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KxBurns
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Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

So, thanks to the machinations of Lady Clementine and Fanny, Hannah marries Teddy in 1919. Is the rain a good or bad omen for this couple?

I thought the conversation between Lady Violet and Lady Clem on page 234 was noteworthy since we know how Emmeline died. If we look at motor cars as a symbol of modernization, what conclusions are we to draw about Emmeline's death? I think this will become clearer if/when we learn the details, but it's interesting to ponder.

Hannah's situation is summed up pretty succinctly in this passage:
"She longed for independence and adventure, yet she was a prisoner – a comfortable, well-tended prisoner, but a prisoner nonetheless. Independence required money. Her father hadn't money to give her and she wasn't permitted to work" (p. 236).
We already knew this, but what I found remarkable was that this assessment was given by Grace.

How do you interpret the scene between Hannah and Teddy at the bridge, in light of the scene depicted on the lacquered box that holds The Game? Two things that struck me here:
- as a child writing to Lady Jane, Hannah was willing to sacrifice her freedom (to become a slave) for the chance at adventure. A metaphor for the marriage she enters into?...
- the bridge anecdote takes on mythical qualities over time, which speaks to the way that time changes our memory and telling of stories

Why do you think Hannah agrees to marry Teddy? Is it Fanny's persuasion, or the encounter on the bridge, or a combination of both?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Karen
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GMorrison
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎12-20-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband



KxBurns wrote:Why do you think Hannah agrees to marry Teddy? Is it Fanny's persuasion, or the encounter on the bridge, or a combination of both?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Karen




Both. Hannah's certainly been lead to believe by Fanny that marriage is a way to escape her social captivity at Riverton, and we know she's much more pragmatic than her sister. She probably figures that Teddy, with his money and his new and dangerous (to paraphrase others' responses) modern, American attitudes offers her the best chance at freedom. After all, as the oldest daughter in a failing aristocratic family, she's certain to be forced into a political marriage, just like her father (whose wife despised him). Why not do it with someone she at least gets along with, and who is demonstrably less old fashioned than either Frederick or Mr. Luxton senior?

Only thing is, I doubt it will work. Given the foreshadowing concerning Emmeline's engagement to Robbie while he was Hannah's lover, a see a reputation-breaking divorce in the offing...
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psujulie
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

Awesome summary of the chapter, Karen, I guess that's why you're a moderator :smileyhappy: -- you caught so much more than I did. A few comments on this chapter:

I think Hannah married Teddy because she felt it was her best chance to have her own life. I do think there was a little bit of obligation towards her father and family too. She never did cross her father in the last chapter and tell him that she wanted to work. In addition, she had a lot of pressure on her from Lady Violet. On pg. 232, "This family's future depends upon her match."

I also thought it was interesting that Jemima and her daughter leave for New York in this chapter. Someone mentioned earlier that maybe Ursula is a granddaughter or great-granddaughter of Jemima. I'm beginning to think this could be true since that part of the family would be in the United States.

On pg. 240, there was yet another reference to an archaeology dig of some sorts. Fannie mentions that she met a fellow on her honeymoon that was going to Cairo to dig for buried treasures. I definitely see an archeology theme going on here based on Grace's career choice, burying the box for the Game, etc. I think Grace's career choice as an archeologist symbolizes that she uncovers secrets from the past and allows today's society to learn what happened in the past -- she allows us to "remember" what took place.

On pg. 246, we learn that Hannah eventually tells Grace about their walk and the story of the lost locket. That tells me that Hannah will continue to confide in Grace as time moves on.

Finally, I think the locket is a major symbol in this book and especially this chapter. I think the locket represents Hannah's ties to her family, her past and her childhood. Ms. Morton's description here is very vivid when Hannah loses the locket. "The clasp of the locket, weak with wear, relinquished its hold on her chain, slipped around her pale neck and dropped below. Hannah felt the loss of its weight, but realized its cause too late." That Teddy finds the locket for her places him as as a type of savior for Hannah's situation in her family. Marrying Teddy will be Hannah's best chance to save everyone -- her father can get a loan, her family will still have some prominence, she can get some independence from a more modern man like Teddy, etc.
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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

Are there any good omen's for this union?
And when Lady Violet says to Lady Clementine that she feels impending doom, wow if she only knew.
I think Hannah marries Teddy because of what Fanny said, but I also think she saw him in a new light when he rescues her locket.
Reader 2
Pammy
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

I as well felt the impending doom of this marriage. I felt so sorry for Hannah being manipulated by Lady Clementine and Fanny that way. I guess through time unhappily married people can't wait to draw others into an unhappy marriage. And Hannah was so young. If only she had listened to her father.

I remembered that when I was very young I had a big time crush on a guy and he dated some of my friends but never me. My friends devised a plot to make me forget him and concentrate on someone else. I think they had good intentions but it was the same sort of manipluation. Saying he liked me and didn't I think he was nice, cute, etc. Luckily nothing ever came from it but when I discovered what they were up to I was so shocked and hurt.

I felt the same way reading the scene when Fanny is baiting Hannah. I thought Hannah would hold out but then when she quickly gave in I was so disappointed. How awful to use a young girl in that way.
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crazyasitsounds
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

I got the feeling that Hannah decided to marry Teddy because she realized she was out of other options. It was her chance to get away from her family & from the life she found suffocating. She had to know that she would find married life equally suffocating, but at least it would be a change for her. & I think that the story about the bridge has to become mythic because it's the only thing their marriage is based on. It's pretty much the only experience they share before they get married & it has to be a big deal if they're going to tell people that that's what led to their marriage (They can't really say that it was a result of strong suggestions by older relatives.).
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LucNesbitt
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Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

To echo others, yes, Hannah seems to have been very persuaded by Fanny's ideas of marriage as a path to freedom, but, how much was this impacted by the fact she never had the chance to tell her father she was going to start working? If Emmeline had not changed the course of that dinner conversation and Hannah had been allowed to follow her plan, would she have latched on to the idea of marriage so quickly?

Granted, in order for the plot of the story to continue, that scene had to happen as it did. I think Kate Morton has laid the foundation for Hannah's escape path to be marriage all along by providing her character with options for freedome, only to have those doors closed each and every time so that's she's forced into a state of desperation and open to persuasion.
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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

If Fanny had not had the conversation with Emmeline (for Hannah's benefit), I wonder if the scene at the bridge would have made Hannah feel an attraction to Teddy. Hannah wants nothing more than freedom, she is young and impressionable and probably sees Teddy as the person who will set her free. I think Hannah was attracted to Teddy, especially after he saved her from losing her locket.
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Read-n-Rider
Posts: 157
Registered: ‎01-29-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

I think that Hannah was influenced by Fanny's description of the "freedoms" marriage had provided her, but I don't think that that in itself would have been enough to make her marry Teddy. I think the incident at the bridge was necessary, as it cast Teddy in a romantic light, making him a hero of sorts, restoring to her the locket, which she held very dear. Physical attraction occurred there, too, as Hannah was moved by the sight of Teddy in his wet, clinging clothes, and longed for him to hold her in his arms.

Joan
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nhawkinsII
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

[ Edited ]
I think the foundation for Hannah's decision to marry Teddy began with the "working woman" conversation during "The Dinner". Her father's rigid stance "'I'd rather tear out my own heart than see either of my daughters working'" delivered a clear message to Hannah her roadway to independence and freedom via a job were clearly blocked.

Fanny's conversation opened Hannah's eyes to a new "way out"...marriage...complete with independence, respectability and adventure.

By the time Hannah and Teddy meet at the bridge...Teddy's father Simion and Lady Clementine have had a conversation about Teddy's lack of a wife hindering political career ambitions. Of course, they both conclude the proper wife "'can be found right under one's own nose'" and a new game was underway. Teddy's efforts to rescue Hannah's locket (gallantry) and his subsequent success gave him the allure of "a knight in shining armor"...With Hannah's love of adventure, loss and recovery (evidenced by The Game) along with her naivete, Teddy's fate as "a suitable husband" was sealed.

Message Edited by nhawkinsII on 01-10-2008 12:21 AM

Message Edited by nhawkinsII on 01-10-2008 12:22 AM
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bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband


nhawkinsII wrote:
By the time Hannah and Teddy meet at the bridge...Teddy's father Simion and Lady Clementine have had a conversation about Teddy's lack of a wife hindering political career ambitions. Of course, they both conclude the proper wife "'can be found right under one's own nose'" and a new game was underway. Teddy's efforts to rescue Hannah's locket (gallantry) and his subsequent success gave him the allure of "a knight in shining armor"...With Hannah's love of adventure, loss and recovery (evidenced by The Game) along with her naivete, Teddy's fate as "a suitable husband" was sealed.




So who do you think was most manipulated into the marraige--Hannah? Teddy? Or Simion?


And given the setting of the story, do you think that manipulation is wrong or acceptable?

(My grandmother used to use the word "maneuver" saying we sometimes have to "maneuver" people to get things done!)

Ann, bookhunter
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Tasses
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

[ Edited ]
I believe they were all manipulated to some varying degree by both Fanny, Lady Clementine, and fate (the unasked question @ dinner, the locket falling, the times not yet changed....). I don't think this sort of manipulation is unusual for the time-period, but now we might view it as wrong. Although... I do have an unhappily single friend upon whom I might like to try Fanny & Lady Clem's maneuvers!


I found this chapter's comic undertone most enjoyable. If you picture the chapter as a movie (which I believe this book would lend itself well to), you get this sort of humorous running about, whispered match-making with a tragic nuance gurgling just below the surface of activities.

Message Edited by Tasses on 01-10-2008 12:11 PM
See all my reviews at: Reading Rumpus and Many A Quaint & Curious Volume
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kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband



GMorrison wrote:


KxBurns wrote:Why do you think Hannah agrees to marry Teddy? Is it Fanny's persuasion, or the encounter on the bridge, or a combination of both?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Karen




Both. Hannah's certainly been lead to believe by Fanny that marriage is a way to escape her social captivity at Riverton, and we know she's much more pragmatic than her sister. She probably figures that Teddy, with his money and his new and dangerous (to paraphrase others' responses) modern, American attitudes offers her the best chance at freedom. After all, as the oldest daughter in a failing aristocratic family, she's certain to be forced into a political marriage, just like her father (whose wife despised him). Why not do it with someone she at least gets along with, and who is demonstrably less old fashioned than either Frederick or Mr. Luxton senior?

Only thing is, I doubt it will work. Given the foreshadowing concerning Emmeline's engagement to Robbie while he was Hannah's lover, a see a reputation-breaking divorce in the offing...





Yeah, something didn't work out did it? Later in the next chapter or two, I hope we find out what happened with the wonderful marriage.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband


kiakar wrote:


GMorrison wrote:


KxBurns wrote:Why do you think Hannah agrees to marry Teddy? Is it Fanny's persuasion, or the encounter on the bridge, or a combination of both?

Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!
Karen




Both. Hannah's certainly been lead to believe by Fanny that marriage is a way to escape her social captivity at Riverton, and we know she's much more pragmatic than her sister. She probably figures that Teddy, with his money and his new and dangerous (to paraphrase others' responses) modern, American attitudes offers her the best chance at freedom. After all, as the oldest daughter in a failing aristocratic family, she's certain to be forced into a political marriage, just like her father (whose wife despised him). Why not do it with someone she at least gets along with, and who is demonstrably less old fashioned than either Frederick or Mr. Luxton senior?

Only thing is, I doubt it will work. Given the foreshadowing concerning Emmeline's engagement to Robbie while he was Hannah's lover, a see a reputation-breaking divorce in the offing...





Yeah, something didn't work out did it? Later in the next chapter or two, I hope we find out what happened with the wonderful marriage.


What the???? Ok, am I reading something that is going to happen in the future that I havent read yet, cause if so that really sucks here! Robbie was Hannah's lover?? Emmeline engaged to him?? What the??? Ok, if this is to happen later, I was going to say, what do you mean, but dont tell me, that would even spoil it more. Dang! I am going to leave it right now at just being totally confused by what that means! :smileysad:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

Boy the older people in the house are sure working at getting a marriage going, on both sides of this family. I was rather surprised at how well Fanny played her part. Hannah actually was thinking about her words, not just blowing them off. Not bad for that silly Fanny.

I really liked this chapter and there is a part I really disliked lol. I loved it for its flow after the first page into good dialogs and story. I loved the part of them at the bridge. But also the way he talked to Hannah on their ride. Maybe part of that is his maturity, being in his 30s now. But he is the adventurous type and he is intrigued by what Hannah wants to do and he wants to travel too. He doesnt treat her like his father would, he listens and enjoys her ideas of adventure too. He does not think her talking about their game at the bridge as childish but rather talks about it with her in a rather charming flirtatious way. He seems to be the person with whom Hannah could possibly find love and both of their worries brought on by their families would be solved. I loved that she finally felt something when she saw his wet body too. I am for independence girl but yeah, get your head out of the books once in awhile and feel! lol.

This is one thing I hated about this chapter, tell me what you think. We just finished a chapter thinking, I wonder how they will get on and BAM! First line "Hannah and Teddy were married...." and then Morton has to back up again to tell the story of how it gets to this point which still doesnt even happen in this chapter. This style of suddenly revealing big answers and then backing up again and again, when we are already backed up through the eyes of an older woman, is getting old to me!

So the question I would like to pose out of curiousity to you all is this. In this chapter, rather than telling us right off that they get married and then go back again to say how it came about, look at page 230 and then 231 and tell me if you would have liked it better for this chapter to begin on 231 and leave out 230 altogether. The rest of the chapter stands on its own and is building towards that and to me would have been the perfect place to pick up from the previous chapter of the dinner. What do you think?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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no4daughter
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-15-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband



vivico1 wrote:
What the???? Ok, am I reading something that is going to happen in the future that I havent read yet, cause if so that really sucks here! Robbie was Hannah's lover?? Emmeline engaged to him?? What the??? Ok, if this is to happen later, I was going to say, what do you mean, but dont tell me, that would even spoil it more. Dang! I am going to leave it right now at just being totally confused by what that means! :smileysad:




Look back on page 14. When Grace first meets Ursula, she gives her this synopsis of her film: "A rising star of the English poetry scene kills himself by a dark lake on the eve of a huge society party. His only witnesses are two beautiful sisters who never speak to each other again. One is his fiancee, the other rumoured to be his lover."

Easy to miss these few sentences. Although I remembered the part about the fiancee and lover, I did not catch the fact that the sisters never speak to each other again until I reread it just now. The plot thickens.
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband


vivico1 wrote:
[snip] This is one thing I hated about this chapter, tell me what you think. We just finished a chapter thinking, I wonder how they will get on and BAM! First line "Hannah and Teddy were married...." and then Morton has to back up again to tell the story of how it gets to this point which still doesnt even happen in this chapter. This style of suddenly revealing big answers and then backing up again and again, when we are already backed up through the eyes of an older woman, is getting old to me!

So the question I would like to pose out of curiousity to you all is this. In this chapter, rather than telling us right off that they get married and then go back again to say how it came about, look at page 230 and then 231 and tell me if you would have liked it better for this chapter to begin on 231 and leave out 230 altogether. The rest of the chapter stands on its own and is building towards that and to me would have been the perfect place to pick up from the previous chapter of the dinner. What do you think?




I liked the way it was written, because knowing the answer makes finding out how the answer is arrived at, just as interesting as reading it as a story. The way it was written, sounds to me like how I would tell a story. Which in a way is exactly what is happening, because Grace is telling Marcus via tape. I am the type of storyteller who start in the middle, goes to the end, and then the beginning.
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vivico1
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband


no4daughter wrote:


vivico1 wrote:
What the???? Ok, am I reading something that is going to happen in the future that I havent read yet, cause if so that really sucks here! Robbie was Hannah's lover?? Emmeline engaged to him?? What the??? Ok, if this is to happen later, I was going to say, what do you mean, but dont tell me, that would even spoil it more. Dang! I am going to leave it right now at just being totally confused by what that means! :smileysad:




Look back on page 14. When Grace first meets Ursula, she gives her this synopsis of her film: "A rising star of the English poetry scene kills himself by a dark lake on the eve of a huge society party. His only witnesses are two beautiful sisters who never speak to each other again. One is his fiancee, the other rumoured to be his lover."

Easy to miss these few sentences. Although I remembered the part about the fiancee and lover, I did not catch the fact that the sisters never speak to each other again until I reread it just now. The plot thickens.


oh yes, i remember that from the back of the book too, I just forgot about it with all these names and things going on lol. Plus it said rumored to be lover and when the post said Hannah being his lover and with everyone trying to not run into something we havent read yet, I thought what?? When did all this happen? But rumored to be, means we still dont know yet right. My booboo but if they are going to be lovers they better do it quick if we already know here Hannah is going to marry Teddy within the year lol. Or Morton can draw that part out for a few more chapters and drop that bomb in one line too. Thanks for the reminder about that statement and where this talk would have come from :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

I also have a feeling of doom in this chapter. I'm getting the feeling that the problems between Emmeline and Hannah and Grace are not going to be a bombshell but probably a petty misunderstanding. I'm not saying I dislike the book, I have been enjoying it, but I can't help but think that there's going to be a let down. Anyone else have thoughts similar to mine? I am hoping, and would be very happy if, I'm totally wrong.
Lynda

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The Uncommon Reader


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EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: PART TWO: A Suitable Husband

I've taken to putting post-it notes in the pages so I'll remember things I want to say as. I found the part where Lady Violet is discussing Frederick with Lady Clementine interesting. She misses her husband and seems to understand that Frederick was never "groomed" to be Lord of the Manor. This to me shows that she understands a part of Frederick.
Also, archeology is brought up. Only Fanny called it digging for buried treasure.
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