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bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



KxBurns wrote:
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




If she couldn't conceive of caring for others at this point, then why did she go to work in a field hospital during the war?

And I can't remember the time frame. The tragic event happens in 1924 and when was Ruth born? At least 10 years later?

Well, now that I have to book in front of me... Let me answer my own questions! On p 182 she says "after a decade of drifting through tedious jobs and hollow relationships, unable to put the events of Riverton behind me, in war I'd found my thread of purpose."

Then it is AFTER the war and the husband that she goes to school and becomes an archologist? I have a question about THAT when we get to the end of the book...

Ann, bookhunter
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ezraSid
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Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Oh I had almost forgotten that Hannah had wanted to be an archaeologist! Thanks for the reminder! I kind of figured that Grace wasn't the most maternal of mothers having not really had a strong mother daughter relationship herself. It is interesting to see that she does have strong maternal feelings for her grandson though.
I think that the secret Grace is keeping in the photograph is that she is pregnant. I could be wrong, perhaps it is that she is in love? Will have to read further and see.

I think that Alfred's connection to Grace may be that of a first crush? She was a child when she arrived at Riverton, and blossoming into a woman shortly after. I am sure that Alfred noticed and his attention always seemed to make her blush. I think that perhaps he was interested in her.
I wonder if her father may have settled a sum on her, which is when she came into some money, or perhaps her mother passes and there is some insurance? don't know if they had life insurance then. Possibly the sale of the house?

I would hazard a guess that the locket is the same one that Hannah wore. It would make sense as it is so pointedly noted.
~Grace~
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Linda10
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Registered: ‎10-02-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

As Karen and others said, a lot has happened in this chapter. We find out a little bit more, which, in turn, leads to more questions! I like the way the relationship between Ursula and Grace is developing. Ursula has so much empathy/sympathy for Grace. It's nice. Someone wrote in a previous chapter -- (I cannot remember who at the moment) -- that they felt Ursula was somehow connected or even related to Grace, thus the personal interest in making the movie. Hmmm. Must keep reading!
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tmhoyle2
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Registered: ‎12-26-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I also found myself reading so fast that catching up on these posts points out details that I missed. I actually finished the book and am now catching up on the posts and going back into the book and re-reading certain parts. I certainly don't think I missed anything of substantial meaning, but being part of these discussions definitely fills in some of the missing pieces.
Tina.

"I drink to make other people more interesting."
-- Hemingway, Ernest
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JoyZ
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Registered: ‎12-19-2007
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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.




But I thought the photograph that the chapter meant was the portrait of Grace that we get to see.
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nfam
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Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

I thought this chapter was very necessary at this point. I've read several posts, particularly one by Everyman on the previous chapter that say they're tired of show the ball and hide it. (I think that's the way he put it.) One problem with the technique Morton is using is that we see the clues, are quite sure of what's happening, but have to wait a long time for confirmation. So I was glad to learn who Ruth's father was. I was glad to learn about Grace's occupation and it was good to hear that she wasn't a very maternal person.

I am now quite sure personally that the locket is part of the resolution of the events and that it is the one Hannah was wearing when she buried the box.

Now that we know that Grace went back to school, I'm interested in how she came into enough money to afford it. That's the explanation she gives, but she doesn't say where it came from. I wonder if that too is part of the resolution.

Nancy
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Everyman
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



KxBurns wrote:
Among the revelations is the fact that Grace was an archaeologist, which is striking since back in "The Nursery," being an archaeologist was one of Hannah's ambitions (it's on p. 32 if you want to go back and check it out).

Once again, I'm impressed with your detailed knowledge of the books you moderate. I had totally missed that, but it seems quite likely that it suggests an even closer relationship between Hannah and Grace to come; perhaps, just speculating, Hannah does get involved in archeology and somehow brings Grace along with her? Perhaps Hannah is the one who funds Grace's studies -- we've been wondering how a serving girl could afford to get a doctorate. Will Hannah turn out to be the answer? Is this a subtle hint at the depth of their future relationship?

Nice catch, Karen!
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Not bad? It's wonderful! You finally have the time, knowledge, and patience to feel that you have some ability to do the job right. As parents, you're so busy you don't have time to really appreciate babies as babies -- at least that was my experience. Grandparenting is just great!

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.


_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



Pammy wrote:
Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much.

You're not awful at all. They're not important to the story as people, only as they affected Grace. I don't have much of a feeling for either of them, either.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



Everyman wrote:


Pammy wrote:
Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much.

You're not awful at all. They're not important to the story as people, only as they affected Grace. I don't have much of a feeling for either of them, either.




I think the relative flatness of the contemporary characters -- and our resulting lack of feeling for them -- points to the fact that the past is much more vivid to Grace than the present, and the people from her past, much more alive to her than those with whom she interacts on a daily basis.

Karen
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vivico1
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


KxBurns wrote:


Everyman wrote:


Pammy wrote:
Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much.

You're not awful at all. They're not important to the story as people, only as they affected Grace. I don't have much of a feeling for either of them, either.




I think the relative flatness of the contemporary characters -- and our resulting lack of feeling for them -- points to the fact that the past is much more vivid to Grace than the present, and the people from her past, much more alive to her than those with whom she interacts on a daily basis.

Karen


Yes, actually at this point, for me you could take out the elderly Grace, since the interaction is not that involved and just tell the story from the point of view of the young Grace. Or start it the way it was, with the elderly Grace introducing the story of the younger and then leave her out of it all together till the end. Lead the past story tell itself instead of momemtary trips to the older Grace, just to remind us she is there. You can come back to her at then end if needed but I find myself just skimming her parts now. If there is a movie, it will be interesting to see how they handle this. I dont remember but in the movie Titanic, wasnt the older women in the beginning and then you dont see her again till the end? Its been awhile since I saw it.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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bookhunter
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



KxBurns wrote:


Everyman wrote:


Pammy wrote:
Maybe I am awful but I really wasn't interested in Ruth or Marcus that much.

You're not awful at all. They're not important to the story as people, only as they affected Grace. I don't have much of a feeling for either of them, either.




I think the relative flatness of the contemporary characters -- and our resulting lack of feeling for them -- points to the fact that the past is much more vivid to Grace than the present, and the people from her past, much more alive to her than those with whom she interacts on a daily basis.

Karen




Karen, thanks for this perspective. I have felt the same lack of enthusiasm for the "modern" story that others have expressed. You make a good case for this being the author's purpose.

Unfortunately for Grace, I just finished _Water for Elephants_ and she is BORING compared to Jacob!

I do think the story being told from the perspective of the older woman looking back is important to the author's themes. Like you said, Karen, the past is more vivid and alive to her. We get to see what effects past events have had on these modern characters--even if it just through their connection with Grace.

Ann, bookhunter
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Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


bookhunter wrote: ...Unfortunately for Grace, I just finished _Water for Elephants_ and she is BORING compared to Jacob!

I do think the story being told from the perspective of the older woman looking back is important to the author's themes. Like you said, Karen, the past is more vivid and alive to her. We get to see what effects past events have had on these modern characters--even if it just through their connection with Grace.

Ann, bookhunter
Ann -- remember Grace is probably nine-ten years older than Jacob! Between 90 and 100, age alone often makes many differences.

Jacob is certainly an lovable character. But I don't consider Grace boring -- not given the life she has led! Grace is scarier to walk beside, but no less fearless for what she decides she must do. I also give credit to those flat modern characters for staying with her through her journey. They are different from their counterparts in Jacob's story.
"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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vivico1
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

[ Edited ]

Peppermill wrote:

bookhunter wrote: ...Unfortunately for Grace, I just finished _Water for Elephants_ and she is BORING compared to Jacob!

I do think the story being told from the perspective of the older woman looking back is important to the author's themes. Like you said, Karen, the past is more vivid and alive to her. We get to see what effects past events have had on these modern characters--even if it just through their connection with Grace.

Ann, bookhunter
Ann -- remember Grace is probably nine-ten years older than Jacob! Between 90 and 100, age alone often makes many differences.

Jacob is certainly an lovable character. But I don't consider Grace boring -- not given the life she has led! Grace is scarier to walk beside, but no less fearless for what she decides she must do. I also give credit to those flat modern characters for staying with her through her journey. They are different from their counterparts in Jacob's story.


Jacob was 93 (so not so different in age) and yeah I agree, a much more interesting character to go back to. I enjoyed the chapters about him as an old man as much as the young man. Grace's older years are pretty boring by comparison and the transition between them not written nearly as well.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 01-12-2008 04:56 PM
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


vivico1 wrote:
Jacob was 93 (so not so different in age) and yeah I agree, a much more interesting character to go back to. I enjoyed the chapters about him as an old man as much as the young man. Grace's older years are pretty boring by comparison and the transition between them not written nearly as well


Vivico1:

I agree. In WFE, I was interested in both the older and younger Jacob
characters. I do not find the older Grace character interesting - I haven't
from the start of the book. It annoys me everytime we jump back to present
day Grace.



CathyB
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gosox
Posts: 69
Registered: ‎10-14-2007
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph



KxBurns wrote:
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




Karen,
I agree with you about Grace having no resources left to take care of her own child. As I read this chapter, I found myself thinking that Grace was living the life that Hannah had wanted to live. Did Grace join the service and head to France because that is what Hannah had wanted to do? Archaeologist?
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rstjm4
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Some things have been cleared up, such as Grace's marriage to John. This I believe is the first we hear of him and how their marriage came to be. I don't think either person is necessarily bad, they did what was the proper thing to do at the time, get married because she was pregnant.

I don't blame her for giving Ruth up, but that is probably a good part of the reason they are not close later in life. She missed the first four years and there is a lot of bonding that happens during that period of time. She also probably doesn't really know Ruth, and Ruth probably blames Grace for her father leaving her also. They did divorce after the war so Ruth may have never really known her father either.

I am surprised that she chose archeology but then she mentions on page 183 that she is facing the past. The past at Riverton? Her own? Her mothers? Probably all of them.

I feel that Hannah buried the Chinese box as her way of saying good-bye to David. There was not going to be a triangle anymore and without three the Game cannot be played. She needed to say Good-bye in her own way, and leave the past behind.
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KxBurns
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph


gosox wrote:
As I read this chapter, I found myself thinking that Grace was living the life that Hannah had wanted to live. Did Grace join the service and head to France because that is what Hannah had wanted to do? Archaeologist?



I wondered the same thing! Is Grace's life a homage to Hannah? A penance? I guess we can't say for sure until we know Hannah's fate.

But even before meeting the Hartfords, Grace was interested in mystery and detective stories, so another possibility is that she ended up choosing a career that Hannah opened her eyes to -- not because Hannah had wanted to do it, but because Grace hadn't even known about it before her exposure to these more worldly children.

I also think we never get the sense that Hannah is serious about some of her lofty goals. I feel like she wants to be a rebel but lacks the follow-through to do it. Do you agree?

Karen
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fordmg
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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's not.
MG
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: PART TWO: The Photograph

Being a grandparent is great. Everyman said it perfecttly, that you finally have the time and energy to interact with your grandchildren the way you wish you had done with their parents. It is a joy to be a grandparent.
Yvonne
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