Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Frequent Contributor
Celebri_la_vita
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎12-14-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



gringorn wrote:
Even after finishing this book, I still love Grace but for some reason I think that has alot to do with my not identifying her as a mother. If I did, I would probably not like her much. I know you think that leaving Ruth improved Ruth's life, but does abandonment ever really improve a child's life?




We all have our stories and if we live to be 98.... we will have longer stories. Intermingled with all the good is usually some bad! All of us make wrong choices at times. Grace has an interesting story. That is what makes me like her. Her life was an adventure! I would be furious if I personally knew someone who didn't show maternal interest in their child, but Grace is telling this of her past. She has some guilt over it, or so it seems. I can't be too hard on someone who feels guilty about their mistakes. Grace went through some tough things at a fairly young age. It doesn't seem that she had someone that she could really trust with her own struggles. She was always caring for others and keeping their secrets. Her own life didn't count for much! She didn't know her father. A father has a fairly significant impact on a child's life. When he is missing, it makes a huge difference. Anyway, Grace is the person that she is because of all that she has been through. She isn't covering up the ugly as she tells her story! Yes, I do like her! ~Ruth
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



no4daughter wrote:
After reading the grandparenting quote, I am starting to rethink my current aversion to EVER being a grandparent. Might not be so bad afterall.




It is quite wonderful, to cuddle, hug, spoil and hand them back to their Mommies and daddies. I love being a grandmother. When you are a parent, you are always trying to be a good parent so the child will grow up responsible, happy and intelligent. All you do, you still doubt you have suceeded. You are always tensed at the fact if you should do this or this. It makes you very nervous as Grace says. Yes, if I could skip over raising children and go to the grandchildren with the same feeling that is. But we cant have a perfect world. Like the saying, grandparenting is the reward for all the headaches we go through trying to raise our children up correctly.
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

John sounded fine to me too. I am biased now, but I see Grace as the weak link in that possible family. I doubt anyone could match me for my dislike about my first husband when we separated- but it had no impact at all in how I felt about how baby son. I don't find Grace's feelings normal at all. You are kind to feel sorry for her Ruth.

Bonnie




Well, you know, the coldness Grace encountered with her mother probably made her distant to her own child. She was afraid of being hurt like her mom hurt her. Her mother was very cold and unfeeling. She had to be affected in some ways. And she was doing the best for Ruth she thought was the best anyway. Maybe she felt, someone else could love and teach her about love better than she did. I can't see that its a war thing though. She wanted out of the parenting thing, and I think for good reasons. It still could have been "the blues." Post posteum stress I guess you call it. They knew nothing of that either then.
Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

[ Edited ]
psujulie wrote:
I was shocked to hear that Grace had basically given up Ruth for 4 years. I was very disappointed to hear this; but since I have liked Grace so much up to this point, I'm hoping that there is a very good reason.


I was not surprised that Grace left Ruth in the care of others when she went off to help with the war effort. From all I've read, that was common practice during the war and even if the parents didn't go to war, they sent their children to the country to keep them safe. More surprising to me is that when she came back she attended college. I wonder where the unexpected money came from.

Interesting that Grace found herself in the same position that her mother did.

I definitely think Hannah gave Grace the locket, I just wonder when.

Message Edited by Tarri on 01-08-2008 10:12 PM
Frequent Contributor
maryfrancesa
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I guess I was not too surprised by Grace's leaving Ruth for 4 yrs doing the war. You suspect that there is more to their relationship then mother daughter. I agree that we do not know the whole story of Grace's marriage, Ruth, and the war. I agree that she may have sent Ruth away for her protection. She may have alos felt that she may not have done much for first war effort. This could be a reason why she did what she did after Ruth was born.
Reader 2
Pammy
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much. The real story doesn't lie with them and I didn't spend much time thinking about either one of them. I was surprised that Grace had a child at such a late age but then I didn't think about it. Poor Ruth, that was probably how her whole life was. Leaving her during WWII didn't surprise me that much either. Apparently it happened all the time. Usually children were left with their grandparents but we don't know whether or not Ruth had any (on her fathers side).

We don't know enough about Ruth or Marcus for me to form many feelings about them. To me, Ruth was just a vehicle in the story to enable Grace to leave the tapes to Marcus. She could just as easily have made them for Ursula or for Ruth for that matter.
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


lamorgan wrote:
I, for one, wish the author had spent just a little more time on the photograph itself. She brought an important detail down to just a small point and I believe that Grace found it more revealing than that.


I agree with you, the author will spend pages describing with great details, some of the physical settings, the grounds a room for example, until at some points I really want to get back to the people and their stories and then we have this great build up about wanting to see this picture and I wanting her too also but other than to say, she looked just like me, there seemed to be little time spent on what all emotions must have gone through her by seeing this picture. It was almost like it was a big thing and then became nothing more than a side note.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I havent changed my feelings for Grace having heard she gave up her child for 4 years, mainly because at least she knew herself, that she didnt have one desire to be a mother at that point but wanted to go pursue something else. That may be selfish but at the same time, she recognized it, got her daughter to those who would take care of her and that very well may have been for the better. Think about what we hear today, women abandoning newborns in trash dumpsters, killing them and then crying post partem (sp) depression caused it and maybe it did but geesh at least she knew she didn't want to take care of her and did the right thing then about it.

What I did find interesting was, here so far all we know of her life is the young girl, trying to do all the things right, worry about whats proper and then you hear that later in her life, John was basically a one night stand that because of pregnancy then caused a marriage. I would have thought that Ruth was born out of a marriage, not a love, we knew the man she loved was not Ruth's father, but until now, you just don't picture her having one night stands. "The sins of the father will be visited upon the children". Poor Ruth, her mom's indiscretion was not her fault but it did cause her to feel a loss as a child because of it.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Frequent Contributor
bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



Pammy wrote:
Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much. The real story doesn't lie with them and I didn't spend much time thinking about either one of them. I was surprised that Grace had a child at such a late age but then I didn't think about it. Poor Ruth, that was probably how her whole life was. Leaving her during WWII didn't surprise me that much either. Apparently it happened all the time. Usually children were left with their grandparents but we don't know whether or not Ruth had any (on her fathers side).

We don't know enough about Ruth or Marcus for me to form many feelings about them. To me, Ruth was just a vehicle in the story to enable Grace to leave the tapes to Marcus. She could just as easily have made them for Ursula or for Ruth for that matter.




Pammy, I really agree with you. I just don't feel like I know these characters in the "present" enough to feel invested in what happened to them. I keep hoping the present story will somehow connect to the one in the past.

Ann, bookhunter
Frequent Contributor
crazyasitsounds
Posts: 41
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Wow, I didn't catch any of this when I was reading: Grace living out Hannah's ambitions, etc. I don't even remember Grace having a locket. Maybe I should read a little slower?
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

About when Hannah buried the box, we know in this chapter that David did die but no details yet and back when Robbie had come onto the scene, somewhere along there, she had told Emmeline the box was no longer in the attic, that she hid it and I think she said buried it. So I a bit confused about the timing of this box burial, was Grace thinking back to when she had buried it earlier and we only have a mention of David's death so far, or did this happen after David's death. I dont want to assume that just because his death is mentioned in this chapter, with so much detail left out. And yes, I would love to know if Grace uncovered it and read and I do believe the locket was Hannah's and she gave it to Grace. I am wondering if she finds out that Grace is her sister and when Grace leaves, that is why Mr Hamilton says, please stay at least for Hannah's sake?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Altho I loved all the information that came spilling out in this chapter, I found the writing a bit disjointed. I dont think about that stuff much but found it distracting here. What I mean is, one second she is just talking, the next you find it is to Marcus, then she is telling him about Usula just arriving but the convo becomes between them I gather and not relating it to him as the sentances before were doing. Then there is some back and forth stuff that gets a bit confusing about the order she is revealing the info in and to who, or what. I liked the chapter for what it gave but disliked the way it was written.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



vivico1 wrote:
About when Hannah buried the box, we know in this chapter that David did die but no details yet and back when Robbie had come onto the scene, somewhere along there, she had told Emmeline the box was no longer in the attic, that she hid it and I think she said buried it. So I a bit confused about the timing of this box burial, was Grace thinking back to when she had buried it earlier and we only have a mention of David's death so far, or did this happen after David's death. I dont want to assume that just because his death is mentioned in this chapter, with so much detail left out. And yes, I would love to know if Grace uncovered it and read and I do believe the locket was Hannah's and she gave it to Grace. I am wondering if she finds out that Grace is her sister and when Grace leaves, that is why Mr Hamilton says, please stay at least for Hannah's sake?




Now, I like that theory! Vivian
Frequent Contributor
rkreilly
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



Popper19 wrote:
My respect for Grace has gone down considerably at this point. I know that she probably felt trapped with the way she got pregnant and had to get married, but I just don't understand leaving your child. Also, the book alludes to her experiences at Riverton being another reason for her materanl deficiency, and I don't know what happened yet. I don't think it can be anything that will make me believe it was right for her to leave Ruth. Time will tell I guess (hopefully I can finish this book today).




Personally, I can't imagine leaving a child either (I am a mother of 2) but both my children were desperately wanted, and I was at the time in my life where I could, and wanted, to care for them. In defense of Grace, she has spent 18 years of her life being told how she was a mistake. Her mother repeatedly told her the story of the walk up to the orphanage, and Grace narrowly escaped being left at the door- only for her mother to live a life of hardship and unhappiness. Grace was blamed, and blamed herself for that. At the time when she got pregnant, Grace was not ready, or willing to be a mother- she was probably trying to escape from the life her mother had to lead!
Frequent Contributor
rkreilly
Posts: 33
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



gringorn wrote:
Even after finishing this book, I still love Grace but for some reason I think that has alot to do with my not identifying her as a mother. If I did, I would probably not like her much. I know you think that leaving Ruth improved Ruth's life, but does abandonment ever really improve a child's life?




This made me think- throughout the book, I can visualize the Grace character, but "mother" doesn't really fit into my personality of her. We get to know Grace, but mother seems very outside of who she is.... that is rare, when you have children, being a parent is a large part of who you are (however much you want to fight it at times!) So yes, I saw Grace as a normal girl, and liked her in that sense, but suddenly if she is supposed to be "mother", it would make you not like her- she has confessed to having no room left to love, and not opening herself up to strong feelings anymore. Very unfortunate for any children to have that as a mother!
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

The Big Question posed in this chapter, for me, is on page 183. Grace relates to Ursula how she became an archaeologist. Grace tells Ursula, "I was just fortunate the educational expenses were taken care of." Ursula asks, "A scholarship?" and Grace answers, "In a sense. I'd come into some money, unexpectedly" Makes me wonder just where and how the windfall came to be.

I also liked Graces definition of "Temporal illusion" "Give someone more time and they'll appear to have done more with it."
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
Scribe
vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


Carmenere_lady wrote:
The Big Question posed in this chapter, for me, is on page 183. Grace relates to Ursula how she became an archaeologist. Grace tells Ursula, "I was just fortunate the educational expenses were taken care of." Ursula asks, "A scholarship?" and Grace answers, "In a sense. I'd come into some money, unexpectedly" Makes me wonder just where and how the windfall came to be.

I also liked Graces definition of "Temporal illusion" "Give someone more time and they'll appear to have done more with it."


Carmenere,
that is my favorite quote of the book so far. I LOVE that term and the definition and will probably use it LOL. "Temporal Illusion".
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
Inspired Correspondent
EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I thought that Graces's Mother was smiling because of her secret, Grace. I didn't find the part about Grace leaving Ruth odd. I was raised by my Grandmother even though at the time my Mother was still liviing. I still have the feeling that John is not Ruth's father. I was surprised to find out Grace and John divorced. I always thought at that time it was not the thing to do. Also wondered about the money Grace came into unespectedly and why then.
Maybe Hannah buried the box that way as a marking of where it is, like a treasure. I'm thinking the locket Hannah wears is the one Grace wears. Wonder what book she put in it and if it's still there.
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I think what everyone is forgetting is the time period and we have to jump over the pond also and forget our Yank ideas for this book. Yes Grace seems uncaring toward her child, but even the elite gave up the raising of their children to someone else. Grace also was raised in a time and a mindset about duty so she would feel it her duty to marry and have the child even if the union was bound to fail. And we don't know enough about John to make any judgements he could have two heads for all we know.
I wouldn't dream of giving up my children either, (well maybe during the teenage years) but I don't think any one thought twice about it then.
Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
0 Kudos

Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I think you're all correct in drawing a connection between Grace's own childhood/relationship with her mother and her (to us) unfathomable choice to part with her child for four years.

But Grace herself relates it more to her service at Riverton. She indicates that she was emotionally spent from whatever events took place there. She had been looking after the needs of another family for at least ten years and either witnessed or participated in something very traumatic as a result. Who knows to what extent she went to protect this family, particularly Hannah. Then, when her own child arrived, she found she had no resources left to cope with tending to the needs of another human being.

How do you feel about this reasoning?

Karen
Users Online
Currently online: 22 members 686 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: