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KxBurns
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Re: THEMES: Characters


Iulievich wrote:
THOUGHTS ON ROBBIE:

Like the character of David Hartford, Robbie is not a character at all. He is, at most, a force, a catalyst, another opportunity for Hannah to escape from the world that shaped her.

He is peculiarly soulless, a gray thing that affects the story without our understanding why he does anything that he does. Does he have aspirations? What are they? Does he have a reason for being? What is it? Why does he do the things that he does?

Robbie writes poetry, but we don’t know why.

While serving Hannah as her lover, he is seen in public places squiring Emmeline. Why? What is their relationship, really? Why does she think that it is she that he loves; why does she think he intends to marry her? We are not told.

He is the offset to Grace. He is the recognized illegitimate son of aristocracy, but what are his own thoughts, conflicts, feelings about this, and what does it add to the story?

Robbie has demons, but they are never explained to us. We see him act, assuming – not knowing – that his experiences in the trenches of World War I are the cause, but we see nothing of what goes on in his own mind to start his “episodes.” Why are his violent when Alfred’s are not?

Does Robbie love Hannah, or is she something else to him? If so, what? We have the answer to neither question.

Do we know so little because Grace knew so little and could tell us nothing? There must be a better way around that problem for the sake of the book.

In the end, Robbie is nobody at all. He is some unknown thing that creates crises, including the final one that leads to his own termination. (I do not say “death,” because I do not see him ever having been alive.)

Frankly, he is the largest single disappointment in the book.



I'm not sure I wholly agree with your assessment of Robbie. I think it's made clear from the start that what motivates Robbie is his bitterness toward his father, his grief over his mother's early death, and his desire to carry out her wishes for him. This comes up again when he first has dinner at #17 -- he says he has been to the Alcazar; at their first meeting in the library, Hannah asked Robbie if he had ever been and he said he would go some day because his mother had told him about it. Someone asked him why he would bother visiting such a place and he responds that he's fulfilling a promise (or something like that - I cannot locate the page at this moment).

This same sense of duty to a dead loved one propels him back into Hannah's life to return the book to Nefertitti, as promised to David. I believe Hannah and Robbie bond over their grief -- his for his mother and also David; hers for David. But he is also attracted to Hannah because of his repudiation of his father and his father's title, now belonging to him. What could be more attractive to someone who relishes "outsider" status than an affair with a woman like Hannah who represents the aristocracy, the establishment. And he gets to make a mockery and a cuckold out of someone like Teddy in the bargain.

To me, Hannah and Robbie's relationship is believable in that there are a couple of reasons why they are attracted to eachother but they also each act as a vehicle by which the other acts out against that which they loathe. Just as you rightly point out that Robbie is no more than a catalyst for Hannah's escape, so too is she a catalyst for his own vendetta against upper-crust society that essentially killed his mother.

All this -- in addition to his war experiences -- provides more than enough motivation for his character, in my opinion at least.

Like you, I wondered about the exclusion of any first-hand account of the war from Robbie or Alfred, since the devastation of the war experience is such a central element of the book. But I've come to the conclusion that since Morton's point seems to be that the horrors of war are utterly unimaginable and unknowable to everyone excepting those who experienced them, there's really no point in trying to recreate it. To do so would defeat the point.

I look forward to your rebuttal :smileyhappy:
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KxBurns
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Re: THEMES: Characters


Iulievich wrote:
THOUGHTS ON EMMELINE HARTFORD:

To me Emmeline is the most touching figure in the book – more so than even Grace or Hannah. Both Grace and Hannah make their own destinies – the one successfully and the other tragically. Poor Emmeline is the victim from start to finish.

None of the Hartford children shows any sign of real closeness to their father – not unusual in the society of the time. But inasmuch as their mother died giving birth to Emmeline, she has never known a mother’s tenderness, either, whereas her brother and her sister must have had at least vague memories. The old nanny hardly seems to have been able or inclined to offer a compensating warmth. Indeed, Emmeline is likely to have felt a vague guilt over her mother’s death.

She never seems to have penetrated the inner circle represented by David and Hannah in The Game.

Her mother was never with her. Her father abandoned her emotionally. Her siblings never completely embraced her and treated her in many ways as “support staff” for their games.

If we assume (as I think we should) that David and Hannah knew of their father’s affair and that Grace was the child of it, Emmeline never appears to have a clue. She is not in on the secret.

David’s death represents another abandonment for her, as must her father’s distance and eventual suicide.

The turning point of her short life appears to coincide with her realization that Hannah, too, has betrayed her – not with Robbie, but by having lied to her about the fate of The Game that was the childhood secret that they had both shared with their dead brother. It is after the episode in the Burgundy room when Emmeline opens Hannah’s locket and finds a piece of the game that was supposedly buried, that Emmeline realizes that she is still not included in her sister’s inner life. From that point, she begins her descent, indulging in ever more reckless behavior, perhaps as a kind of self-destructive revenge on the family that gave her so little regard.

Her demise comes in a drunken car crash within weeks or months of the denouement at the boat house, when she learned that her sister had betrayed her once again – this time with Robbie.



Excellent - I have been waiting for an in-depth evaluation of Emmeline and was about to post some thoughts on her myself! However, you have put it perfectly.

I felt Emmeline was the most tragic character of all, in that she was perpetually overlooked, left out, disregarded, and otherwise treated shabbily. It's no wonder she never evolved into a deeper, more mature adult and continued on her downward slide. I thought Emmeline showed great vivacity and greater chutzpah, for lack of a better word, than Hannah ever did.

One place where I have to disagree with you, however, is that I do not believe David or Hannah knew about Frederick's affair!

Karen
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Re: THEMES: Characters



Iulievich wrote:
THOUGHTS ON DAVID HARTFORD:
br>
We know that he defied his father to go off to war, but we know little if anything of his motivation. Was he "playing The Game?" Was he swept up in the initial exhuberance of the European nations at the outbreak of war? Or, having fulfilled a small purpose early on, did he just get sent off by the author to be killed in order to heighten the sense of war damage and to clear the way for Teddy and Robbie as Hannah's later male crutches?

.






I think David's motivation for going to war was Robbie. He became friends with Robbie at school and I think he probably had a "hero-worship" attitude toward him. Robbie's going to war. I'm going too.
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Re: THEMES: Characters



I think Deborah helps set the atmosphere of how Hannah must feel to be trapped in this household-----she's a person with freedom who thwarts Hannah's freedom.
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I agree. She is living the life that Hannah might have had, had she stuck to her guns and not married Teddy out of convenience...

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Re: THEMES: Characters



paula_02912 wrote:
pedsphleb wrote: "The only character I really didn't like was Deborah (Deb), Teddy's sister. For some reason she always seemed superfluous; every action she performed (like mentioning Robbie being over frequently, etc.) could have easily been done by the other characters. Considering that Deb also seemed to move into what was rightly Hannah's house and take everything over, from the decorating to the entertaining, the character takes up too much space."

Melissa, I felt that Deb's character was there a) to show Hannah what life could have been like if she had gotten the freedom to do what she wanted...one that was lonely and causes a person to be bitter about their own lives to the point that they feel the need to control other people's lives, b) just to be a polar opposite of Teddy...she had all the "male" characteristics that Teddy should have had, like being forceful, independent, having the drive for success, being a master (as seen in her taking over Hannah's rigthful place as the mistress of the house)...she pushes/convinces him to run for political office...she is rather conniving, but I think that being different from Hannah, in many ways, helps the reader to see how Hannah developed as a character more fully...it helped to show her decline...we got to see how she in a sense gave in and did what was expected of her, thereby losing her chance for freedom and independence, while Deb has everything she wanted...they were polar opposites...I think that mentioning Robbie's visits was just one way for her to manipulate her brother to do what she wants as well as let Hannah know that she is watching her every move...




Paula,

Great analysis of Deb!

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Re: THEMES: Characters

I loved most of the characters. I would like to have gotten to know Alfred better and I felt really sorry for Frederick. He always lived in his brother's shadow and never had the chance to show his father his strengths. My favorite characters were the servants. I really enjoyed getting to see how they felt about The Family.
These were people I enjoyed "spending time with."
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Re: THEMES: Characters

Iulievich wrote:
THOUGHTS ON ROBBIE:

Like the character of David Hartford, Robbie is not a character at all. He is, at most, a force, a catalyst, another opportunity for Hannah to escape from the world that shaped her.

KxBurns wrote:
I'm not sure I wholly agree with your assessment of Robbie.

And now I say...:smileyhappy:

I would have like to have seen the relationship between Hannah and Robbie more developed. Like Iulievich says, Robbie is not a very developed character--we really know little about him. And Hannah seems (to me) attracted more to the freedom he represents than to the actual person. Karen, I like your thought that Robbie relishes the affair partially because "he gets to make a mockery and a cuckold out of someone like Teddy in the bargain"

We know Robbie dies at the lake, and we know there is at least the rumor of an affair from the very, very beginning of the book. It would make it much more TRAGIC if I really felt that these two had some depth to their relationship. Or had more depth to their motives.

I keep comparing this to The English Patient...you know there has been a love affair and a tragic death, and the unfolding of the story makes it MORE tragic because of the characters' depth (even though they are both selfish characters, too!)

If this isn't supposed to be about deaths caused by star-crossed lovers, then it is a story of Grace's survival and consequent shaping by the events. In that case, I would have liked to have known more about Grace's adult life and how she carried the deaths and secrets with her. We see a little bit of this, but not in much detail.

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Re: THEMES: Characters


KxBurns wrote:
I'm not sure I wholly agree with your assessment of Robbie. I think it's made clear from the start that what motivates Robbie is his bitterness toward his father, his grief over his mother's early death, and his desire to carry out her wishes for him. This comes up again when he first has dinner at #17 -- he says he has been to the Alcazar; at their first meeting in the library, Hannah asked Robbie if he had ever been and he said he would go some day because his mother had told him about it. Someone asked him why he would bother visiting such a place and he responds that he's fulfilling a promise (or something like that - I cannot locate the page at this moment).

This same sense of duty to a dead loved one propels him back into Hannah's life to return the book to Nefertitti, as promised to David. I believe Hannah and Robbie bond over their grief -- his for his mother and also David; hers for David. But he is also attracted to Hannah because of his repudiation of his father and his father's title, now belonging to him. What could be more attractive to someone who relishes "outsider" status than an affair with a woman like Hannah who represents the aristocracy, the establishment. And he gets to make a mockery and a cuckold out of someone like Teddy in the bargain.

To me, Hannah and Robbie's relationship is believable in that there are a couple of reasons why they are attracted to eachother but they also each act as a vehicle by which the other acts out against that which they loathe. Just as you rightly point out that Robbie is no more than a catalyst for Hannah's escape, so too is she a catalyst for his own vendetta against upper-crust society that essentially killed his mother.

All this -- in addition to his war experiences -- provides more than enough motivation for his character, in my opinion at least.

Like you, I wondered about the exclusion of any first-hand account of the war from Robbie or Alfred, since the devastation of the war experience is such a central element of the book. But I've come to the conclusion that since Morton's point seems to be that the horrors of war are utterly unimaginable and unknowable to everyone excepting those who experienced them, there's really no point in trying to recreate it. To do so would defeat the point.

I look forward to your rebuttal :smileyhappy:



Karen:

I apologize for being slow to reply. I increasingly find our forum, however interesting, to be crowded out by other concerns.

Perhaps the single most outstanding trait of HatR is the paucity of real information that the author provides us regarding what is going on in the minds of the characters. At first I thought that this was a wonderful attribute of the writing that invited us to explore the characters and to ferret out their real natures and their motivations. The longer I think about it, the less convinced I am of the merit of the author’s execution, at least with regard to some of the characters and in particular with regard to Robbie. At times she leaves us clutching at straws.

In the case of Robbie, I think that the “coloring book” approach to the character has definitely gone too far. I agree with you that Robbie demonstrates both resentment of his father and a sense of longing and perhaps obligation for his dead mother, but I don’t see enough development of these themes in either his actions or his dialogue with other characters to convince me that they are motivating factors, let alone dominant motivating factors, in his behavior.

His sense of obligation to a dead friend and comrade does lead him to return the game script to Hannah, but what is really remarkable in that? Having returned it, his obligation was fulfilled. He could have walked away and never seen her again. He could have become an acquaintance with whom she shared some bond of common affection for her brother. He had a myriad of courses to take from there with regard to Hannah and Emmeline and Teddy. Why did he choose the one that he did? Your explanation is plausible, but there is not enough of Robbie's inner self (if he has one) to make it convincing to me.

Perhaps you are right about Robbie using Hannah in the same way that she uses him, but I don’t see enough direct evidence to support a theory as to why or in what way he does so. We don’t even have a sample of his poetry from which we might extrapolate his feelings about the society in which he moved. What little sense of Robbie I get is not that he considered himself an outsider. He seems more to me to feel himself the ultimate insider. It seems more as if the joke is on everybody else who does not have his special perceptions of human folly. Maybe I just read him that way because that would be in keeping with the attitudes of the "lost generation" a la Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al. If I am right, his affair with Hannah was less a mallicious attack on his society than an expression of disdain from one who considered himself a representative of a superior order. But again, it is guesswork. Robbie's character is too undevelopted to know.

I find no dialogue or action on Robbie’s part that would explain his dalliance with Emmeline while he was having an affair with her married sister. Apparently his actions convinced Emmeline that he wanted to marry her, but the author does not give us any glimpse into the details of that relationship that would make me comfortable as to Robbie’s intentions in pursuing it. If it was only to keep access to Hannah, it was remarkably stupid. If something else, what?

As to his war experiences, I offer two comments.

First, I do not believe that war experiences make basic character. I have known many veterans with combat experiences. I have known a survivor of the Bataan Death March and over three years as a POW in Japanese camps. I have known the navigator on the B-29 that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. I am related to a veteran of Omaha Beach and the Battle of the Bulge and to another veteran of the New Guinea campaign. I have studied under German and Russian veterans of the Eastern Front, as well as one veteran of the Czech resistance and one of the Polish. I have been good friends with a veteran of the retreat from the Chosin Reservoir. I regularly visit with a man who flew P-38 fighters over Europe in World War II. I know Vietnam veterans by the score. Every one of these men was/is just a good, ordinary man whose combat experience usually became known only after our friendship was established. They are at least as kind, considerate, and thoughtful of others as anyone I have ever known who had no such ghastly experiences. It is not a person’s experience of war that defines him. If a person's experience of war is, in fact, a primary feature of that person's character, it is not the experience itself but rather the person’s reaction to the experience that defines him. What determines that reaction is always something deeper and more profound that the person calls up to put experience into some larger structure of understanding about the meaning of life.

So what is it, please tell me, Ms. Morton, about Robbie that caused him to react with such unpredictable violence? Experience of combat – even gruesome, apocalyptic combat – is not enough to explain Robbie except to somebody who has never really known combat veterans or to somebody whose attitude toward combat veterans is shaped only by a fashionable prejudice on the subject. It is not that Robbie could not have the reactions described. Far from it. It is just that undergoing the experience alone is not enough to explain the character.

Secondly, I would respectfully but profoundly disagree that, as you characterize Ms. Morton's thinking, “the horrors of war are utterly unimaginable and unknowable to everyone excepting those who experienced them, there's really no point in trying to recreate it. To do so would defeat the point.”

The horrors of war have been repeatedly and effectively documented. To name any books at all on the subject is to slight the hundreds of others available, but I offer Jonathan Bastable’s Voices from Stalingrad and Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-'43, There are literally hundreds of memoirs and histories covering everything from the Somme to Somalia; from the Chinese Long March through the Rape of Nanking, to Hue and My Lai 4; from the Soviet Terror Famine of 1932-33 through the Holocaust, Mao’s Great Leap Forward and Cultural Revolution, and the Killing Fields of Cambodia; from Moscow and Smolensk through Stalingrad, Leningrad, Kiev, Kursk, and back to Berlin; from the Battle of Britain through Dieppe, Normandy, the Falaise Gap, the Battle of the Bulge, the Bridge at Remagen and on and on.

The century just ended was fully equipped with both photography and cinematography, and much of the best (or worst) has been repeatedly assembled into documentaries like that of the History Channel on World War I or the BBC’s masterpiece “The World at War.” Popular motion pictures have successfully evoked the realities of warfare from All Quiet on the Western Front to Twelve O'Clock High to The Blue Max to the opening battle scene of Gladiator to Enemy at the Gates for those who have both the stomach for it and the empathy. Such writers of fiction as John Hersey and Frederick Forsyth have repeatedly recreated them to excellent dramatic effect. Not to do so -- far from being pointless -- can actually be an affront to the memory of those who endured them and a serious failure of an author to present a character who is supposedly among those who did.

It would not be out of the question and certainly not a moot point for Ms. Morton to have demonstrated her research into the experiences of British troops in Flanders to fill out the character of Robbie. Why did Robbie become uncontrollably and fatally violent, when Alfred simply withdrew into himself and went on, presumably, to build some sort of normal, effective life for himself?

I am sorry. I take your points about Robbie, but I do not – for myself – see them as being sufficient to establish him as a believable, knowable character.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an action but a habit." -Aristotle
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Re: THEMES: Characters

Thank you Shelby...The way I read Deb was, I feel, the most important role she had to play in the novel...
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Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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Re: THEMES: Characters

Ann wrote: "We know Robbie dies at the lake, and we know there is at least the rumor of an affair from the very, very beginning of the book. It would make it much more TRAGIC if I really felt that these two had some depth to their relationship. Or had more depth to their motives."

Ann, maybe that is the whole point that Ms. Morton is trying make...we, the readers, didn't need to see a fully developed relationship between the two to see how tragic the situation was...maybe it was the mere fact that their relationship seemed so superficial that made what happened at the lake so TRAGIC...
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Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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Re: THEMES: Characters


paula_02912 wrote:

Ann, maybe that is the whole point that Ms. Morton is trying make...we, the readers, didn't need to see a fully developed relationship between the two to see how tragic the situation was...maybe it was the mere fact that their relationship seemed so superficial that made what happened at the lake so TRAGIC...



Paula,

I agree completely. The relationship is intentionally superficial. It would be out of character for Hannah to crawl out of her fantasies long enough at this point in her life to have a really deep relationship. As for Robbie, well, I have already said enough about the absence of a real character there.
"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an action but a habit." -Aristotle
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Re: THEMES: Characters

You make many good points, Iulievich, and I'm going to consider them. We may have to agree to disagree, though!

But you raise an excellent question regarding Robbie's apparent participation in the manipulation of Emmeline. I know you think his actions are unaccounted for in the book, but I'm wondering what some other readers think. Anyone have any insight into why Robbie strings Emmeline along as he does? Is it pure selfishness, or obliviousness, or something else?...

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Re: THEMES: Characters

[ Edited ]

KxBurns wrote:


But you raise an excellent question regarding Robbie's apparent participation in the manipulation of Emmeline. I know you think his actions are unaccounted for in the book, but I'm wondering what some other readers think. Anyone have any insight into why Robbie strings Emmeline along as he does? Is it pure selfishness, or obliviousness, or something else?...

Karen




Personally, I think that Robbie was surprised to hear of Emmeline's "deep" feelings for him.

In my opinion Emmeline is portrayed as very shallow. I understand that there are underlying issues to Emmeline's behavior, such as her birth and her mother's death, her father's neglect and her "accessory " status within the sibling dynamic, but her outward behavior, at least as far as Robbie is able to observe, is that of someone who is a tad self absorbed; her primary concern is... where's the party? I would think that it never occurred to Robbie to tread carefully over Emmeline's feelings.

Hannah on the other hand should have been fully aware of Emmeline's desire for attention and her ability to turn that attention into something more. Case in point, Hannah had to rescue a love sick Emmeline from that one gentleman who only wanted to exploit her. Hannah was the self absorbed one here. She needed Emmeline to carry on with Robbie so that he would have a reason to continue to come over. She should have been aware of her sister's propensity to turn "nothing" into "something", but Hannah never considered her sister's feelings.

Message Edited by Kimmi373 on 01-29-2008 01:17 PM
I don’t want realism. I want magic!
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Re: THEMES: Characters

Karen wrote: "But you raise an excellent question regarding Robbie's apparent participation in the manipulation of Emmeline. I know you think his actions are unaccounted for in the book, but I'm wondering what some other readers think. Anyone have any insight into why Robbie strings Emmeline along as he does? Is it pure selfishness, or obliviousness, or something else?..."

Karen, I think that Robbie strings Emmeline along because he was very selfish...she was his means of getting to Hannah whenever he wanted...He got the sense that his frequent and sometimes unexpected visits were looked upon negatively and "to protect Hannah," he used Emmeline to mask his true purpose, to see Hannah...I think that he really loved the time they spent together, not only for conversational purposes, but also because she was a closer link to David than Emmeline was...maybe he decided to "play The Game" too...and once David was out of the picture, the new triangle took shape...he would not have been able to play if Emmeline wasn't the third link...he was privy to the rules of the Game as it were, and he used it to further his own ends...that of getting together with Hannah...Emmeline was the perfect cover for him, and maybe, just maybe, she helped to balance out the intense feelings that he had for Hannah...while with her, nothing was expected of him, in his mind, but when he was with Hannah, she made him feel and remember much more than he might have wanted to remember....
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Paula R.

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Re: THEMES: Characters

Iulievich wrote: "I agree completely. The relationship is intentionally superficial. It would be out of character for Hannah to crawl out of her fantasies long enough at this point in her life to have a really deep relationship. As for Robbie, well, I have already said enough about the absence of a real character there."

Thanks, in my opinion, the superficial nature of their relationship was just perpetuated by the fact that the only real freedom Hannah felt was when she was playing The Game. It is only while playing that she gets to live the life she wished to live, that of a woman with the freedom and the power to direct her own life...It is only through "Fantasy" that she was able to achieve what she wanted as a little girl...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

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mvenus929
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Re: THEMES: Characters

yes, in a way I felt sorry for him too, but you know, you have to see it, all of these things, well most of them, he played out and did to himself.Couldn't he have changed from being a cold and distant man? After marrying, did he love his wife, could he have discovered the way to love someone and then been a better father. Oh well, this is the way the story goes. But its fun to wonder.....



Spoilers, if anyone hasn't finished yet.

I take a different view of Frederick. Yes, he was cold and distant after his wife died, but there's something else there. Remember what Grace said about Hannah in the end? That she died long before the birth of her child? Could it be possible that this mirrors Hannah's mother? I mean, we know Frederick slept with Grace's mom, and she was convinced that he would never marry again. Why? Perhaps because his wife died. Or perhaps because he never loved his wife, but rather Grace's mom, and couldn't marry her because she was beneath his class. If he was ashamed of what he did, why would he go to the funeral?

I would've liked to see more about him, even though the story wasn't focused on him.
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Re: THEMES: Characters



Kimmi373 wrote:
Grace as the illegitimate child…

I was disappointed that this element of the plot was not more fully developed.

The author gave us glimpses of Frederick’s continued devotion to Grace’s mother at her funeral, he obviously cared for her. I would have expected Frederick to be marginally more interested in Grace, with little pleasantries or niceties. Or perhaps openly hostile, seeing her as the reason his affair had to end. He was completely detached, never acknowledging her as his. Of course it can be viewed that his complete detachment from her was the point, but than I would have expected Grace to react to it. Additionally, while Grace is overcome with devotion to Hannah, and even feels David’s death, she has no sisterly affection at all for Emmeline.

I admit this is not a character analysis per se, but I feel that characters develop as they interact with other characters and the lack of development of the above relationships creates a “void” for me in the development of Grace and Frederick’s characters specifically.




On the contrary... Frederick does pay a fair bit of attention to her. When she was serving tea to the guests, he singled her out to pour it for him, as soon as she found him watching her. She found him watching her many times. I expect he didn't make any attempts to get closer to her at first because she was still a servant in his parents' house, and they had to know of his affair. Later, when the threat of his mother faded away, Grace was so close to Hannah that it was difficult for him to get in. By the time Grace was alone, at the funeral, he would have made too much of a scene talking to her, knowing that the village, and Grace's aunt, hated him so.
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Re: THEMES: Characters


bookhunter wrote:
We know Robbie dies at the lake, and we know there is at least the rumor of an affair from the very, very beginning of the book. It would make it much more TRAGIC if I really felt that these two had some depth to their relationship. Or had more depth to their motives.



I have to agree here. We get the idea at the beginning of the book that Emme and Hannah were in some sort of tragic war over this mysterious Robbie, and as the book goes on, it's difficult to connect it all. I mean, Emme feels attached to him, but she wanted to marry that porn director as well. Hannah wants to run away with him, but it seems she's not doing it because of any real attachment, just the idea of getting away from Teddy. I mean, Robbie's death was horrible, but it doesn't seem to fulfill the hype it was given by Grace, other than the fact that it wasn't suicide, but murder instead.
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Kimmi373
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: THEMES: Characters



mvenus929 wrote:
On the contrary... Frederick does pay a fair bit of attention to her. When she was serving tea to the guests, he singled her out to pour it for him, as soon as she found him watching her. She found him watching her many times...




Wow, I guess I missed that. Very subtle, I am going to have to go back and reread the first part of this book. Maybe a reread is what I need to add those layers I am looking for in the Frederick/Grace relationship. Thanks :smileyhappy:
I don’t want realism. I want magic!
~ Tennessee Williams, "A Streetcar Named Desire"
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dordavis33
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Re: THEMES: Characters

I would have to agree with the full character development of Grace. In some instances it is so easy to relate to her because she is so very human to the reader. It is almost like visiting an old friend, and she takes you into her confidence and bares her soul to you. The reader is privy to all her secrets, the good, bad, and questionable. The author took such meticulous care in developing Grace into a well-rounded character, one that the reader could relate to.
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