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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



Popper19 wrote:


kiakar wrote:


Popper19 wrote:
I too think Grace overstepped her bounds by telling the girls what she learned from the lawyer's conversation. I thougth the same as the previous poster in regards to the locket Hannah stroked. I'm wondering if it's the one that the current Grace possesses??? I'm enjoying the slow unraveling of this great story. I think this is a wonderful book!




Yes, she did step over her bounds but for a very young lady, I would have expected to
see it happen much sooner. They talked to her of their lives and included her in their conversations, So it would be hard to distinquish what she should reveal to the family and what she shouldn't. It seemed that in a way, she was trapped into saying what she did about the lawyer by the girls. At this point in time, Emmaline seems aloof with Grace but Hannah thinks of her as a great friend. Someone she greatly admires.




Your right that it could have happened sooner. It surprised me that Hannah is the one whom takes notice of Grace as opposed to Emmaline. My first impression of the girls led me to believe that Hannah would not become Grace's friend. I don't know why for sure. I can't remember a specific passage, but I really did not have a good first impression of Hannah.




But then Hannah and Grace share a secret about the secretarial school. Hannah thinks that Grace is studying too, even though her indiscresion was only buying a book.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



gl wrote:
I interpreted the Grace's visit to her mother's house a little differently. I saw the preparations and various touches more as her mother's way of trying to show Grace that she's recognizing that she's grown up, moved out of the home and is being welcomed home for a visit. I did not think that her mother was trying to impress her since Grace had seen these things before and wouldn't necessarily be impressed. I read it as a mother who was looking forward to spending time with her daughter and took extra care for the visit as a sign of love and respect for her daughter who was becoming independent.




Grace usually met with her mother in the kitchen because her mother would continue to work on her stitching. Now her mother's hands are swollen and she can no longer work. There is no reason to sit in the kitchen if she can't stitch.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



Tarri wrote:
I liked Hannah more when she insisted that Grace drink the lemonade and asked about Alfred, I think Hannah is learning that being upperclass does not mean that you are better than others. I was not surprised when the sisters tried to get information from Grace, nor was I surprised that she told them as they are "the family" and therefore she is obligated to do as the family asks.

It was telling how Grace's mother reacted to the news that Fanny was trying to marry Frederick. Also interesting that Jemima thought Grace was Hannah.




Remember that Hannah is taking secret lessons in secretarial skills. She also seemed to be impressed that Grace's mother was "self employed" I think Hannah is seeking a life outside Riverton. Her interest in Grace's life is an effort to find out "what it is like out there." In asking Grace about Albert it becomes apparent that more than just the staff were aware that Albert was sweet on Grace. Hannah seems to approve of this relationship.
MG
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JoyZ
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Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus


fordmg wrote:

Grace usually met with her mother in the kitchen because her mother would continue to work on her stitching. Now her mother's hands are swollen and she can no longer work. There is no reason to sit in the kitchen if she can't stitch.
MG




I like that idea about her hands being the reason. I had also considered that maybe her mother was trying to impress her because of how she herself may have felt in going home when she was a servant. Home must appear a little dowdy after living at Riverton.

I also wondered when Jemima mistakenly called Grace "Hannah" if there was a resemblance in the two girls.
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Librarian
Posts: 483
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



vivico1 wrote:
I first thought Grace's mother had moved them into the sitting room with it done up, because someone was coming to visit, like maybe her mum had found an older man she was interested in to help each other through their olders years, a boyfriend or companion of needs lets say. But then when that didnt happen, and because of their talk, I wonder if maybe her mom was just trying to show Grace that she saw her as a budding adult, so she should sit where the adults do in their home and that would help reinforce her talk about watching what she does and knowing her place, because shes starting to get to a dangerous age that she knows too well herself.

Also, dont you think her mom's reaction to the news of Frederick and him not getting married and her curiousity about the times Grace is around him, is just further proof that he may be the one she loved, or at least had Grace by? Or that Morton is at least continuing to lead us to that conclusion?





I agree Vivico with your comment about why Grace's Mom would be upset with the idea of Frederick getting married again. I'm thinking that too. I also think her mother had their visit in the sitting room because she can't stitch anymore and also because she really does love Grace and doesn't want Grace to make mistakes she may have made herself. When she touches Grace's hands and comments on her new work, I think that's a sign of her affection for Grace.
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Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

Well, I have to admit that at this point I'm getting a bit tired of Morton's strategy of hint-and-hide-the-ball. It was interesting in the first few chapters, but it keeps on keeping on, and I'm getting tired of it.

I realized that this isn't a traditional mystery, where the protagonist and we are on a joint search to figure out the clues and find out what happened. Grace knows what happened. She knows it all. But she (through Morton) just doles out hint after hint after hint, a fact here and there but more hints. I'm beginning to wonder what the point of this approach is other than to frustrate the reader.

I was pleased with this approach early on. But it has palled. I wish Morton would just get on with the story and tell us what Grace knows.

End of mini-rant.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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isugirl
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I find it interesting how many single mom's raising children without a father figure are surfacing. We have Grace's mother and Grace, Jamima and her new daughter, and now Ursula and her son. Do you think there is a reason for this?
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Peppermill
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus


isugirl wrote: I find it interesting how many single mom's raising children without a father figure are surfacing. We have Grace's mother and Grace, Jamima and her new daughter, and now Ursula and her son. Do you think there is a reason for this?


Erica -- I wondered the same. Do you suppose Morton is asking her readers to recognize that single motherhood is not just a twenty-first century issue, but has its roots, sources, causes, and various solutions much deeper into history? Or, is she asking us to contrast many modes of parenthood and to consider how those differing styles impact both community and individuals? Thanks for raising the question here. I hope we hear other viewpoints.
"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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rstjm4
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-30-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



KxBurns wrote:
One thing I found really significant in this chapter was Emmeline and Hannah's open acknowledgement that Grace, a servant in their home, was privy to a conversation between Lord Gifford and the family. And the fact that Grace actually responds by providing information about the meeting! To me, this represents a breakdown in the invisible line between servant and employer. Grace is now, like mythical Icarus, flying too close to the sun and has become too entwined with the Hartford family.



Grace has shown that she is becoming part of the girls lives and becoming more entwined with them. I don't think that she should have told them about the conversation with Lord Gifford and the family, nor taken the lemonade, but I think she did so because she wants to be included. She wants to have siblings and be part of a family like the Hartfords. I don't think that she has set herself up for the fall yet, but she is beginning too. The girls are going to begin to see her as someone that they can a) get information out of b) confide in and c) possibly blame for anything that may yet happen.


Grace reaches another turning point in this chapter, becoming a guest in her mother’s home, someone who needs to be impressed. And it is after this visit that she thinks, "But the Hartfords were not strangers. And if I took some happiness from working near them, listening to their conversations, minding their beautiful dresses, then what harm was there in that?" (p.167).

What harm is there in that? Is Grace destined for a fall? Or did you interpret the connection alluded to by the Icarus fountain differently?


Its sad that her mother feels the need to impress Grace in her home. She is her mother after all and Grace loves her all the same. But I can also see that her mother does not want to lose her to the Hartfords. Living in the manor and even though she is just a maid she certainly lives better than her mother does. Her mother is probably afraid that Grace will become accustomed to that life style and then have have a fall such as she did. Her mother was obviously well liked and well remembered by the family, but she doesn't want Grace to get hurt as she did.


On page 172, what do you think is the source of Frederick's grief? Although his daughters believe he loves Riverton more than anyplace in the world, is it possible he doesn't want to be Lord Ashbury? If not, why not?

Karen




I think he doesn't want to be Lord Ashbury because he does not put stock into the social aspect of the times. He would rather be secluded in his office with his papers and working in his factory. I think he is a shadow in his own home with his own family and is trying to be his own person. Its obvious that the Major was the favored child and I think Frederick is just trying to prove himself capable and able like his brother.

This is the chapter where Jemima has the baby. I think she doesn't want a boy because her boys have been cursed with hemophilia. I don't think they know that girls are carriers but the boys are the ones that suffer. She just thinks that her boys are cursed. I also think she doesn't want to continue to live in Riverton House and have to be there for the sake of an heir. I think we will find that she leaves all together and moves on with her life and her little girl.

I do find it very amusing that Ursula states the Kiera can be a little tactless. I think that is the perfect word to describe her. I wonder if we see her again. I am also beginning to see a relationship develop in Ursula and Grace that Grace does not have with her own daughter.
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CanTri
Posts: 51
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

Apologies for one big post with all my thoughts on this chapter. Have some free time tonight and trying to get a few chapters read and catching up on the posts online.

I noticed we keep seeing an emphasis on Grace moving throughout the house by way of the servant stairs or doors. It was repeated a couple times in last chapter and this chapter. Was it to emphasis that she is still a servant?

On page 160 after Hannah has grilled Grace about her mom and the conversation switches over to Alfred Grace says she's happy for the change of subject. 'He was a part of this world". What does she mean by this? Part of the Riverton world, whereas her mother is the outside world? She can talk about him in facts vs. speculation?

More questions regarding Grace's mother and Frederick, she seems a little too interested in how he's doing. Initially I though her final words to Grace that day was another lesson in being content with what one has and appreciating one's home. But the second part seems like a pretty strong warning. Once more hinting that SHE strayed, or was part of someone else straying from their spouse.

HHhhhmmmm, Jemima mistaking Grace for Hannah in the darkened birthing room.

Another hhhmmm with Ursula getting so worked up over her son spraining his wrist, a pretty minor accident for a "normal" kid. Maybe a life or death situation in her family....

And then another kiss on the cheek?!?! Where is this intimacy coming from?!?! And a squeeze to the wrist, she's only met Grace once before, and Grace got ill and whisked away by Ruth. And promises to visit again soon. But Grace doesn't seem to mind: "And I am unaccountably glad"

For me this chapter just raised a ton more questions with very few answers.
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AllieK
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



Peppermill wrote:

isugirl wrote: I find it interesting how many single mom's raising children without a father figure are surfacing. We have Grace's mother and Grace, Jamima and her new daughter, and now Ursula and her son. Do you think there is a reason for this?


Erica -- I wondered the same. Do you suppose Morton is asking her readers to recognize that single motherhood is not just a twenty-first century issue, but has its roots, sources, causes, and various solutions much deeper into history? Or, is she asking us to contrast many modes of parenthood and to consider how those differing styles impact both community and individuals? Thanks for raising the question here. I hope we hear other viewpoints.





I wondered the same thing of the coincidence of the 'single-mother' storyline that keeps coming back. It will be interesting to see if Morton shows the reason for this in the rest of the book.

I enjoyed the 'innocent' water scene with Hannah, Emmeline and Grace. It may have been a foreshadowing of how close they become by the end of the book.

I am really enjoying this book..can't wait to finish it!!
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gosox
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎10-14-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



CanTri wrote:
Another hhhmmm with Ursula getting so worked up over her son spraining his wrist, a pretty minor accident for a "normal" kid. Maybe a life or death situation in her family....



To expand on this, when Ursula states ". . . he's fine, I don't know why I'm crying." Grace states "You're worried . . . . And relieved.' 'Yes,' [Ursula]says, ..... 'And guilty." (174)

At first reading I thought that perhaps she felt guilty because he got hurt while she was absent from his care, but now I am wondering if she feels guilt because she is a carrier of hemophilia. (sp)
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I also thought Grace's mother's reaction to Fanny pursuing Frederick was telling. I definitely got the feeling that he was the one she loved, still loved. So maybe Grace is his daughter.
Yvonne
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maude40
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I loved the line on page 168, "The sun had shifted and Riverton was in shadow. A hugh black beetle on the hill, hunkering down against the heat and it's own sorrow." The house is feeling the sadness of it's occupants.
Yvonne
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus


AllieK wrote:


Peppermill wrote:

isugirl wrote: I find it interesting how many single mom's raising children without a father figure are surfacing. We have Grace's mother and Grace, Jamima and her new daughter, and now Ursula and her son. Do you think there is a reason for this?


Erica -- I wondered the same. Do you suppose Morton is asking her readers to recognize that single motherhood is not just a twenty-first century issue, but has its roots, sources, causes, and various solutions much deeper into history? Or, is she asking us to contrast many modes of parenthood and to consider how those differing styles impact both community and individuals? Thanks for raising the question here. I hope we hear other viewpoints.





I wondered the same thing of the coincidence of the 'single-mother' storyline that keeps coming back. It will be interesting to see if Morton shows the reason for this in the rest of the book.

I enjoyed the 'innocent' water scene with Hannah, Emmeline and Grace. It may have been a foreshadowing of how close they become by the end of the book.

I am really enjoying this book..can't wait to finish it!!



How do you think the motif of the single mother fits into the theme of women's liberation that keeps resurfacing in the book?
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kmensing
Posts: 110
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



Everyman wrote:
Well, I have to admit that at this point I'm getting a bit tired of Morton's strategy of hint-and-hide-the-ball. It was interesting in the first few chapters, but it keeps on keeping on, and I'm getting tired of it.

I realized that this isn't a traditional mystery, where the protagonist and we are on a joint search to figure out the clues and find out what happened. Grace knows what happened. She knows it all. But she (through Morton) just doles out hint after hint after hint, a fact here and there but more hints. I'm beginning to wonder what the point of this approach is other than to frustrate the reader.

I was pleased with this approach early on. But it has palled. I wish Morton would just get on with the story and tell us what Grace knows.

End of mini-rant.




I so agree! If I had purchased this book, I would probably speed read until I found out the "who done it/what does Grace know/how will it end". But I love this book club, so I'm going to finish each and every page.

kmensing
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penny70
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



kmensing wrote:


Everyman wrote:
Well, I have to admit that at this point I'm getting a bit tired of Morton's strategy of hint-and-hide-the-ball. It was interesting in the first few chapters, but it keeps on keeping on, and I'm getting tired of it.

I realized that this isn't a traditional mystery, where the protagonist and we are on a joint search to figure out the clues and find out what happened. Grace knows what happened. She knows it all. But she (through Morton) just doles out hint after hint after hint, a fact here and there but more hints. I'm beginning to wonder what the point of this approach is other than to frustrate the reader.

I was pleased with this approach early on. But it has palled. I wish Morton would just get on with the story and tell us what Grace knows.

End of mini-rant.




I so agree! If I had purchased this book, I would probably speed read until I found out the "who done it/what does Grace know/how will it end". But I love this book club, so I'm going to finish each and every page.

kmensing




I think we need to remember though that we are getting the story from Grace as she is giving it to Marcus via tape. She wants the entire story told in the correct order and as she "talks" she finds herself ahead of the story and had to back up and get to that point in the story. As I read it I truly felt as if I was listening to an elderly person tell a memory that has to be hard to share; afterall, she has kept this secret for 40-50 years. Her history and training has got to be screaming for her to shut up .... the secrets of the family must be protected and kept at all time.

Penny
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kmliska
Posts: 24
Registered: ‎12-25-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I was not surprised that Grace told Hannah and Emmeline what she heard. It seems that she has been starting to feel closer to them. I think she is willing to do what they want because she wants to make them happy.
I get the feeling that Frederick does not want to be Lord Ashbury. He does seem to really like Riverton but I think he is happier with his cars and that is where he would rather be.
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Jodi
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎07-16-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

Hannah and Emmeline are at the pool talking with Grace about the will. They asked Grace if she heard anything. Also they were talking about Alfred and David when they were coming home. Grace was getting flushed with all the talk about Alfred in the letters. Hannah had to go back to the house to do more French verbs. Hannah confided with Emmeline about what she was doing. Another secret kept. Grace goes and visits her mother and has a discussion of her duties and whats going on at the Riverton house. Jemima goes into labor, then she delivers a small healthy baby girl. Mr. Frederick read David's letter and he was not happy at all.
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LeftBrainer
Posts: 55
Registered: ‎10-27-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I wondered about the locket also. I wonder if that is the lockey Grace has now. I don't know what Fredrick's grief is about. I thought the conversation about Fredrick not remarrying was interesting. I believe Grace misunderstood her mother thinking her mother was fond of Fredricks wife.

David may have touched a nerve with Fredrick since he is so gay and in so much danger.
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