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Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Charlottesweb1 wrote:
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.

I think you are right, Charlotte :smileyhappy:

 

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Laurel
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


grapes wrote:
What I don't understand is statement about "a snake of upended dominoes."
Grapes





It's like this.
"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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CubbyVet
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think Ginny is unsure of herself... she thinks she is level headed (and she might well be) but it seems like she gives into her emotions a bit.  Her anxiety is understandable (I know I would be nervous if I was seeing my sister that I hadn't seen in 40 yrs). 
 
I also thought that the broken view from the stained glass window might have been a symbol for the POV of th enarrator.  It said that she could only see certain aspects of the town, probably like she could pick and choose what she saw in herself.
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Rosei wrote:

Charlottesweb1 wrote:
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.

I think you are right, Charlotte :smileyhappy:




You know, that really depends on the family, the country's customs, and the times. Its not always about not bonding. Hey in the 60s there were lots who did that here. I don't know if thats part of the dysfunction of this family or not. But its a good question to ask the author when she gets here. There are some people who call their parents by their first name and they are closer than some who call their parents, the formal Father or Mother even, instead of mom and dad.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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ladydi22
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

 
 

Impmn Wrote:

Very good observation on the "I don't often look at my reflection" sentence.  It is very possible that as we're seeing through her eyes, we're seeing a skewed reality.




You hit something here that I think unravels in the subsequent chapters.  Great catch!
 
 
Diana
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Laurel wrote:

grapes wrote:
What I don't understand is statement about "a snake of upended dominoes."
Grapes





It's like this.


You know when you line up dominoes, one after another in a pattern so that if you tip one, all the others fall? thats what she means, and she is saying that maybe the vivi's fall from the bell tower was the first domino in the sequence of events that lead to the fall of their relationship, or closeness anyway.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
JAZ
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JAZ
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

One of my favorite paragraphs in the book was in Chapter 1 where the narrator describes looking through the windowpanes.
 
The narrator's anxiety about time leads the reader into wondering if there isn't a bit of obsessive compulsiveness involved.  
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flyjo9
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

But, Everyman, Don't you th inwe will learn the why's and the wherefors as we delve deeper into this mysterious story? 
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flyjo9
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Sorry, think is the word I meant.
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judycarr
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I don't think she is nervous,  I think she is feeling very curious and somewhat very introspective about the relationship and what happened to it.  I loved the lassage on page 5 " There's rarely a sole cause for the seperation of lives. It's a sequence of events, an inexorable chain reaction where each small link is fundamental, ike a snake of upended dominoes.  I loved this passage.  It was the first of several that I have underlined and then really reflected on.  It's pretty rare that I keep a pen handy when I am reading a novel for pleasure but I am definatly doing it with The Sister.  It is a great story but more than that I think there are some wonderful passages with lessons to be learned. I am reading slowly so they still have yet to be realized but I am loving this book in a way far differenet than I like the House at Riverton.  Much more to think about! 
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ladydi22
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



vivico1 wrote:

 I don't think Ginny is in denial about anything, this is just how she really perceives and remembers things.

Yes, which goes back to what Impmn said about Ginny's vision being skewed through the stained glass.  I just love that metaphor.
 
 
"It is very possible that as we're seeing through her eyes, we're seeing a skewed reality."
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Rosei
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Time is a way of frameworking life and some people live under this every single day. There's a need of controlling life and hold time on is a way they think (hypothetically, of course). This can cause anxiety, fear and so on, because noone really can control life in all senses.
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Rosei
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Ginny is truly in a great expectation for her sister after all those years apart. Some anxiety is normal and quite understandable, isn´t it?
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CuriousKat
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

The narrator is definitely a reclusive. Her point of observation from her first floor window lets her see in just about every direction within her sphere with delineations defined by the various imperfections of the glass. She makes note that she knows those imperfections well  because she has as well as her mother, father and grandfather lived in that house all their lives. Setting a tone that she knows well every aspect of life within the confines of that house and its grounds, not just hers but her parents and grandfather as well. Further on I think we will find what relevance this has within the sisters relationship. 
 
At first thought it would be that one does lose track of time, and days when alone and home all the time, but since she has so many clocks within the home, this is not the primary concern. When children, waiting on Vivi with her mother seems to have been routine and always done. There appears to be a bit of resentment of that, as if Vivi was always in control, never our narrator. Also the sisters personalities may  reflect what we perceive to be as "day or night" and all that implies. 
 
It seems that the arrival of her sister Vivi is causing her great consternation. She is not sure she wants the interruption into her settled life, though, she wants to see her sister. Since she appears to be the more responsible, perhaps she has resentments over this, cast into something she didn't really want but had no way out of, once her sister made her escape into independence. Or it could be that she never wanted to explore beyond the limited areas of the house and grounds and doesn't understand why her sister felt otherwise.
 
She certainly appears to be be a bit of an eccentric. Her comments seem to reflect a introspective personality.
 
I think the chain reaction metaphor is another link to the concentration on time by our narrator. 
“Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm

to the world.”
- Voltaire
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vivico1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


ladydi22 wrote:


vivico1 wrote:

I don't think Ginny is in denial about anything, this is just how she really perceives and remembers things.

Yes, which goes back to what Impmn said about Ginny's vision being skewed through the stained glass. I just love that metaphor.
"It is very possible that as we're seeing through her eyes, we're seeing a skewed reality."



"For now we see through a glass, darkly, but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as I am also known." 1 Corinthians 13:12. Maybe she is looking through a glass darkly, and thus so are we, but in the end, we all shall know. :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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gosox
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Registered: ‎10-14-2007
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



lcnh1 wrote:
I was also curious why Vivi would be coming home after a 50-year absence.  I wonder what happened in Vivi's life that would make her not want to come home.
 
I'm also not sure what to think of the narrator's perspective.  Something must have happened in the past that we will hopefully learn about.  What perspctive are we going to hear though?  Ginny's perspective only or Vivi's perspective told through Ginny.  In any case, the truth might be somewhere in between. 


It seems as if there might be some differences in the books. On page 3 of my book it states that there has been a 50 year absences, while others are mentioning a 40 year absence.
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renhair
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

AS I read it, it seemed that she was looking at her childhood through the eyes of time.  We're fortunate that human nature allows us to forget the bad and only remember the good.  (Most of us only need to think of past relationships to see that.)  Another option is that it was a childhood in perfect balance....they were children.  Neither had come into their own head.  If Vivi is the more adventurous/dynamic of the two, she was likely also the one most likely to push the envelope.  As she grew older, she likely pushed the envelope further and further thus disturbing the balance of the family/sister relationship.

Peppermill wrote:

Everyman wrote:
What do people make of the comment that their childhood was "in perfect balance"? (page 5) I don't know what this phrase might mean -- what is an unbalanced childhood? What is she implying? Why is this point made here?


I found the phrase awkward. For me, a clue is in the following words "so I'm wondering what it was that came along and changed everything," seemingly implying that things that were okay are going to become "unbalanced" -- whether in childhood or later, I don't yet know. For me, the words left a feeling of foreboding. This is also where I don't know whether to trust the narrator -- were things EVER really okay becomes a question below the surface.

Message Edited by Peppermill on 03-03-2008 02:11 PM


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bichonlover1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

i think she has become such a recluse after all these years, that it is very uncomfortable for her to have any guests in the home, even if it is her sister. And we do not know the entire story of what happened to the girls as children and caused such a seperation in them. One who sounds like she is worldly and the other a complete recluse. I wonder if we are seeing the entire true picture of what is or just what she sees through her "recluse" eyes.
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renhair
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree with you 100%!  I know when planning a party, I'm ready to go and anxiously watching the clock/door waiting for the 1st guest.  I can't even imagin what it would be like if I was expecting someone I hadn't seen in 50 years.  This would be exacerbated, it seems, by the fact that something negative had to happen to cause this 50 year absence.  Also, I wonder if whatever that negative thing was, it was what has caused Ginny to be somewhat of a homebody.....

COCOSPALS wrote:
I think the "anxiety" that the narrator feels may be overjudged.  How would we feel awaiting a sister (or brother) who we have not seen for 40 years. I think I would be hiding behind the curtains to see how this "stranger" looked , how they arrived, etc.  I feel the author is calling their parents by their first names is just for ease of reading. What did strike me in this chapter is the graphic description on page 4 of the window and the droplets on the window and how if one looks a certain way that the glass distorts the view. This observation is almost childlike, you know how kids will move their heads back and forth when looking thru a distorted view just for the fun of it. I get that same impression.



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bichonlover1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

The reason both girls called the parents by first names seemed to me to be a case of the children being seen and not heard. I think the family was dysfunctional and this is the method by whitch they delt with it. I felt that they were not enjoying the gift of the girls-but rather liked the socialite scene. The children were just something that happened!
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