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KxBurns
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PART THREE: In the Depths

With this chapter, Grace becomes an active participant in the lives of the Hartfords. No longer just an observer, she accompanies Hannah on a rescue mission to retrieve Emmeline.

The source of Emmeline's scandalous films is finally uncovered. I thought it was odd that Hannah lectured Emmeline that running away was not the answer, although I suppose she would know better than anyone.

Grace's two worlds are colliding in an unpleasant way at this juncture: first, her errand with Hannah comes between her and Alfred; then, her secret from Hannah -- that she doesn't actually know shorthand -- threatens to be revealed. To prevent this, she goes to Lucy Starling, and I think here we get a glimpse of the possibilities available to Grace: Lucy is an independent young woman with a career and an apartment of her own. Of course, Grace doesn't consider this, just as she never even considers Lady Pemberton-Brown's offer.

Why? Because, even before Hannah's shorthand note confirms it, I believe Grace hopes that Hannah considers her "more like a sister than a maid" (p. 320). Later in the chapter, Hannah extracts the same promise from Grace that she herself gave to Emmeline: that she would not leave her.

I found Hannah and Teddy's argument about sacrifice (p. 322) versus waste to be illuminating. Does the worth of a sacrifice depend on the result? I feel like this question might become important to Grace later on...

Karen
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dhaupt
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I was really offended when Mrs. Tibbits demanded to read Grace's letter and her treatment of Alfred when he came to call, why can't some awful thing happen to her.
I find Hannah and Grace becoming closer at the cost of Alfred and then he turns to Lucy in the end.
And also Hannah's revelation that the fortune teller wouldn't read for her and why she thinks that.
I think that this chapter is the beginning of the end for Hannah somehow, she finds herself lost and I'm afraid she won't find her way back. Maybe if she saves Emmeline from herself that can be her new crusade along with making paper poppies.
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psujulie
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I think this chapter shows us that Emmeline has gone a little wild and has very bad judgment. I think it's odd that she has gone missing and there still hasn't been any contact between Frederick and Hannah -- at least, that's what I'm assuming. Grace says that a call came from Riverton -- she doesn't mention Frederick. I understand that Frederick is defeated and probaby extremely depressed, but why doesn't he hire someone to find Emmeline or assist in the search?

Secrets are a recurring theme in this chapter yet again. Grace is excited to be seeing Alfred again, yet she doesn't tell Hannah about it. She says that Hannah has too much on her mind, yet she says "It is my secret." If she is worried about Hannah and that's why she doesn't tell her, then why is she calling it her secret? Mrs. Tibbit also tells Grace that she told Alfred that she was out on "secret errands for the Mistress." Later in the chapter, Hannah refers to the shorthand note as "Our secret." In the note, Hannah says that Teddy doesn't take to kindly to secrets. Finally, Grace remembers the girls in the nursery as children and references "matching secrets."


Once again, we are reminded that Grace may be related to Hannah and Emmeline. There must be enough of a resemblence between Hannah, Emmeline and Grace that the Phillipe says, "A third sister?" This chapter really shows how much Grace wants to be Hannah's sister. She is thrilled about the note where Hannah says she is more like a sister than a maid. After Grace finds out that Alfred took Miss Starling to the play, she even goes so far to say that "Hannah is all I have." At the end of the chapter, she promises to stay with Hannah. We know that she does "for better and for worse" -- words from a marriage ceremony. It appears that Grace stood by her words to Hannah, while Hannah reneged on the same promise to Emmeline.
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BevS
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I think because of Grace's upbringing - little emotional attachment with her mother - she longs to be more than just a maid to Hannah. She needs that connection. Not to mention the fact that she has been with Hannah for so many years. She feels a closeness with her that she never really felt with her mother. I have been cheering for her as I've been reading when Hannah reaches out to Grace and involves her in her life.
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BevS
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

Alfred has some issues he needs to deal with. Some insecurities. I think that's why he turned to Lucy so easily.
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Librarian
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths



KxBurns wrote:
With this chapter, Grace becomes an active participant in the lives of the Hartfords. No longer just an observer, she accompanies Hannah on a rescue mission to retrieve Emmeline.


I'm wondering why if Hannah can have Grace accompany her while she drives on a rescue mission to save Emmeline, then why can't Grace trust Hannah enough to say she's not really taking shorthand lessons. She was getting a book. I would think Hannah would be very receptive to that. Why go to all the trouble of meeting with Lucy Starling and not be afraid to possibly reveal to Lucy maybe something she shouldn't know. If Grace is so loyal to Hannah, this going to Lucy doesn't make sense to me.
Librarian


then, her secret from Hannah -- that she doesn't actually know shorthand -- threatens to be revealed. To prevent this, she goes to Lucy Starling, >
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lamorgan
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I've noticed that many of the characters in the book have serious issues they are dealing with and lead "dysfunctional" lives ... except for Lucy. With everything else going on around her, she manages to not get involved and pulled into the depths with the others.
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bentley
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

The chapter title is very revealing once again...the entire cast is in so deep that nobody seems able to escape. In fact, for Hannah the depths of her soul are even being examined both by herself and others.

EMMELINE:

Emmeline is in trouble and a detective has been hired to find out where she is. It seems that the entire Hartford family is running away from something. None of them seem to be better off and for the most part as a result of their decisions have turned their lives upside down.

Nobody at the house can be told about Emmeline because the staff would only be too eager to inform those that should not be told.

It is obvious that for some reason Emmeline never felt loved by her father and picks up with an older man who she foolishly thinks loves her and loves her the best. In the end Hannah does share the details with Teddy who is totally unsympathetic and lectures Hannah about not having any secrets between spouses (laughable considering who this lecture is coming from).

GRACE:

I think Grace had true affection for Alfred and now they had tickets to see an important play. But I think the lines have been blurred for Grace in terms of what she should be doing for others and what she should be doing for herself. Her actions spoiled her chances with Albert who ended up taking Miss Starling to the play instead. I thought he did that a little too quickly I might add. I always wondered about Alfred just having Miss Starling's address in London. Also Alfred had visions of not being in service any longer and maybe Miss Starling was more to his new way of thinking about life while Grace would remind him of his old life and station.

TEDDY:

Teddy seems to be getting more like Howard Hughes with the mouth gargle. How unglued is he going to get? He seems to be getting more and more like his father every day. His little quip about chidren replacing those who were lost in the war was every bit as arrogant and cruel as anything else he has said. I guess he does not see himself as a participant in the problem.

HANNAH:

What the fortune teller saw for Hannah is not surprising. It was plain to see that Hannah had died inside. She really has nobody else but Grace. I think it is time for some good news in the novel if that is possible. Not much good has happened for any of the characters. This is not meant to be a criticism but a little relief is a good thing. Let us hope something uplifting happens soon. Something to hope for. Some relief from the suffering.

Bentley
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LucNesbitt
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths



BevS wrote:
Alfred has some issues he needs to deal with. Some insecurities. I think that's why he turned to Lucy so easily.




Given how he must have felt at being told Grace wouldn't be returning, he could have acted out of jealousy or hurt. Alfred also feels very differently than Grace on how servants should behave. He's not as subserviant as Grace nor as likely to put himself first as she does. He could have been trying to "teach her a lesson" in a sense ... something along the lines that forgetting her place as a human being has its price as well.
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bentley
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths



LucNesbitt wrote:


BevS wrote:
Alfred has some issues he needs to deal with. Some insecurities. I think that's why he turned to Lucy so easily.




Given how he must have felt at being told Grace wouldn't be returning, he could have acted out of jealousy or hurt. Alfred also feels very differently than Grace on how servants should behave. He's not as subserviant as Grace nor as likely to put himself first as she does. He could have been trying to "teach her a lesson" in a sense ... something along the lines that forgetting her place as a human being has its price as well.




I guess my question was is this how you treat a woman you love; he seemed quite quick on the uptake even though he may have acted out of jealousy or hurt...he certainly did not give her an opportunity to explain given he knew the circumstances of her employment and the demands they made on her. I agree that Grace never put herself first and I think she suffered tremendously when she found out what the housekeeper had done for she honestly cared about Alfred. I felt bad for Grace; she had no support system once she left Riverton. I think Alfred already knew that Grace's employment was not a bed of roses so he should have trusted more in her.

I think in fact she may have seen them enter the theater late (the thin man and the even thinner woman). Gee, cell phones would have saved the day (lol)

We can only surmise that he had his eye on Lucy if Grace did not work out. I found it unbelievable that he was able to change gears that fast especially if he was in love. If they love each other, then time will tell. I can't wait to find out what happens with them; it doesn't sound like she has heard back from him.

Bentley
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glycerinefire
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I feel that throughout the book, Ms. Morton has faught to present Hannah a deep character, a rebel in her time, even a heroine. However, I don't feel that Hannah really has that depth. Yes, she dreams of adventure and independence, and speaks of modern ideas. She is certainly more intelligent than Emmeline, but is really less of a free spirit. Although Emmeline is rather dim, she does as she wishes and shuns what she views as "convention", despite being so hung up on propriety in earlier chapters. Hannah, on the other hand, despite her talk of personal freedom, remains a slave to her station in life. For all of her talk of womens' rights to be equal and free, she never treats Grace as an equal. It's as though she feels that confiding in Grace, and including her in her 'rescue' of Emmeline, is a privelege (which it was in the era, though not to a 'modern' woman). I think what struck me most in this chapter was Hannah's discussion with Grace at the end, making her promise to never leave.

"I know as soon as I enter that she is not pleased.... She is pacing." Hannah proceeds to speak down to Grace, as one might speak to a small child. How many times has your own mother said something along the lines of "Can you imagine...what it's like..." Then, when you say you're sorry, you're met with "I should think so." Now, maybe this is just Hannah mixing fear of losing Grace with uncertainty of her authority as lady of the house. However, it just hits me wrong. My main point in writing this post, though, is Hannah's complete disregard for Grace's own life and dreams. She binds Grace to her with a promise, and without a thought about what it would mean to Grace to be tied to her permanently, for better, and tragically for them both, for worse.
"Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination." ~Oscar Wilde

"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."~JRR Tolkien
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Cyndell
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths


LucNesbitt wrote:


BevS wrote:
Alfred has some issues he needs to deal with. Some insecurities. I think that's why he turned to Lucy so easily.




Given how he must have felt at being told Grace wouldn't be returning, he could have acted out of jealousy or hurt. Alfred also feels very differently than Grace on how servants should behave. He's not as subserviant as Grace nor as likely to put himself first as she does. He could have been trying to "teach her a lesson" in a sense ... something along the lines that forgetting her place as a human being has its price as well.




I totally agree with you here. I think Alfred was probably very hurt when he was told Grace wouldn't be returning. I think that his goal in asking Lucy was to make Grace jealous. And it seems as though it worked.

Cindy
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Cyndell
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths


Librarian wrote:


KxBurns wrote:
With this chapter, Grace becomes an active participant in the lives of the Hartfords. No longer just an observer, she accompanies Hannah on a rescue mission to retrieve Emmeline.


I'm wondering why if Hannah can have Grace accompany her while she drives on a rescue mission to save Emmeline, then why can't Grace trust Hannah enough to say she's not really taking shorthand lessons. She was getting a book. I would think Hannah would be very receptive to that. Why go to all the trouble of meeting with Lucy Starling and not be afraid to possibly reveal to Lucy maybe something she shouldn't know. If Grace is so loyal to Hannah, this going to Lucy doesn't make sense to me.
Librarian


then, her secret from Hannah -- that she doesn't actually know shorthand -- threatens to be revealed. To prevent this, she goes to Lucy Starling, >





I also found this a bit strange. That Grace wouldn't reveal her secret to Hannah, that she was buying a book, and not taking shorthand lessons.

Cindy
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crazyasitsounds
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

I've always been concerned about Grace growing too close to Hannah. Especially now that it's interfering with her relationship with Alfred, I think Grace is sacrificing her own possibilities to help Hannah achieve some limited independence.
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takannie
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

Yes, Lucy seems like the only "normal" person of the bunch. Everyone is so distant from each other, even the family members. Perhaps I'm putting a modern-day spin on a Victorian time. Perhaps that's just the way they lived their lives, sad though it may be.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths

[ Edited ]

Librarian wrote:
I'm wondering why if Hannah can have Grace accompany her while she drives on a rescue mission to save Emmeline, then why can't Grace trust Hannah enough to say she's not really taking shorthand lessons. She was getting a book. I would think Hannah would be very receptive to that. Why go to all the trouble of meeting with Lucy Starling and not be afraid to possibly reveal to Lucy maybe something she shouldn't know. If Grace is so loyal to Hannah, this going to Lucy doesn't make sense to me.
Librarian


I think this is a good question, Librarian. I believe it has to do with the power dynamics of the relationship between Grace and Hannah. Regardless of the unusual degree of intimacy they share, it is Hannah who has the upper hand, the power and position, and as a result Grace must still be careful to censor herself.

I wonder, can there be true intimacy when one person wields more power than another? What does this say about the possibility for a true partnership in marriage, given the power dynamics between Hannah and Teddy?...

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-12-2008 02:18 PM
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths


bentley wrote:
GRACE:

I think Grace had true affection for Alfred and now they had tickets to see an important play. But I think the lines have been blurred for Grace in terms of what she should be doing for others and what she should be doing for herself.


HANNAH:

What the fortune teller saw for Hannah is not surprising. It was plain to see that Hannah had died inside. She really has nobody else but Grace.

Bentley




I agree with you about Grace - she has fallen into the trap that her mother warned her about, living vicariously through the lives of these people for whom she works, and who ultimately care little about her happiness.

Regarding Hannah and the death card, she interprets this as her own metaphorical death and you agree with that. In your opinion, what event in her life marks this metaphorical death? Was it her marriage, or something else?...

Karen
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KxBurns
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths


glycerinefire wrote:
I feel that throughout the book, Ms. Morton has faught to present Hannah a deep character, a rebel in her time, even a heroine. However, I don't feel that Hannah really has that depth. Yes, she dreams of adventure and independence, and speaks of modern ideas. She is certainly more intelligent than Emmeline, but is really less of a free spirit. Although Emmeline is rather dim, she does as she wishes and shuns what she views as "convention", despite being so hung up on propriety in earlier chapters. Hannah, on the other hand, despite her talk of personal freedom, remains a slave to her station in life. For all of her talk of womens' rights to be equal and free, she never treats Grace as an equal. It's as though she feels that confiding in Grace, and including her in her 'rescue' of Emmeline, is a privelege (which it was in the era, though not to a 'modern' woman). I think what struck me most in this chapter was Hannah's discussion with Grace at the end, making her promise to never leave.

"I know as soon as I enter that she is not pleased.... She is pacing." Hannah proceeds to speak down to Grace, as one might speak to a small child. How many times has your own mother said something along the lines of "Can you imagine...what it's like..." Then, when you say you're sorry, you're met with "I should think so." Now, maybe this is just Hannah mixing fear of losing Grace with uncertainty of her authority as lady of the house. However, it just hits me wrong. My main point in writing this post, though, is Hannah's complete disregard for Grace's own life and dreams. She binds Grace to her with a promise, and without a thought about what it would mean to Grace to be tied to her permanently, for better, and tragically for them both, for worse.




You make an excellent point. Hannah is more like Teddy than she thinks, in that her actions rarely match her professed intentions. Who is the real modern woman of this story so far? Is it Emmeline? Miss Starling? Deb? Who is actually living out the modern notions that Hannah espouses in theory but cannot act upon?
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bookhunter
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths


KxBurns wrote:

Librarian wrote:
I'm wondering why if Hannah can have Grace accompany her while she drives on a rescue mission to save Emmeline, then why can't Grace trust Hannah enough to say she's not really taking shorthand lessons. She was getting a book. I would think Hannah would be very receptive to that. Why go to all the trouble of meeting with Lucy Starling and not be afraid to possibly reveal to Lucy maybe something she shouldn't know. If Grace is so loyal to Hannah, this going to Lucy doesn't make sense to me.
Librarian


I think this is a good question, Librarian. I believe it has to do with the power dynamics of the relationship between Grace and Hannah. Regardless of the unusual degree of intimacy they share, it is Hannah who has the upper hand, the power and position, and as a result Grace must still be careful to censor herself.

I wonder, can there be true intimacy when one person wields more power than another? What does this say about the possibility for a true partnership in marriage, given the power dynamics between Hannah and Teddy?...

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-12-2008 02:18 PM




I also thinks it says something about Grace's character. She is not very open--we see that even in the older Grace. She will not step out of the status quo, will not question the way things are (why does she never bug her mother about her father?) It almost seems like it is painful for her to talk. Even her choice of academic pursuits led her into a field where she didn't have to deal with real, live people!

I like your question about intimacy between people when there is an unbalance of power. Opening up with intimacy means revealing your weaknesses. If, as we have all speculated, there was a relationship between Grace's mother and Frederick, it was one of unbalanced power, too.

Ann, bookhunter
who holds ALL the power in my marraige! (Just don't tell my hubby that :smileywink: )
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vivico1
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Re: PART THREE: In the Depths/Alfred


BevS wrote:
Alfred has some issues he needs to deal with. Some insecurities. I think that's why he turned to Lucy so easily.


I think you are right, but I wonder if this means he is going to start seeing Lucy Starling more now, since she doesnt have the kind of things that will bind her that Grace does and tho he really cares for Grace, his insecurities make him need her to break her duties (and needs) for him. They keep him wondering her true feelings for him and Lucy may lead a less complicated life. Too bad for both Grace and Alfred, if she loses him for that reason but if so, I hope he finds happiness with Lucy, she seems a nice woman.

This may seem a bit harsh but does anyone else feel this way? No one in this book seems to be able to pull off ONE good relationship, so i am starting to not care if any of them do. I did, I wanted Hannah to be happy roaming the world and even sassy little Emmeline to get her the perfect catch (for her that is) and Grace and Alfred to be ok. Now, I am only curious as to what happens and STILL another 150 pages to go. Right now, at this point, I just want to see Alfred happy LOL. Am I the only one having these thoughts or similar?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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