death? What about Grace's inclusion in the lives of the Hartfords – she says that she wishes "...for once, Hannah hadn't included me" (p. 461). How might events have played out differently if not for Grace's involvement? Who bears responsibility for Robbie's death?"

I do believe that Hannah and Emmeline knew that Grace witnessed everything that happened. She was a permanent shadow to them, and she was the one to bring Emmeline down to the lake. I didn't reevaluate my opinion about the course of this chapter. I felt that she was a lost soul. Her character began to develop, especially with the role reversal, her becoming more independent while Hannah becomes the more subservient character in her decision to marry as well as stay in that marriage. I am surprised she was sober enough to make the decision she did.

I think The Game ultimately factored into Robbie's death because it was the reenactment of the pictures on the Chinese box. Only three can play the game...the three in this case was Hannah, Robbie and Emmeline...although Grace was in there somewhere, she remained unseen, just like when they were children. Also, the strings were taut between Hannah and Emmeline, and it is this internal conflict that prompted her to do what she did. She did not want to lose Emmeline, like she did David, no matter how much she loved Robbie.

If Grace hadn't found the note, then I don't think that the tragic situation would have occurred. Hannah would have been able to go off with Robbie and live the life she wanted. Also, if she didn't find it, then the premise of the whole story/book would have shot. It is her knowledge (her secret)of what happened at the lake that caused everything to unfold the way it did.

I think that Hannah bears the responsibility for Robbie's death. I feel this way because if she hadn't gotten involved with him, then Emmeline would have had cause to be jealous. Also, Hannah would have had no need to write a note to Grace about leaving/taking her life, which would cause no need for alarm.
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

Author Unknown
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

I was also surprised to find out that Grace hidden out of view.
Yes Emmeline saves Hannah from Teddy but who just saved Emmeline from Robbie, because I think he would have shot her. Now was it because she was ruining his plans I don't think so, I think he was momentarily brought back to battle by the fireworks.
No I didn't reevaluate my opinion of Emmeline I still think she's a spoiled brat, a tragic spoiled brat but still a spoiled brat. I think she was a product of her time and the fact that she had no mother figure while growing up.
Man talk about hindsight, if Grace would have just owned up to the fact that she didn't know shorthand, if not for Grace's involvement I think Robbie and Hannah would have made good their escape. And now the statement that Hannah made about that fact makes sense.
Ultimately Robbie was responsible for his own untimely end. If he had really known Hannah he would have realized that there would be no choosing between her sister and her lover. Even though she used Emmeline to help her in her affair with Robbie I wasn't surprise when the time came that she chose Emmeline.
Inspired Contributor
Popper19
Posts: 199
Registered: ‎07-24-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



dhaupt wrote:
I was also surprised to find out that Grace hidden out of view.
Yes Emmeline saves Hannah from Teddy but who just saved Emmeline from Robbie, because I think he would have shot her. Now was it because she was ruining his plans I don't think so, I think he was momentarily brought back to battle by the fireworks.


I agree that Robbie was again suffering from "shell shock" when the fireworks went off. I don't know if he even knew anything else was going on; I think he was transported back to the war.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



darma51 wrote:
I don't believe they set up Emmeline to believe that Robbie cared for her. Hannah asked him if he had done anything to let Emmeline believe he had feelings for her and he said, "No". Hannah even asked Emmeline point blank if Robbie had professed his feelings for her and Emmeline said "No". I think it was just that Emmeline had a crush on Robbie.

As for Grace, she didn't do anything to help Hannah because she couldn't. Her place in that household was that of a maid. She had to keep her feelings and opinions to herself unless asked for them.




You are so right. Emmeline had a problem. She was that which resembles a physopath. Every one she saw she fell in love with and came possessed in her mind that she was deep in love with them and they her. She hadn't known how to really love in her life and the need for love outweighed her knowledge for healthy relationships. So each sought out man was her dream come true. I do not feel this was all Robbie's fault, but with Emmeline's condition, she played the part with out being asked to. In other words, she fell into line and portrayed who Robbie and Hannah wished her to portray. But they could have stopped all of it if they wanted to. Robbie even said before the affair started, "that is how I see you (meaning Hannah) is coming here to Emmeline, but I have no intentions toward her. The affair was the killer, it just had enhancements along the way. The first affair started the long path toward the last affair.
Frequent Contributor
bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


vivico1 wrote:
Who bears the blame for Robbie's death? Hannah and Robbie. You play that particular game, you have no one else to blame. They even kept setting up Emmie to think he loved her, cared for her, a double cruelty.

Karen you say "It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches". Wasnt it Hannah with the gun now, who was saying no she couldnt shoot Emmie when Teddy was coming towards her and she had to decide who to shoot in the taunt triangle described (reminding me of the triangle of players in the last scenes of "the good, the bad and the ugly" lol), so it was after Hannah shoots him that Emmeline then comes into action as far as the cover up? Maybe in the end, Emmeline actually loved Hannah more than Hannah had realized. Speaking of Grace's involvement, for all her professed love of this girl, grown to woman who she adored throughout and now sees as her sister, she loved being the confidant to stay close to Hannah, but she didnt exactly do anything to try to protect Hannah when it got right down to it did she. Emmeline did. Grace did what she did best, watched life (and death) happening. She is almost voyeuristic.




I have to say Vivian; I agree with you. Despite Emmeline searching for love from men in all of the wrong places and more than likely because she felt that her father and brother loved her sister and others better and maybe she wasn't loved at all; Emmeline was a quick thinker when it came to protecting her interests and others. I think she had more practice looking out for herself and striking out on her own. She was definately more worldly and had many many friends who cared for her in an odd way..but they did care nonetheless. Emmeline had much more of a capacity to love than Hannah had. I don't think that Emmeline could compartmentalize her heart and basic needs like Hannah did. E was definately used and deceived by all of them. Hannah had even told her that all of the Game's journals had been lost or destroyed and she found that Hannah had lied to her about this as well and had kept one in the locker. It must have been hard for Emmeline to know that her mother had died because of giving her birth, that her father ignored her or blamed her for her mother's death, that she was deceived by her closest relatives and obviously pushed aside and ignored. Ignored was just one thing that was not going to happen to Emmeline. I actually sympathized more with Emmeline than Hannah much of the time despite Emmeline's pornographic ventures and suspect activities. At least she was out there flaunting it and not hiding her fantasies in the background appearing to be sinless and above reproach like the part that Hannah played.

Grace on the other hand viewed life unconnected and in the shadows. She watched life as you said and didn't live it. When Hannah died, she took Hannah's final order to find a life for herself and make something of herself and she did just that. I wonder how aimlessly she would have still have wandered about if she didn't do what Hannah had said in the letter. I often wondered if Grace felt anything or anybody could get close to her really. It wasn't until she found love in her grandson being born that the ice maiden thawed.

Bentley
Frequent Contributor
crazyasitsounds
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

I think you have to blame Hannah for Robbie's death. She was the only one who could have stopped the series of events that led to his death--she could have refused to run away with him or not gotten involved with him in the first place, etc. I'm not saying she could have known what would happen, but any part Grace played came in just at the end. I think, too, that Grace acted in good faith; she never could have imagined that her white lie about knowing shorthand could have ballooned into something so important.

I don't think my opinion of Emmeline changed at all. With the lifestyle she was leading, she'd probably become good at making up stories that would protect all those involved. It was quick thinking for a tipsy/drunk girl, though.
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


vivico1 wrote:
Karen you say "It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches". Wasnt it Hannah with the gun now, who was saying no she couldnt shoot Emmie when Teddy was coming towards her and she had to decide who to shoot in the taunt triangle described (reminding me of the triangle of players in the last scenes of "the good, the bad and the ugly" lol), so it was after Hannah shoots him that Emmeline then comes into action as far as the cover up?



You're confusing Teddy with Robbie - I'm referring to after the shooting, when Teddy approaches with Lord Gifford and Emmeline is the first to recover from her shock to protect Hannah.

But you are correct in pointing out that Hannah and Emmeline save each other in this scene. It was as if, in the moment when Robbie was running toward Hannah for the gun, Hannah and Emmeline's loyalties all of a sudden snapped back into place. Of course, Hannah did have to kill the man she loved.

The idea of mercy killing has been alluded to previously in the book. Do you think we can consider Hannah's killing of Robbie a mercy killing? She is horrified that he suggests shooting Emmeline -- does this make Hannah realize just how damaged Robbie is, perhaps beyond repair? I think she already suspects as much.
Inspired Correspondent
Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

[ Edited ]

crazyasitsounds wrote:
I think you have to blame Hannah for Robbie's death. She was the only one who could have stopped the series of events that led to his death--she could have refused to run away with him or not gotten involved with him in the first place, etc. I'm not saying she could have known what would happen, but any part Grace played came in just at the end. I think, too, that Grace acted in good faith; she never could have imagined that her white lie about knowing shorthand could have ballooned into something so important.

I don't think my opinion of Emmeline changed at all. With the lifestyle she was leading, she'd probably become good at making up stories that would protect all those involved. It was quick thinking for a tipsy/drunk girl, though.





Crazyasitsounds------I know you earlier said that the events would probably happen anyway even if Grace hadn't lied about the shorthand. But I don't think they would have happened. If Hannah had written to Grace in longhand, Grace would have heeded Hannah's warning and not brought Emmeline to the lake. Emmmeline was the catalyst for the shooting. Robbie ordered Hannah to shoot Emmeline. That made Hannah snap out of her urge to go with Robbie. She knew then she had to protect Emmeline from Robbie. Plus the gun was in the pocket of the jacket that Emmeline had put on over her dress.
Librarian

Message Edited by Librarian on 01-14-2008 03:44 PM
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

How did the game ultimately factor into Robbie's death?

I'm not prepared to answer that question, but I will make one comment: The tragedy echoes back to the nursery the first time that Grace sees the children there. We have three of the same four players, Hannah, Emmeline, and Grace. Robbie substitutes for the dead David. And the active players are Hannah, Emmeline, and David/Robbie, with Grace both times as the unnoticed observer.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



dhaupt wrote:
I was also surprised to find out that Grace hidden out of view.
Yes Emmeline saves Hannah from Teddy but who just saved Emmeline from Robbie, because I think he would have shot her. Now was it because she was ruining his plans I don't think so, I think he was momentarily brought back to battle by the fireworks.

I agree. Remember the street party where, when the noise got to him, he was ready to kill somebody who had merely danced with Hannah? When the demons overtook him, his automatic training to kill took blindly over. It was clever of Morton to use shell shock so vividly in the book to affect both Alfred and Robbie and dramatically change both their lives.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

Did Morton ever explain why Hannah and Emmeline never spoke to each other after the night of the event? We are told early in the book that they didn't, but even though they may blame each other for Robbie's death and the loss of their love, you would think they had things to work out, a story to concoct, and maybe even some sisterly talk of Hannah about to make Emmeline an aunt.

They were close enough that I am not sure that this is the way they would have reacted to the tragedy. OTOH, maybe they just didn't get the chance, and would have if they had both lived longer.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



Everyman wrote:
Did Morton ever explain why Hannah and Emmeline never spoke to each other after the night of the event? We are told early in the book that they didn't, but even though they may blame each other for Robbie's death and the loss of their love, you would think they had things to work out, a story to concoct, and maybe even some sisterly talk of Hannah about to make Emmeline an aunt.

They were close enough that I am not sure that this is the way they would have reacted to the tragedy. OTOH, maybe they just didn't get the chance, and would have if they had both lived longer.




But didn't Hannah blame Grace for Robbie's death?
Wordsmith
BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

I'm not surprised that Hannah and Emmaline never spoke after that night. E would have blamed Hannah for the huge deception of her obviously long established relationship with Robbie. (H, the conservative one, was intercepted when she was about to run off with him) And Hannah would have blamed Emmaline for not just letting them go when she did find about it. E, after all, was the one who introduced the gun and the threats. She certainly bears some responsibility for the escalation from heated discussion to physical violence. There's blame enough to go around as there almost always is in family tragedies. Lies, betrayals, anger, violence.
Frequent Contributor
Jerseygirl
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape


Everyman wrote:
Did Morton ever explain why Hannah and Emmeline never spoke to each other after the night of the event? We are told early in the book that they didn't, but even though they may blame each other for Robbie's death and the loss of their love, you would think they had things to work out, a story to concoct, and maybe even some sisterly talk of Hannah about to make Emmeline an aunt.

They were close enough that I am not sure that this is the way they would have reacted to the tragedy. OTOH, maybe they just didn't get the chance, and would have if they had both lived longer.




My first reply to your post is somewhere in cyberspace….I don't know what happened! I hope to remember it all and have it posted this time. I usually type them in Word first...and I sure wish I had done that this time...oh, well!

On with my re-reply:

Considering that Hannah never communicated with her father before his death, I doubt she would have approached her sister after this either.

Referring back to the book - half way down page 464, I use this for my reasoning:

“Emmeline was sobbing now. Great hulking sobs.
‘Give it to me,’ said Hannah. ‘We’ll talk more. Sort it out.’
‘How?’ Emmeline’s voice was thick with tears. ‘Will you give him back to me? Or will you keep him the way you have all of them. Pa, David, Teddy.’
‘It’s not like that,’ said Hannah.
‘It’s my turn,’ said Emmeline.

Fireworks, Robbie’s breakdown, gunfire…

IMHO, even though the sisters saved each other, I believe that Emmeline felt this to be the ultimate betrayal by Hannah. In Emmeline’s eyes, Hannah had everything she needed and everyone loving her, so she probably assumed that since Hannah was married (to another one Emmeline desired) at last she could have Robbie for herself. After all, he kept coming around, going to parties with her – why would she think he wasn’t interested? And then this….seeing them together – going away together – he was never Emmeline’s!?!

Then again, if Emmeline had lived, if Hannah had lived, if Grace had stayed….maybe they would have reconciled…but I doubt it - IMHO!


I had additional comments, but they are lost to me right now..sigh
Frequent Contributor
psujulie
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape



KxBurns wrote:
>For most of the climatic scene at the lake, I envisioned Grace to be standing off to the side; it was only when she heard Teddy approach that I realized she was hidden from view, a secret witness yet again. Do you think Hannah and Emmeline even knew Grace had witnessed everything?


I'm not sure that Hannah or Emmeline even thought about Grace witnessing the scene at the lake. Even though Grace and Hannah were close, Grace was still a servant. There girls were used to living their lives with servants around them, without really considering that they were part of events. I suppose if you asked Emmeline later, she would say that Grace brought her down to the lake. But, I'm not sure they would have considered her a "player" in that scene.


It is Emmeline who jumps into action to protect Hannah as Teddy approaches, sending Grace off with the suitcase and making up the suicide story. Did you reevaluate your opinion of Emmeline over the course of this chapter?


I was a little surprised (and impressed) how quickly she came up with that lie, but I think she was probably used to covering up her behavior. I think she felt it was better to make up a cover (not necessarily to protect Hannah) than have Teddy realize the truth.
http://bookingmama.blogspot.com/
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART FOUR: The Tape

Got a question for you guys. There are a lot of opinions about Hannah being responsible for Robbies death, Grace being responsible in here, but I noticed, not one other person said that Robbie had a part in his own death either. I am interested to hear your thoughts on this, do you see him having any culpability in this tragedy of his own death? And why or why not?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Users Online
Currently online: 64 members 758 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: