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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

 
"I don't know -- I think the intimacy between siblings (paticularly those close in age) often endures into adulthood, even if a great deal of time has passed since they were close. It seems to me like one of those relationships where you can always pick up where you left off.
 
Of course, I'm generalizing and we have no idea what the story is between these two siblings. But it did not strike me as odd that they would live together again after such a long time."
 
_________________________________________________________________________________________
 
I hate to backpedal. In this case I have to do it. I agree with siblings there is a different bond. It's a bond with less protocol. Therefore, I feel like it wouldn't seem strange for a sister to come home after a very long time away.
 
Grapes
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nfam
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

The author seems to be setting up the major character as a person who doesn't have an accurate perception of herself. Her preoccupation with time and with not looking at her image are indicators to me that all is not well with this person. Clearly, she has shut herself away from human contact for a very long time. The visit from her long lost sister can't help but be stressful and raise all the ghosts that obviously lurk in the Red House.

Nancy
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BookSavage
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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.
 


That is probably the one biggest factor that struck me when I read Chapter one.  I was really curious as to why she would not be where she could go out and greet her sister whenever she arrived.  I felt like she was looking for a stranger rather than a family member.
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BookSavage
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



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.
 


I got the feeling from this part of Chapter one that she is allowing her sister to come back out of some family sense of duty rather from a sense of joy.  I think that is reinforced when you considering the setting, as the narrator tells you that she has to pull her cardy around her and that the tempature most have dropped a degree.
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juliejon
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I must admit that I have found this book to be hard to really "get in to".  As I begin to read it I sense the familiar theme of time and secrets and initially I am finding it tedious. Perhaps I will begin to see more as I read on!
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BookSavage
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



juliejon wrote:
I must admit that I have found this book to be hard to really "get in to".  As I begin to read it I sense the familiar theme of time and secrets and initially I am finding it tedious. Perhaps I will begin to see more as I read on!



I have to admit that I am write there with you, I have found this book to be to the point of absolute drudgery to read at times.  I am not sure that it could move slower or have less of a plot line.  I hope that it gets better.
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coralc
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think the author gave us the conflict right away in telling us that our narrator was alone.  There was no one else- not a companion or servant - in her thoughts.  She was, however, very concerned with the fact that her view of the world was inclusive of the areas she thought important to spotting anyone who might be approaching. 
 
Her reluctance to look at her reflection and a preoccupation with time was an indicator that she was a compulsive personality.  So I wondered, why was she alone?  What circumstances had enabled her to remain in this huge house with no one to consult with or take care of everyday things?  We are also told that her long-gone sister has had no input into her life.  Why would this be?  And now the sister is coming home.  The conflict is going to be a good one, and a quick one, since the whole story takes place in just a few days.
 
I think that's the hallmark of a good storyteller.  They give you the conflict immediately; make you wonder how it came about; and then tell a complicated story in beautiful words.  Very satisfying.
 
 
-Spends more at B&N than W-M
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psawyers
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I have to admit, I could not put this book down, and so finished it well before we even had the discussions set up. 
 
The Sister reminds me very much of Daphne DuMaurier's Rebecca.  The first chapter just sets the basis of the entire book.  We know very little about the narrator from this first chapter, and that continues throughout.  The same is true throughout Rebecca, and, as with Rebecca, what little we glean about the narrator comes through brief glimpses of other characters. 
 
Paula
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erina
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree that it seems a bit strange to be going back to a home you haven't lived in for so long, however, there must be a feeling of entitlement here as it is their house. 
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

“Warren,” she said, “he has come home to die:
You needn’t be afraid he’ll leave you this time.”

Everyman, these two lines struck me the most...I have been pondering if Vivi's return has to do more with her than with Ginny...could she like the person have come home because someone is going to die? Just wondering...the thought crossed my mind as I was reading because there has to be a reason why she has returned and that is not clear yet...Ginny often wonders why she decided to return after such a long time away...which, to me, makes it the overarching question about what is really going on...
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Paula R.

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

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Alnilan
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

In this first chapter Ginny, the narrator, uses very precise language describing her surroundings and herself in a somewhat detached fashion. It is also clear that Ginny has an underlining anxiety about being in control.
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SleightGirl
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree...we all look at things through our own eyes and biases, so when the character is in the first person, we know that he/she is going to do that as well...I prefer books in the first person, just for that reason...we all see things differently.
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SleightGirl
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I was wondering the same thing!
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SleightGirl
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I want to know more about the clocks and why time is so important to her.
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out (What is home?)

[ Edited ]

Everyman wrote:
This chapter reminded me strongly of Frost's poem,
The Death of the Hired Man with its wonderful lines

“Warren,” she said, “he has come home to die:
You needn’t be afraid he’ll leave you this time.”

“Home,” he mocked gently.

“Yes, what else but home?
It all depends on what you mean by home.
Of course he’s nothing to us, any more
Than was the hound that came a stranger to us
Out of the woods, worn out upon the trail.”

“Home is the place where, when you have to go there,
They have to take you in.”


Really neat literary linkage! Thanks!

Message Edited by Peppermill on 03-04-2008 11:35 AM
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


Laurel wrote:
It's like this.

grapes wrote {paraphrased}: ...I don't understand the statement about "a snake of upended dominoes."


THANKS, Laurel. One can't get a more amusing and dramatic explanation than you have found and shared!
"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Our Narrator

I think this is going to be a very interesting discussion, as the book progresses. Everyone has great insights and points of view, and better yet, I don't agree with all of you (I think it makes discussion more interesting when we are not all backing the same view).

I agree that one must be "wary" of the first person point of view. Since we are only privy to narrator's thoughts, and feelings, our view of the interactions could be skewed if we are not vigilant. I wonder, though, if Ms. Adams will use this element of narrative misdirection to purposefully lead us astray, allowing a rush of knowing and realization to wash over us later on in the book when we finally see another point of view, or become aware of an ulterior truth. The concept of narrative misdirection is more fully described by, the eloquent, John Granger here.



ELee wrote:
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.



In my opinion, the narrator uses the close tracking of time to tie herself to the outside world. She keeps a bond to the inhabitants of the larger world by running on the same schedule as they do, whether or not she ever actually interacts with anyone outside of her home. In a situation where you are separated from the larger community, by choice or circumstance, it is an easy way to still feel connected to others, and an empowering feeling to live your life congruent with others, but in your own fashion.
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



flyjo9 wrote:
But, Everyman, Don't you th inwe will learn the why's and the wherefors as we delve deeper into this mysterious story?



I hope so. If we don't, it's going to be a very disappointing read. :smileyhappy:
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pigwidgeon
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Re: moving back


Everyman wrote:
...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?

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.


Though this is something I could never see myself doing (even though my sister and I ARE close), I can understand a person doing it. It seems to me as though Vivi feels entitled to make this kind of declaration, without retort. I have come in contact (even against better judgment) with people who believe that they are "entitled", for one reason or another, to having their whims catered to. Merely stating that you are returning "for good", with no regard for the feelings or wishes of the person you are possibly imposing upon, just drips of this... think Paris Hilton.

So, Everyman, I find it hard to swallow too. But for a different reason. Realistic people don't act this way, but it is a realistic way for some people to act (though a quite rude one in some situations).
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



flyjo9 wrote:
Sorry, think is the word I meant.




Something you may hot have discovered in these boards: if you find a mistake in a post you have written, you have I think 90 minutes to go back and edit it. Go to the post, click on the Options box in the upper right of the message, and select edit.
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