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Distinguished Correspondent
Thayer
Posts: 195
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



Everyman wrote:


Thayer wrote:
Ginny mentions in the first chapter that she has "lived here all my life and, before me, my mother lived here all her life and, before her, her father and grandfather." It's as if there is never any question as to being anywhere else.

Vivi, of course, is totally the opposite, living all her adult life somewhere else.

yes, which is somewhat metaphorical of their distinct and opposite personalities.
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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Thayer
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



Everyman wrote:


Amanda-Louise wrote:
In addition, Everyman, what you could be saying is that I'll find out later in the book to whom the home belongs??

Since I haven't read beyond Chapter 5 yet, I have no idea whether or not we'll find out. We'll have to see! Though I'm not sure whether it's going to be of any importance to the story. I might be barking up a dead and empty tree.

...which is somewhat the beauty of all of this speculation at this point, don't you agree? As we progress in the story I daresay the majority of our insights may prove to be empty theories. This is what makes it exciting.
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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DSaff
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



detailmuse wrote:
For me, a surprising (and believable) aspect of Ginny's obsession with time is her focus on her sister being 20 minutes late -- after a 50-year absence! I agree with other commenters that Ginny seems already to have lost track of a present-day time frame.
 
I'm also curious about Ginny calling her parents Maud and Clive. Whether it's descriptive of character or setting/period will depend on what Vivi calls them.


I thought the 20 min. was interesting as well. It showed me that Ginny is obsessed with time. Anxiety over the visit? Another reason? Reading on......  lol
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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mwinasu
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Wow, don't know if I can add anything serious. What I am thinking will probably just muddy the water. Ginny sounds a lot like a cheechako in the bush in the winter time, or heck, even in high summer.  They call it "getting  bushy".  Cold, isolation and 20 hours aday of darkness can make you focus way too much on the passing of time.  If you are unable to see the clues that seperate day from night  it isn't hard to get turned around.  Next thing you know you have missed the plane to Hawaii and shot up the wood stove.
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SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



blkeyesuzi wrote:




I don't know...this place has been in the family for generations. It's HOME, so I would imagine that someone could feel that this place is a safe refuge that is always waiting for you to return, regardless of the amount of time you've been away.

It may not be a matter of illness or money, but a matter of timing...it's time for the sisters to be together again. To resolve their issues or renew their relationship before time runs out.

I see Vivien's letter said "she was returning for good? For some final peace...".  I agree the family home can be a place to deal with any final estrangements, reconciliations, inner conflicts, etc.  Our adult children are mortified when we discuss selling the house of 37 years.  Where will be home?
 
SandyS
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Charlottesweb1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think the first chapter of The Sister is a foreshadowing of the routes and actions the narrator and her sister Vivien's lives have taken. Early on the reader is brought into the narrator reclusive world by her actions of "hiding" from the world in the house and her ritual of peeking at the world from her perk by the windows.
 The title of the chapter "The Lookout" fits the narrator to a tee. When the book opens up she is perked at the window awaiting the arrival of her younger sister.
I think one of the reasons the author may have omitted the narrators name in the beginning of the book is to stress how overshadowed the narrator was living in her sisters gregarious shadow.
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AnnieS
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Registered: ‎01-29-2008
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Hello, I am so late in this discussion, so many things have been stated.  I agree with so much that is written, I just wanted to add one more thing.  Ginny states:
 
"I pull my wool cardy - an old one of my father's- more tightly around me"  Did she really keep one after all these years?  Is this significant?  She states her "father" not Clive in this sentence.  A sentence where she is seeking comfort from the cold.  Is this a sense of security or just a fact that the sweater keeps you warm. 
 
Also Ginny states she catches a faint, honest reflection of her eye.  If it is faint and not clear how honest can it be? 
 
Poppy Adams has really given so many innuendos and mysteries right off the bat in such a small chapter.  I am very intrigued.
 
Happy Reading!
Annie
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Pookie261
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-30-2008
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I totally believe there is an OCD problem here with Ginny. One thing that annoyed me a little in the beginning of the book was what I call the 'overly-descriptive' sentences. One line in particular is where the narrator is talking about Ginny looking at her watch and even went so far as to say "...the watch on my left hand..." I immediately wanted to know why I would care that the watch is on her left arm. As I get into the book the OCD becomes more prevalent so my assumption is that is the reason why such detail is given to descriptions.
 
Like many of the others, I too noticed the obsession with time. I can't wait to find out more.
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SandyS
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



Mselet wrote:
I'm an opening line, kind of girl, and it's interesting that, in our discussion of Ginny's obsession with time, she actually begins the narrative with a chronological reference, "It's ten to two in the afternoon and I've been waiting for my little sister, Vivi, since one-thirty." 
 
Trina
 
 


I too am an opening line kind of gal.  I always let the first line just sit before I proceed.  This opening line set me in motion for a very precision-oriented person (the narrator).  Well see how correct this is as we learn more.
 
SandyS
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CKindian
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

In the beginning, the narrator appears to be nervous because it has been such a long time since she has seen her sister.  When you are alone so much of the time, why bother looking at yourself?  There is no one there to care what you look like.  Who better to judge you then your family?
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Charlottesweb1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Good point, Paige, about the narrator being anxious about the arrival of her sister.
I think another reader mentioned in her post about the time watching and ocd (Obsessive, Compulsive Disorder). If the narrator suffers with OCD (which I think she does) this disruption to her "routine" with the visit by her sister would cause much anxiety.
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Skelly7645
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Registered: ‎01-15-2008
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree.  I enjoy numbered and titled chapters.  If nothing else, it makes navigating through the book simpler.  I like a hint ( chapter title) as I go along.  It also makes it easier to find a specific spot in the book later, should you wish to return to it.  A table of contents, as in the front of this book, immediately tells us we are spanning only a period of time of four days, etc.
 
 
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Charlottesweb1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

A person in denial can view an extremely chaotic situation as peaceful if they have a coping mechanism. Historically, look at Nero who was playing the fiddle while Rome burned
I think we learn in the first chapter for Ginny her coping mechanism was her father and the study of moths.   
 
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Charlottesweb1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I personally think that the reason Vivian and Ginny call their parents by their first name is because there is not much parental bonding going on in the household, in my opinion. I felt the girls were viewed and treated as younger extensions of the parents.
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Everyman
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Cute!

I wonder whether you can get SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) from staying indoors all the time.

mwinasu wrote:
Wow, don't know if I can add anything serious. What I am thinking will probably just muddy the water. Ginny sounds a lot like a cheechako in the bush in the winter time, or heck, even in high summer. They call it "getting bushy". Cold, isolation and 20 hours aday of darkness can make you focus way too much on the passing of time. If you are unable to see the clues that seperate day from night it isn't hard to get turned around. Next thing you know you have missed the plane to Hawaii and shot up the wood stove.



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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bettymac
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


FrankieD wrote:
I wouldn't exactly say that I feel that 1st person narrators are "unreliable"...but I always feel that I'm getting a singular point of view. It would to know what Vivi was thinking on the drive to the house???
FrankieD :smileyhappy:





For the most part, in fact, we are more likely to give weight to something someone tells that he or she experienced personally than information we get second or third hand. Writers use this first person point of view then to pull us into the story and make the tale more believable. As someone said, however, a reader must be very alert at the beginning of a first person story. We see things through that character's eye. If the character is truthful, we get the truth. If the narrator is an exaggerator, we get a skewed view. Skillful writers give us the clues we need to judge how much we trust a character. I agree that many of you are reading very carefully the clues that the author is giving us at the beginning that maybe we need to be cautious about how much we take Ginny's story as a very objective and accurate account of the story we are about to share. All the details we are given and the kinds of details are going to be very important as we continue to read, I'm sure. As has been stated, Viv seems to be the flighty one because that is Ginny's view. Yet we learn about Ginny from the state of the house she lives in, all the deterioration of the house, a possible metaphor for the "house" of her soul.
I am really liking this book.
Betty in NC
Betty

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~François Mauriac
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



AnnieS wrote:
Ginny states: "I pull my wool cardy - an old one of my father's- more tightly around me" Did she really keep one after all these years? Is this significant? She states her "father" not Clive in this sentence.

Nice find! I think you're right, there must be some meaning in her use of "father" here. Good work.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Charlottesweb1 wrote:
A person in denial can view an extremely chaotic situation as peaceful if they have a coping mechanism. Historically, look at Nero who was playing the fiddle while Rome burned
I think we learn in the first chapter for Ginny her coping mechanism was her father and the study of moths.



Well yeah, but Nero wasnt really in a state of denial, he ordered them to let the fires burn out of his own demented idea of cleansing and power, but then thats another story lol. :smileywink: Altho, I don't think Ginny is in denial about anything, this is just how she really perceives and remembers things.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Of course, Ginny is telling us her point of view of all facts about Vivi. I agree that she observed more the world and her sister's world than lived her own. I think it was difficult to her accepting another baby at home, someone to divide everything with. I think she thought on her rights to the house because she lived there all her life and knew everything on that reality. I´m curious to know Vivi better. I think she isn´t at all a late person, someone so midless like Ginny shows us in the beginning of the book.
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Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


MelissaW wrote:
I also wondered why Ginny and Vivian called their parents by first name and not Mom and Dad. 

I myself call my parents by their first names. To me it's a form of being more intimate with them.  
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