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Cammie03
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I am thrown off by the first person narrative. I also sensed that ginny was nervous about her sister coming and was wondering why also why the sister returned home after such a long period of time.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Laurel wrote:
Agorophobia keeps coming to my mind--about Ginny, not about me!

from Wikipedia:

'Agoraphobia is an anxiety disorder which primarily consists of the fear of certain settings that may present unexpected challenges or demands. These could include parking lots, shoppings malls or restaurants. The social consequences of having a panic attack or losing control in public often becomes an additional source of fear in its own right. As a result, severe sufferers of agoraphobia may become confined to their homes, experiencing difficulty traveling from this "safe place."'



MsMorninglight wrote:
Our narrator most definitely sounds like she might be a recluse. The lines: "she said, we ought to be keeping each other company for the rest of our lives, rather than dying lonely and alone. Well, I'll tell you now, I don't feel lonely and I certainly don't feel as if I'm dying but even so I'm glad she's coming home." Seem to best describe her feelings. She wants to see her sister again, but could certainly have lived on perfectly well, without Vivi stepping back into her world.
I think, after so many years, I would feel the same. But, I think once we find out more about the the two sisters & their differences, we will better know better if her angst is simply because she's happy living alone, or perhaps due TO their differences.
Having 4 brothers and with all our differences, I'm not sure, I'd jump at the chance of having them come live with me after so many years! :smileywink:






I am on disability for a true Panic Disorder (not just panic attacks) and Agoraphobia. Usually the agoraphobia is brought on by the panic attacks. I spent 8 years in my house where I could not leave at all, not even to go to the grocery store. I still have it, but I manage to get out some and do some things now. I dont know at this point yet in the story, but not all people stuck in a house are true agoraphobics, it could be some other disorder or social disorder and Ginny seems to have some other mental health issues going on. Maybe the way she doesnt relate to how other people act or feel, drives her to stay in that house and feel safe. Guess we will see. But there's something deeper going on here it feels like. Not that this disorder is not enough lol, but hey, I am a very social person.


Also, along those lines somewhat, as to your post Pandora:
The other that really struck me in this first chapter is the statement on page 4
"When you live by yourself in a house that you very rarely leave and is even more rarely visited, it's essential that you don't lose track of time." It struck me for two reasons: one that I would think the complete opposite...that if that had no where to be and no schedule to follow and no one or nothing depending on me I would just live and not care what time it was at all."

I don't know about Ginny, she is very Compulsive-obsessive, but as for me, because I do live alone and I dont leave the house much, because of what I said above. I do need to know the time of day a lot myself. I am not obsessive, I dont wear two watches lol, just one and one alarm clock. But its important to me, because when very little changes in your day to day routine, you want to make sure you do not miss out on those rare occassions or times of day that something does happen. They are precious and a way of keeping connected to the outside world. Also studies have shown, that people who lose track of days and time, such as POWs or such, can go insane eventually, just as a person who does not sleep will. Anyway, my two cents on that part. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



purplepaigeturner wrote:
I also get the sense that our narrator is anxious and nevus about the arrival of her sister. Why isn't she waiting at the front door rather than "hiding" behind a window.





I would suspect that she is a person of habit. She know every aspect of the old glass and every view from every window. She can see the world from where she is and she can see her sister coming from a distance. I suspect she is a person who isn't willing to wait for the moment she comes to the door, rather she wants to know when she rolls up the drive. There's also an element of control there for her.
Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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serialmahogany
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think that Ginny mentioning that she doesn't look in the mirror, represents her not knowing herself.  Maybe she is the kind of older sister who was lead intentionally down certain paths not necessarily chosen by her.  I think that she may be either scared to look into the mirror, because she it may frighten her who she has become, or upset the balance she has made with herself, knowing she has not met any of her own goals.  Ginny to me seems as though she was put in a box, or rather a glass jar, and was contorted to a shape which was molded by her family environment.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

You know whats funny. In the community room early on, we talked about some movies and one was Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte, with Bette Davis. As I read this, I picture Ginny, running around the house alone peeking out windows,watching whats going on but trying not to be seen, like Bette Davis did in that grand old southern home when she got older and was waiting for her cousin Olivia DeHaviland to come after such a long time.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



Everyman wrote:
You've hit a point that bothered me a great deal also. Why haven't these sisters seen each other for so long? And why would Vivi be coming back to stay permanently without a first visit to see whether they were still in any way compatible? What person just decides to move back to a home they left fifty years ago and it seems haven't been back to since? There's no indication that she's broke and needing to move back for financial reasons, or ill and needing care she can't afford.

This aspect of the story seems unrealistic to me. I am willing to suspend disbelief when reasonably required, but I'm finding it hard to swallow this as a realistic way human beings act.


LizzieAnn wrote:
I wonder how much if any contact there has been between these sisters in all those years. From the narrator's comment that she wonders if she'd recognize her, it's obvious that they haven't seen each other; yet, she meekly accepts her sister's letter & the fact that Vivi is going to move in. I'm interested into seeing why the narrator is so accepting.
The concept of time may also be of importance as we see the narrator's anxious that Vivi's late, yet she remarks how they always waited for Vivi - therefore she's always been late. Since the narrator's something of a recluse, I'm wondering how she's going to accept and deal with this sister now living in her own closed-off little world.








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.
Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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lmpmn
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I wanted to point out that I don't think all 1st person narratives are unreliable--I said that oftentimes they can be so as a reader I tend to be wary.
 
Until we get farther into the book, I'll hold off judgment about whether she may be agoraphobic.  But I'll say this: she certainly does have an especially hard time picking up on social cues.  She even says this about herself.  It seems that she doesn't have the ability to engage in normal social behavior.  She can't even look at people she knows in the eye when they're talking to her.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I sense anxiety too. I like your thought about OCD. The fact that she is wearing her father's old wool cardy makes me believe she is in need of comfort and security from someone bigger than herself. Wearing clothes worn by people who have shielded us can bring feelings of "real" protection. Why is she so anxious? What happened in her life?
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blkeyesuzi
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Re: Time frame



paula_02912 wrote:
ELee wrote: "I would tend to agree with you. She seems very concerned with living her life in actual time. Oddly, the very reasons she gives for needing to be sure of the correct time - living alone in a house one rarely leaves that is more rarely visited - would seem to be the very reasons why it would not be important to be so conscious of time."

ELee, I agree with you...this preoccupation with time is very puzzling...she has clocks, at least two, in every room of the house, so she can always know what the correct time is...does this obsession with time mean that sometimes she "loses" time and has to figure out what is going on when she "finds" it again? Do you think that the narrator lives alone by choice or because of circumstances? Does this concern about living in actual time suggest that she often does not live in actual time? If yes, is it the distant past, a few months, weeks, days or hours ago?




WOW, interesting observation...losing time. Perhaps she has a psychiatric reason for losing time...
Suzi

"I still find each day too short for all the thoughts I want to think, all the walks I want to take, all the books I want to read, and all the friends I want to see. " --John Burroughs
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Mselet
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I'm an opening line, kind of girl, and it's interesting that, in our diuscussion 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."  In that one sentence we understand the birth order.  It's interesting that Vivi is referred to as little, versus younger.  Little implies needing to be cared for, weaker, but younger is, well, the luck of the draw. 
 
The sentence also shares that Vivi is coming to the narrator (Ginny) as opposed to neutral ground, or even the narrator going to Vivi.  Again, because Vivi is the little sister, it feels like she's the one who is returning to the safehaven of the "larger" sister.  Older siblings are usually thought of as a stabilizing factor, especially if the parents are gone.  If that's the case, why on earth is the narrator a basket case? Hmm.
 
Finally, and most importantly, the sentence reveals that Ginny is mindful of time (read sensible, logical, respectful of others), while Vivi is not (any of the things in parenthesis).
 
I agree that the story is well-crafted so far.
 
This is going to be fun!
 
Trina
 
 
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Skelly7645
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Firstly,  I was already hooked by the end of this first chapter.  I get the feeling that our narrator is extremely regimented in her life, suffering from OCD; at least to some degree, for example comments about time, and basically a very detached individual.  Detached from family and society, also shown perhaps in the use of first names for the parents.  Could she be so "matter of fact" about life and detached that she makes the comment about not looking at her reflection much.  I'm wondering if she doesn't bother to look at herself because she takes her life just as it is?  Obviously, we will learn the background to the 50 or so year seperation between the sisters.  I love the point that one reader made--who is the sister that the title speaks of?  I had not thought about that until it was pointed out.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I love Poppy Adams' writing too.Our narrator is fully aware of the weather too. She says it takes her mind off of what might happen. She is very nervous, afraid and stiff. I believe fear makes a person stiff and tight. Also, weather is invisible. It's easier for her to be in contact with the abstract rather than the concrete. Her sister's visit is too real. She will have to face her, entertain her and remember.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Everyman,
 
I did not focus on the chapter heading. Good, good thought. Thanks.
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tapestry100
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I don't know that Ginny even realizes how she is. As mentioned, she has a distinct view point of herself (being level-headed), yet we see quite clearly that she is not. I don't know that she is scared to leave her house, but as she has aged, this has become her comfort zone, and therefore she is more and more comfortable here in the house, and therefor more and more unlikely to leave. She doesn't understand that she is becoming eccentric and aloof; she doesn't see it that way, as she's had the strength of her house to hide behind. To me, it almost reads like a catch-22: the more time she stays in the house, the more likely she isn't to leave, since leaving the house now makes her uncomfortable.

It's hard not too look at aspects of only this chapter, knowing what happens in the next chapter or so.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Being a devil's advocate, not seeing a family member for fifty years would make anyone nervous, shaky.  Although, there is no question that Ginny is weak with anxiety, sick with it. There are clocks all around her. Not for the sake of beauty but for "Every minute lost--if left uncorrected--would soon accumulate to an hour, and then hours, until.....you could easily end up living in a completely erroneous time frame." With this thought, I begin to feel Ginny is suffering from more than anxiety. There seems to be "unreality" setting in.
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DreamAngel052986
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

i believe that ginny likes to be in control. she always seemed to have control of every thing even down to her parents. she views this as a good thing and she feels everyone else should be like that. this makes her also believe her sister is the weak one because she was never in contorol she just did what ever.
 
"I don’t often look at my reflection" (p. 3)  i belive its kinda both a metaphor and something deeper. she doesnt like to look at her reflection because she doesnt like the person she has become she wish she would have let loose like her sister viv. she jelous of her sister. also she doesnt want to see herself ageing she wants to hold on to the past and to her thats the only way she can do it.. by not know or admitting she has aged.
 
 
 
Caitlin
"Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness."
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I am thinking Vivi's thoughts on the way home are more orderly. I feel Poppy Adams might have chosen to focus on Ginny because she is the one so complex. She is definitely not a cardboard character. I can literally see her waiting, looking at watches and clocks, staring out the window. Perhaps, not having slept in many nights.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Since she's reclusive, I don't think the visit will become an overnight success.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

You are so right.
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Hmmm. I think it is realistic. How many adopted children look for their biological parents after years and years have passed? It happens. Something snaps. The past becomes more important than the present in order to live a brighter future or a future filled with more knowledge of their  identity.
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