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KxBurns
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PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

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 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?

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
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Carmenere_lady
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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 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?

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




Yes, Karen this scene by the fountain is meaningful. Grace should have never accepted the lemonade from Hannah. I think Hannah tests Grace to see how far she will go.
Also, Hannah "ran her fingers over the etched surface of her locket........"
Could this be the same locket that Grace has in her possession in 1999?
Lynda

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Popper19
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

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!
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kiakar
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I do not think Frederick wanted the chore of being the master of the house. He liked the fastination of running factories of his favorite play toys. Planes and cars etc. I think there was an element to Frederick that he didn't want to live in the real world, it was beyond dull to him. And of course, he could have been afraid of failure, since his father had no trust in him while he was alive. Even his mother seemed to expect failure from him. He was a child hiding in the clouds, in other words. Hannah so reminds me of her Dad.
It was a failure in both of them, to communicate in the real world of living.
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dhaupt
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I don't think Grace overstepped her bounds by relaying information to the girls by the fountain, and I don't think it surprising that they would think she heard something. Even though servants were invisible didn't mean they didn't hear things.
I thought it quite odd that Grace's mother treated her like a guest and I still can't quite figure that out even after finishing the book, I don't know if she felt guilty for treating Grace less that a daughter should be or what. So that still puzzles me.
I found it interesting that the same letter the girls thought was funny Frederick was sobbing over and I thought maybe he was saddened by how he had treated David about the whole joining the service bit.
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kiakar
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



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.
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Popper19
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



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.
gl
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gl
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

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.
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Popper19
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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.




I agree with you. I think her mother respects how well Grace is doing in her position and realizes that she's growing up. I was touched how she took pains to make Grace welcome.
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kiakar
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus





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.




Popper; my likeness for Hannah has greatly improved also. Will it continue for us, or will she disappoint us! We will definitely see later!
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kiakar
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



Popper19 wrote:


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.




I agree with you. I think her mother respects how well Grace is doing in her position and realizes that she's growing up. I was touched how she took pains to make Grace welcome.




I agree with you all also. I think she was proud of Grace and wanted to show it. Grace's mother was not one for showing her feelings openingly so in using the company welcome, she wanted Grace to feel welcome and know that she was proud of her. That Grace had accomplished her adulthood.
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psujulie
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

I loved how the title of the chapter was woven throughout the chapter. The fountain where the girls were sunning themselves had a statue of downed Icarus surrounded by three mermaid figures. I was wondering if the statue itself could be symbolic of the three women and a fallen Robbie??? I also thought the story of Icarus was reflected through Grace's behavior. Her mother warned her about knowing her place as a servant (just like Icarus was warned flying too close to the sun by his father). We see in this chapter that the line between servant and mistress is crossed again -- both by admitting that she overheard the lawyer as well as sharing a glass of lemonade with the girls (is it ironic that it was an extremely hot day with many descriptions of the heat and sunin this chapter?).

I also saw once again how lonely Grace is -- how she really wants to be part of the family or friends with the girls. On top of that, she is missing Alfred and Nancy is away from the house more with her wartime responsibilities. When Grace went home to visit her mother, I thought it was a little sad that her mother treated her as a guest. It's almost as if Grace doesn't really "fit" into either of her homes anymore. Take those feelings and her age, and I wouldn't be surprised if she doesn't get in over her head.

I really like the quote by Grace's mother on pg. 167, "But happiness...happiness grows at our own firesides. It is not to be picked in strangers' gardens." Grace assumes that her mother is telling her to remember her place, but I think there's a little more to what she is saying -- maybe we'll learn specifically what she means later on in the book. I'm guessing that she's speaking from her own experiences while working in Riverton.

We also see in this chapter the issue of being a male versus a female in this time period. Everyone considers it a shame that Jemima's new baby is a girl because she will not be an heir. Rather than value that the baby is alive and healthy, they are focused on how the baby won't inherit the house and have a "lesser" standing because it's a girl.

I liked the end of the chapter when Ursula returns after her emergency phone call. It seems that she has the respect for Grace that Keira lacks, even mentioning that she's upset she missed Grace's stories. I thought it was ironic that Ursula opened up to Grace about her family issues. I loved how Grace said "I've learned long ago that silence invites all manner of confidences." What could be more silent than speaking to Marcus through a tape recorder? Grace can just tell her story without judgment, interruptions, etc.
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Kourt
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus



kiakar wrote:
I do not think Frederick wanted the chore of being the master of the house. He liked the fastination of running factories of his favorite play toys. Planes and cars etc. I think there was an element to Frederick that he didn't want to live in the real world, it was beyond dull to him. And of course, he could have been afraid of failure, since his father had no trust in him while he was alive. Even his mother seemed to expect failure from him. He was a child hiding in the clouds, in other words. Hannah so reminds me of her Dad.
It was a failure in both of them, to communicate in the real world of living.







I also feel that Frederick most likely did not want to grow up and assume the position of head of household. H edoes seem like the type of man to play with his many toys.
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bookhunter
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus





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.




Popper19 wrote:
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.





I think Grace wants SO BADLY to be part of this circle (and I agree with psujulie's thought that as a guest in her mother's house she doesn't fit in anywhere) that she gives the girls what they want. And to me, Hannah's interest in Grace is partially because they are the same age, but also I think Hannah pictures herself as socially progressive. Being "friends" with the servant would be crossing the line for her--and Hannah (remember the play?) definitely seems to want to cross the lines!

Ann, bookhunter
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seattle07
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus, a spoiler question

I agree that Grace is lonely and wants to be accepted by the girls. I think she told them what she had heard because she feels a bond with Hannah, that they share secrets "I lowered my eyes, disproportionately pleased at my casting as conspirator". (p.162). From what I read about The Game, it seems that Hannah likes to be in a trio because she can exclude the 3rd person.

I haven't finished reading the book yet but I think that Jemima's baby and Ursula are related. On p.14 Ursula said that her great-grandmother was related to the family through marriage. What do you think?
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dhaupt
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

Yes that could be why, I didn't see it like that.
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bookhunter
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus, a spoiler question



seattle07 wrote:
I agree that Grace is lonely and wants to be accepted by the girls. I think she told them what she had heard because she feels a bond with Hannah, that they share secrets "I lowered my eyes, disproportionately pleased at my casting as conspirator". (p.162). From what I read about The Game, it seems that Hannah likes to be in a trio because she can exclude the 3rd person.

I haven't finished reading the book yet but I think that Jemima's baby and Ursula are related. On p.14 Ursula said that her great-grandmother was related to the family through marriage. What do you think?




And Ursula has blonde hair. Of course, many people DO, but Ms. Morton always seems to want to tell us the hair color of her characters, so maybe it is significant. :smileyhappy:

Ann, bookhunter
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Bonnie824
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Fredericks grief

Losing his son to a war he wasn't healthy enough to go to himself would be enough reason IMO to go into a depressed state. Add the changing times he can't keep up with and being alone really, even if that may be by choice.
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Popper19
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus, a spoiler question



bookhunter wrote:


seattle07 wrote:
I agree that Grace is lonely and wants to be accepted by the girls. I think she told them what she had heard because she feels a bond with Hannah, that they share secrets "I lowered my eyes, disproportionately pleased at my casting as conspirator". (p.162). From what I read about The Game, it seems that Hannah likes to be in a trio because she can exclude the 3rd person.

I haven't finished reading the book yet but I think that Jemima's baby and Ursula are related. On p.14 Ursula said that her great-grandmother was related to the family through marriage. What do you think?




And Ursula has blonde hair. Of course, many people DO, but Ms. Morton always seems to want to tell us the hair color of her characters, so maybe it is significant. :smileyhappy:

Ann, bookhunter




I hadn't thought of that, but it's a possibility. I actually forgot about Ursuala being relation. It will be interesting to find out. Grace does seem to be stuck on hair color doesn't she?
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lamorgan
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Re: PART TWO: The Fall of Icarus

Yes, Grace probably did overstep her bounds, but it must have been difficult maintaining a distance with the only other young women she knows that are her own age. And, remember, Hannah thinks she already shares a secret with Grace regarding the secretarial school, although I never quite understood why Grace didn't tell her the truth at the beginning. Grace never seemed to have any fears that the truth would come out.
I also thought it interesting that Hannah kept pumping Grace for information about Alfred. It's odd that she would be that concerned about another one of the household servants, don't you think?
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