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katknit
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five



vivico1 wrote:
Hey, just a thought I wanted to mention and havent seen here yet. Does it strike anyone as unusual that everyone takes the monster for granted and ghosts for granted and no one is scared by them or put off by the idea of them? Well not the main characters anyway lol. I did find it humorous that the one boy Willie brought home, the ghost put him off women for LIFE lol. But I mean, its just like they are talking about just the everyday occurrences.




It may be the sort of thing like at Loch Ness. Everyone has lived with the legend and reported sightings for so long that they just accept it. And I know people who are not at all frightened of ghosts.
No two persons ever read the same book. [Edmund Wilson]
CAG
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CAG
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

I really like this book. I like the way the author mixes history with the now and I like all the mystery-ghost, monster in the Lake, family secrets, etc. To me, the title of the book says it all, "The MONSTERS of Templeton". Don't we all have monsters lurking somewhere in our past? Just like the old saying "the monster in the closet" we sometimes have to open the closet door to get to the truth and make sense (maybe)out of the here and now. I would and have gone to great lengths to find out a family secret and expose it for what it is. It worked for me but may not be the right way to go for someone else. I understand why Willie would feel a deep need to know the truth. I think Vi and Willie's interaction feels real, Vi has something to tell her, but doesn't tell her everything, she is concerned about Willie and gives her a project and feels like her daughter is going to ruin her life and has narrowed her opportunities because of her actions. Probably she was living through her daughter and I think that is common with mothers/fathers who became parents at a very young age.
CAG
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vivico1
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five


KxBurns wrote:
I see what you mean about the title, vivico1 - that "monsters" refers to personal demons more than (or in addition to) actual physical beasts? That appears to be the case so far!

I think you've hit on something by taking it one step more, extending it to the town's collective burdens, or secrets, or "monsters." I think this idea ties together all the various narrators and perspectives we're reading. The historical viewpoints shed light on Willie's ancestry but both they and the modern-day townspeople, like the Running Buds, could also be privy to some secret that our heroine must uncover.


Yep, you got what I was talking about Karen. And yes I do think the personal demons here will be tied into secrets of the town. In a small town, that is usually true anyway. No one's demon is just their own. Kind of like, this lake monster is not just one person's alone, its the town's.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Kimmi373
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

About the Monster...

This is almost a mixed, what?, A mixed metaphor? A Mixed message? I'm not sure how I want to put it, but the Glimmerglass Lake monster is not a monster in the horror film way. The Lake Monster is more a being of monstrous proportions.

When I think of a monster I think of something horrible, vicious, terrifying, dark, but when the Monster is towed to town none of those terms apply. In fact the author has made the monster into something beautiful and delicate, with a ballerina neck and light in color. Initially I was apt to believe that the Monster in the title foretold something horrible, but the author has since dispelled that initial idea for me.

Perhaps the monstrous being represents the monstrous secret Willie's mom has been keeping, and taken one step further, would you rather believe you are the daughter of one of four men whom you will likely never meet or the daughter of one man whom you may have known all your life and whom you may have the possibility of a relationship? While the secret is huge, it is not necessarily horrible.

Just a thought.
I don’t want realism. I want magic!
~ Tennessee Williams, "A Streetcar Named Desire"
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lmpmn
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

gellis65 wrote: I am starting to write my own notes on Willie's family tree. I write bits and pieces of who a person was; I find this very helpful when trying to keep everyone straight. It is much easier than trying to flip back and forth trying to find a small mention of someone. I thought I would offer this up as a suggestion for other readers; it really helps me a lot. Maybe you don't need to and I am just too dumb to keep it all sorted out!

I do this on a lot of the books I read, especially if the book goes back and forth in time and has numerous names to keep up with. I keep a notebook with all of the characters names and notes from each chapter. It really helps me (I have a terrible memory), especially when I'm involved in a book club, with the discussion and understanding the deeper meanings of the story.
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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lmpmn
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

In the Author's note, Groff writes, "in the end, fiction is the craft of telling the truth through lies."

I don't know if anyone else here read "The Thirteenth Tale" and was part of the discussion group, but for some reason this sentence reminded me of that book.
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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lmpmn
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

I have a few questions (thanks in advance for any discussion) :smileyhappy:

Why did (and what is the significance if any) Willie shave her hair?

On page 19, about the 5th paragraph down, Chauncey Todd is talking and says, "Your father proposed that mother's old Templeton family, the Averells, are the descendents of Marmaduke Temple and a slave girl he owned named Hetty." I'm wondering if it's just me, or does it make sense that the word "your" should be between the words "that" and "mother's"?

When Vi is talking about taking the pregnancy test and mentions a bunny and it dying, what is that all about? I'm assuming it was some kind of pregnancy test they did in the seventies, but was wondering if anyone knows/remembers the specifics about it?

Lastly, as I was reading the end of chapter 3, I reminded myself that this part about Vi was being told to us through Willie's eyes. For example, at the very end of the chapter where she says that Vi sees her as a failure, nothing like the success she pictured for Willie--"a waste of all those years, squeezing herself dry." But like I said, I reminded myself that this is Willie assuming how Vi sees her. Maybe Vi's thoughts about Willie are totally different.

I am confused a little about whose voice exactly we're hearing in chapter 3. It seems like Willie is inside Vi's head sometimes, but at other times she's only telling us what Vi told her.
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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Bayles
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

Hi Imp,

I agree with you - I think the missing 'your' is a typo.

Second, before the chemical tests, a woman's urine was injected into a rabbit. If the woman was pregnant, her hormones would effect the rabbit's repoductive system. Of course, the rabbit had to die in order to look at it's ovaries (or was it uterus?)

I just assumed that it was all Willie's assumptions about her mother.
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CathieS
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five



martini72 wrote:
Hello Readers!!

I have only read up to chapter 4 thus far, but I cannot help but relate/bond to the relationship of Vi and Willie. I am a product of a young (18 year old ) mother myself and she was more like my big sister than my mom until she was in her late 20's, and at the same time I can relate to Willie because I left college and got married at 20 and had my 1st baby and my 2nd a year later, so all my mothers hopes and dreams for me to at least finish college were put on hold. So,feeling that disappointment that Vi has for Willie is so real, she wanted so much more for Willie,because she cannot help but think and feel she gave her whole life for Willie to be something more than she was.
I do not feel their relationship is toxic, I feel Vi was just hoping her daughter wouldn't screw up as bad as she had.

Happy Reading!!! ( forgot to put that, that is why I edited )

Message Edited by martini72 on 09-20-2007 05:24 PM




I agree with Martini. I don't feel the relationship is toxic. Also if she wanted to hurt the father certainly there was plenty of time in the past to do that. Why wait until this late stage in the game when the opportunity might not have presented itself? I think she "found religion" both literally and figuratively and wanted to come clean while she had the chance.

I wonder if below it all Vi is taking Willie's "failures" as a reflection on her parenting skills. She was a young mother, who wanted so much more for her daughter, and to have Willie traveling the same path, maybe she sees it as a sign that she didn't show her the way to a better life and therefore Willie's failure is her own second failure.
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vivico1
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five


Bayles wrote:
Hi Imp,

I agree with you - I think the missing 'your' is a typo.

Second, before the chemical tests, a woman's urine was injected into a rabbit. If the woman was pregnant, her hormones would effect the rabbit's repoductive system. Of course, the rabbit had to die in order to look at it's ovaries (or was it uterus?)

I just assumed that it was all Willie's assumptions about her mother.


yeah, thus the old line when some girl got pregnant, "the rabbit died", you knew she was pregnant. There are a few typos already. Also on page 21 at the bottom, where Averell Cottage is italicized, check it out, the COT is, but then the TAGE is regular type. It stops in the middle of the word. We may also be serving as proofreaders?
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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CathieS
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Re: Town's fear of Vivienne- Death of parents -



vivico1 wrote:

KathyS wrote:
During Vi's discussion with the lawyer, Chauncey Todd, (who can't seem to make eye contact!).... I have the distinct feeling that there is a fear that this town harbors, upon Vi's return. A nervousness. What are they so afraid of? Are there secrets that they're wanting to keep, and afraid she's going to reveal?

Chauncey has to make an effort to be nice to Vi, and shows disdain when he see the *young male joggers*. I feel his disdain for Vi. I'm not crazy about this guy, one bit.



Kathy S.


Now here's an ugly thought! If Vi has just told Willie about her father, and that she MAY know him (must mean DOES know him) and if at this early point of the book (I musta missed this Sol guy, or not there yet) if we as readers find out this soon she has a father shes going to hunt for who she probably knows and maybe we have been "introduced" to him too already.....what if its the lawyer Chauncy Todd! ROFL. Hey, Vi was young, slept with all kinds of men, he was a lawyer she could have needed something from and did wave goodbye to him with her left boob, since he seemed so enthralled with them, she knew she could use her bod with him for anything.

LOL, I am sure its probably not him ok lol, but I am saying, wouldnt that be an ugly thought! ewww lol.




You laugh but I couldnt help but think the same thing, that Chauncey was Willie's father. There was something about that whole encounter between Vi and Chauncey that led me to believe that he is much more involved in this tale than just a walk-on part after Vi's parents death.
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Tarri
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

Thank you! I just received my copy today and I am really enjoying the writing and the story.

Although Vi and I are the same age, I find myself more in sync with Willie. Vi seems to have given up on life, and although I'm sure we will learn more about her, she seems old and dead inside. The relationship between Vi and Willie is so strained and I would think that a single mother with a single child would be very involved in her life. Vi seems to have given up on Willie too, and I'm not sure why.

I was not surprised to see that Stephen King recommended this book, he appears to take an interest in new authors. In fact, the last time I saw his recommendation on a book it turned out to be one of my all time favorites The Memory of Running.

I like the way the author keeps changing the perspective of the story by bringing in the voice of a different character or set of characters. I can't wait to hear from the ghost :-).
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martini72
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SPOILER ALERT

[ Edited ]
Hello Readers!!!


In response to the question Impmn had on why Willie shaved her head.

I feel Willie shaved her head to show Clarissa that she didn't have to deal with the Lupus alone. It shows Willie's true devotion and love to her friendship with Clarissa.

In response to the question about page 19 the paragraph that you are referring to, I just re-read it and I think ( because I do it myself ) Chauncey said "mother" the way he did because he was a close personal friend of her parents. Example: when I am speaking to my best friend I will not say "how is your mother" I will say "how is mom". So I do not think that it is a typo. For me, when I read I actually take on the person who is speaking, put myself in that chair and visualize having that discussion. I don't know if that makes any sense to anyone.

I truly am enjoying this book: I love the almost secret relationship that Vi and Clarissa have, the fact that they speak to each other without Willie knowing, I think that it is a great direction Lauren went with the women in Willie's life.
The writing is so in depth and beautiful that you almost have to " read between the lines" so to speak, which I do anyway, it is one bad habit I have when reading, I never read it as it is in front of me, I read it with a meaning behind it.

I am only up to chapter 9, I am going to read as much as I can today....

Happy Reading Everyone!!!!

Martini72 ( Nicole )

Message Edited by KxBurns on 09-25-2007 10:56 AM
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DSaff
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five



ctcablegirl wrote:
I find it interesting that so many of you seem to be rather hard on Vi. To say that my parents would have been disappointed in me if I had shown up home - single and pregant- would be an understatement. Any comments?




I like Vi, but think some of her parenting skills need some honing - like sitting and eating the graham cracker snack in front of her 6 yr. old. But, she had what I consider a typical reaction to her daughter's news. I don't like the way she dropped the news about Willie's father, but we will have to see how that all plays out. Willie is the way she is because Vi is her mother.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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DSaff
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five


KxBurns wrote:
Thanks for all the perceptive comments everyone!

Like WintermuteNight and others, I am curious to find out the connection - if there is one - between the ghost and the "monster." The ghost is obviously supernatural, but the sea creature not necessarily so... You can touch and feel it and now it is dead, which implies it was living. Still pretty odd that some unknown type of creature lived in the lake for all these years and people sort of knew about it but didn't really know what it was. I can tell you I would NOT have taken a dip in that lake!

Yvonne, I was also intrigued by the sense of ownership the townspeople feel toward the monster. I think it's in contrast to the antipathy they feel toward their other, older tourist attraction: the baseball museum, which seems to be barely tolerated, probably just for the revenue it generates for the town. It's as if the monster is an integral part of the town... So what will happen once it's gone?

Vivico1, it sounds like you - to some degree - understand the emotions that are driving Willie to seek the truth about her father.
I have a question for everyone: how far would you go to uncover a family secret? This is a question that confronts Willie, but also one that confronted her grandfather in writing his book. And, as we know from Chapter 3, his quest had negative ramifications.

KathyS, your comments and quote from th Running Buds chapter reminded me of something. The Running Buds have been around for 29 years. Willie is 28. Coincidence?...




Interesting questions. The lake monster seems to be something that was very personal to the towns people. They "shared" baseball with tourists, but the monster was something for them. Now it is dead, and the emotion that death brought out surprised me. It seems that this monster was like one of the family; one that is leaving for good, and it bothers them. They seem to understand that the media, etc. will come, but they each have a private moment with their monster.

I think I would work to uncover a family secret until I knew the answer. Curiosity is a powerful thing! Now, would I share the information? That would depend upon the effect it would have on others. Some things are best left buried.

The Running Buds are an interesting group and the time frame is intriguing. They call themselves the protectors of the town. What are they protecting? Who? I can't wait to find out!
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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KxBurns
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five


lmpmn wrote:

Lastly, as I was reading the end of chapter 3, I reminded myself that this part about Vi was being told to us through Willie's eyes. For example, at the very end of the chapter where she says that Vi sees her as a failure, nothing like the success she pictured for Willie--"a waste of all those years, squeezing herself dry." But like I said, I reminded myself that this is Willie assuming how Vi sees her. Maybe Vi's thoughts about Willie are totally different.

I am confused a little about whose voice exactly we're hearing in chapter 3. It seems like Willie is inside Vi's head sometimes, but at other times she's only telling us what Vi told her.




You're right, lmpmn, Chapter 3 is definitely narrated by Willie but she's telling it to us as Vi told it to her. Since Vi's credibility has been called into question, we should ask how reliable this telling of events really is. Perhaps there are pieces left out? Things distorted?

Good catch!
SJ
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SJ
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five



cjwedding wrote:


maude40 wrote:
Could one of the Running Buds be willie's father? "We know of the affairs, we know of the desires, we know what we know, and we will never tell."




Ah, and take a look at the cover.....we have one Running Bud colored red.......I too have wondered the same. I have only read to chapter 5, let's see where we go.
SJ
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SJ
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five

What about the monster itself? I am beginning to create feelings for this creature. The author gives it such a lonely existance. Everyone in the town has become very emotional as well....regarding it as a historical moment. What about this monster's diet???? Did it leave the skeleton's neatly lined up on the shelf in Lake Glimmerglass? Hey, a monster's gotta eat. Willie tells about swimming with the creature...yet he didn't feast upon her. It's possible he eats plankton...ha ha.... Leviathian was used to explain this monster as well...instantly my mind went to "The Whale". Well, at least I don't have this scary flesh eating monster in the back of my mind. I live on a lake and have a hard enough time walking in muck with all the creatures I create in my head. heebee geebees!!!
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vivico1
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five


SJ wrote:
What about the monster itself? I am beginning to create feelings for this creature. The author gives it such a lonely existance. Everyone in the town has become very emotional as well....regarding it as a historical moment. What about this monster's diet???? Did it leave the skeleton's neatly lined up on the shelf in Lake Glimmerglass? Hey, a monster's gotta eat. Willie tells about swimming with the creature...yet he didn't feast upon her. It's possible he eats plankton...ha ha.... Leviathian was used to explain this monster as well...instantly my mind went to "The Whale". Well, at least I don't have this scary flesh eating monster in the back of my mind. I live on a lake and have a hard enough time walking in muck with all the creatures I create in my head. heebee geebees!!!


Speaking of "the whale", remember, in Moby Dick, "the great white whale" represented much much more than just a whale in the story,it was symbolic of something deeper. I think this creature is too.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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cjwedding
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Re: DISCUSSION: Chapters One Through Five



lmpmn wrote:
In the Author's note, Groff writes, "in the end, fiction is the craft of telling the truth through lies."

I don't know if anyone else here read "The Thirteenth Tale" and was part of the discussion group, but for some reason this sentence reminded me of that book.


We just finished reading The Thirteenth Tale for our book club. That sentence does remnd me alot that book also.
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