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bmbrennan
Posts: 153
Registered: ‎02-28-2007
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers

Fanny's wasn't the only "fate" Miss Clem decided. She just doesn't seem to be happy unless she is insinuating herself into others lives whether they wish her to intervene or not. I love reading regency novels and it seems that most of the aristocracy's fate was decided by the "knowing few" of the ton and even with this being a later century tradition seems to pervade London society whether you live Upstairs or downstairs.
bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers

My notes from reading the chapter:

1. I feel bad for Alfred - he is in bad shape and there is no one he can turn to for help.

2. It is a new era at Riverton with Frederick and the girls moving in and settling is as the heads of the house. Sad how Violet and Jemmima are sort of shifted out elsewhere after their husbands die. This must have happened alot back then as the average lifespan of a woman has been longer than for a man for a long long time...that would suck going from the queen of the manor to swept off to a 'condo' in town...

3. Page 194 - An interesting paragraph describing the changes to the family dynamics since David's death - starts with And there was something else, something vague and unnerving........they cannot help but collide with devastating force. I loved that paragraph with the metaphor - so very descriptive of the situation between the family members and foreshadowing of whats to come....

4. Who says that girls grow up faster today than they did in the past....that Emmeline seems to be quite grown up for a 15 year old!!

5. I enjoyed getting caught up with Hannah and Emmeline via Grace's eavesdropping. Their ideas (some conflicting) of independence and husbands may cause some sparks in the future...
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers


m3girl wrote:
2. It is a new era at Riverton with Frederick and the girls moving in and settling is as the heads of the house. Sad how Violet and Jemmima are sort of shifted out elsewhere after their husbands die. This must have happened alot back then as the average lifespan of a woman has been longer than for a man for a long long time...that would suck going from the queen of the manor to swept off to a 'condo' in town...



Great point! How ironic that after spending a lifetime being a perfect hostess, one's final duty as mistress of the manor is to shuffle off to some inferior abode to make way for the next generation.
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers

Seems like life sort of sucked for the single and the widowed woman at the time - regardless of position in society.
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Franklin's personality and "failure"



dhaupt wrote:
I don't know if I feel sorry for him, but I do empathize with his character, raising his children alone, being the second son with nothing to inherit, trying to make a success of his life without much luck.




I can barely feel anything for Frederick. He is like a wraith in the story. In and out with no substance to him. At that time depression was not recognized, but I think he must have been a depressive person. Nothing seems to give him any substance. He was one of the few people in his position that could not make money from the war. He really should have made a substantial fortune for himself. He pays little attention to his children, yet expects them to be dutiful and be there for him. The girls have more substance than their father. Even David was more involved than Frederick.

I don't believe he could have been written into the story any better than he was because his character is the essence of the ephemeral. He had to be in the story as their father and possibly Grace's father, but that is all he means to this reader.
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers



Peppermill wrote:

Tasses wrote:
Perhaps I am just an isolated American, but I couldn't help being a tiny bit offended by the negative connotations towards American money & Americans in general. Did anyone else get that vibe in this chapter? Is this still a prevailing theme in Europe or is Ms. Morton merely parroting the times past? I guess it just spiked a bit of patriotism in me... lol.
Tasses -- I laughed when I saw your note. Just having read Edith Wharton's Buccaneers with a B&N board this past year, I didn't even think about the modern connotations of Ms. Morton's descriptions. Wharton's points included the swapping of new American money (resources) for old world aristocracy, prestige, and ancient real estate.

But, given that Ms. Morton writes at around the turn of the millennium, is she embedding a political point to her readers? I haven't weighed that possibility.




Good questions! I did notice the inference and thought about the Ugly American. I wonder how long that kind of thinking has been going on. I lived overseas for 2 years in the 60s and found a broad spectrum of American bashing as well as liking. It would be a good question to ask Ms. Morton.
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: PART TWO: Bankers



vivico1 wrote:

Psycmo wrote:
Sher898,

I am struggling with this book so I was glad to see your post. I read a variety of genres, but I am feeling like I am STILL spending time waiting for this book to get really started. I am find the characters somewhat predictable demonstrating an almost intolerable level of adolescence in both the characters and the character development. I am finding that the description of people and places is leaving me wanting more. I guess at this point I am just conflicted and find that I am working to really get into this book and have actually "cheated" and read 2 other books while keeping this one as a bit of a chore breaking my own habit (read rule :smileyhappy: ) of reading one book at a time!

Mo


Mo, this book is taking some time for me too, its not one for me thats a "cant put it down" kind of book. I know we have talked about the house as a character in the book, but now, the constant description of it or the grounds that can get quite lengthy, makes me feel that even if it is a character of the book, its getting too much attention and causing the book to drag at times so that I find myself waiting more of the story line. Sometimes, like in the last chapter I think it was, all the sudden is a burst of information told rather nonchalantly that we have been waiting for, since the beginning. Then we wade through more transition scenes again.

This chapter to me is a kind of transition chapter, the war is over, this is the state of things and the people and now its were does everyone go from here. Some of the most fascinating points to me just get tossed in sometimes matter of factly that I am like, wait, back up, I want to hear some more about this, we waited! lol. I like the story, I like the dialogs, but sometimes its a journey to get to them.





I thought it was a transition chapter, too. Taking us from the past into the present where changes are so dramatic. The journey from past to present and the journey, as a reader, from chapter to chapter, is quite heavy some times. There really is a lot to think about in each chapter as Ms. Morton presents her characters and their situations.

Have you ever tried to describe to someone what is going on in your life when there is too much background to tell it simply. That's how I find this story. The author is giving us a lot of information and we have to put it together. She does a masterful job. She leads us quite well.
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