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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



grapes wrote:

 
This is a good point, Grapes. I think we feel like the narrator's territory is about to be invaded. (What about her attitude or thoughts makes us feel this way?) But it is only her territory because she is the one who chose to stay. Is her claim on this place -- and I mean emotional claim, as we cannot speculate at this point over legal claims, etc. -- any greater than Vivi's?


Karen,
 
Emotionally, I believe, Vivi can say she has the right to make a claim on the property. She stayed. She endured. She lived with the ghosts of days gone past and people who had died or chose to move on like Vivi. This doesn't mean Vivi should face any emotional blackmail or guilt. It's just a fact she will have to face when she comes home. It's really not her home anymore, not after fifty years.
 
Thank you again for so much help from you and the other BarnesandNoble readers. I still have more to learn about the board. I'm just taking a step at a time. I am really enjoying Poppy Adams writing style.


Glad you're enjoying it!
 
I'm sure I'll be in the minority here, but I don't agree that Ginny's stewardship of the family home makes her any more entitled to it, emotionally, than Vivi. Since we don't yet know why Ginny chose to stay and Vivi to leave, we can't really equate these actions with the degree of family loyalty and even if we could, I'm not sure it matters (in my opinion!).
 
Your post is provocative because it makes me wonder what role, if any, family loyalty will play in the story?
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jlawrence77
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Good point, refering to "my father's" instead of Clive.  Perhaps this is alluding to something...
 
Jenn
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grapes
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



KxBurns wrote:
This is a good point, Grapes. I think we feel like the narrator's territory is about to be invaded. (What about her attitude or thoughts makes us feel this way?) But it is only her territory because she is the one who chose to stay. Is her claim on this place -- and I mean emotional claim, as we cannot speculate at this point over legal claims, etc. -- any greater than Vivi's?
________________________________________________________________________
I struggled with this question not knowing how I really felt until we began to discuss the issue. A surprise to myself I do think Ginny deserves some extra claim because she's been there all those years. Ginny could have left too. She didn't. Fifty years remaining there gives her some rights but not all rights. Vivi is still family too. Why didn't she come back? Did she hate the place? Did she have amnesia? There are a lot of blanks not filled in yet.  



Grapes
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Thayer
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



KxBurns wrote:


grapes 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.
Does the sibling who chooses to stay have a closer tie to the family and home? Not necessarily? I wonder. Both my sister and I moved away from our town when we married. I have never examined why we made our choices.




This is a good point, Grapes. I think we feel like the narrator's territory is about to be invaded. (What about her attitude or thoughts makes us feel this way?) But it is only her territory because she is the one who chose to stay. Is her claim on this place -- and I mean emotional claim, as we cannot speculate at this point over legal claims, etc. -- any greater than Vivi's?


I don't think that Ginny has ever consciously "chosen" to live here. It seems to me that she feels rooted to her home.
~~Dawn
Live the life you love ~ Love the life you live.
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thefamilymanager
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think the title of "Look Out" describes what we will be seeing in the rest of the book. As far as Ginny living in the house her whole life, I feel that she considers herself "The Keeper" of the house and its secrets. 
 
Looking forward to more!
 
Lisa
LMD

- if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with! - Dorothy - Wizard of OZ
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lamorgan
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Right off the bat, the narrator struck me as obsessive-compulsive. It will be interesting to see how this plays out as the book progresses.
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m3girl
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I started reading the day I got the book.....so I could stay ahead of the discussion...and still there are nine pages of comments on this chapter before I even get a chance to add mine!!  Yikes...
 
Anyway, my comments on Chapter One:
 
She's got a good hook in the first paragraph which is also the first sentence -- after an absence of nearly fifty years....yikes!
 
I find it interesting that she is addressing the reader directly - page 4:  "Did I tell you that Vivien said in her letter..."  It works.
 
She seems to be quite lonely - or rather that is my interpretation of her discription of her life...she does seem content - however - she may not have much to compare her life to...
 
I thought it was interesting that she called her mother and father by their first names.  I got who Maud was but was not directly sure about Clive.
 
So, it is an interesting start and looks to be an explanation of a life told via flashbacks...
Why has Vi been gone for so long?  Why has she decided to return?  Have they kept in any contact since she left?  Those are a few questions that after about 2 full pages made me turn to the next chapter.....I am now about 1/2 way through the book and have a few hints to the answers to these questions...not frustrated, just eager to get my answers!
 
Susan
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panicfingers
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree with your comments entirely!  "I've forgotten how exhausting I find it to predict other people's frame of mind or to assess their general humor", is such a poignant sentence.  I paused and thought about it, having friends and family can be exhausting for this very reason, we are so busy thinking about what they are thinking and meaning.  Here is a definition of my pygmalion self:  It's not what I think I am, and it's not what you think I am, it's what I think you think I am!!!
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CAG
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I don't think Ginny sees herself as being able to leave the house. There is just something about her that suggests that to me.
CAG
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Rugbugcr
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I total understand where you are coming from.  I had read the book ahead so I would be prepared when the chapters opened, only I fell ill with the flu and returned to the posts with hundreds to read and all my thoughts are already mentioned. 

m3girl wrote:
I started reading the day I got the book.....so I could stay ahead of the discussion...and still there are nine pages of comments on this chapter before I even get a chance to add mine!!  Yikes...
 
Anyway, my comments on Chapter One:
 
She's got a good hook in the first paragraph which is also the first sentence -- after an absence of nearly fifty years....yikes!
 
I find it interesting that she is addressing the reader directly - page 4:  "Did I tell you that Vivien said in her letter..."  It works.
 
She seems to be quite lonely - or rather that is my interpretation of her discription of her life...she does seem content - however - she may not have much to compare her life to...
 
I thought it was interesting that she called her mother and father by their first names.  I got who Maud was but was not directly sure about Clive.
 
So, it is an interesting start and looks to be an explanation of a life told via flashbacks...
Why has Vi been gone for so long?  Why has she decided to return?  Have they kept in any contact since she left?  Those are a few questions that after about 2 full pages made me turn to the next chapter.....I am now about 1/2 way through the book and have a few hints to the answers to these questions...not frustrated, just eager to get my answers!
 
Susan



Melissa_W
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I get a sense of self-imposed sacrifice from Ginny; she is the "sensible sister" whearas Vivi is the "adventurer;" she does not often look in the mirror so her physical appearance is meant to be unimportant; she is wearing her father's old cardy; her "smoky breath" makes droplets on the window so she sacrifices warmth to live in the same family house as her mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather.
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
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dragonfly33
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I agree.  Why do they call their mom and dad, Maude and Clive?  Also why is she watching from a window?  Why isn't she by the front door waiting for her sister?  I wonder why they haven't seen eachother or talked in all these years.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



pedsphleb wrote:
I get a sense of self-imposed sacrifice from Ginny; she is the "sensible sister" whearas Vivi is the "adventurer;" she does not often look in the mirror so her physical appearance is meant to be unimportant; she is wearing her father's old cardy; her "smoky breath" makes droplets on the window so she sacrifices warmth to live in the same family house as her mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather.


I like this observation. If she's depriving herself of physical comforts as a form of sacrifice, do you think the impulse extends as far as depriving herself of a normal life, too -- becoming a recluse? If that is the case, I'll be curious to find out whether her martyrdom is driven by spite or love (or something else)...
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HannibalCat
Posts: 238
Registered: ‎10-25-2006
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



KxBurns wrote:


pedsphleb wrote:
I get a sense of self-imposed sacrifice from Ginny; she is the "sensible sister" whearas Vivi is the "adventurer;" she does not often look in the mirror so her physical appearance is meant to be unimportant; she is wearing her father's old cardy; her "smoky breath" makes droplets on the window so she sacrifices warmth to live in the same family house as her mother, grandfather, and great-grandfather.


I like this observation. If she's depriving herself of physical comforts as a form of sacrifice, do you think the impulse extends as far as depriving herself of a normal life, too -- becoming a recluse? If that is the case, I'll be curious to find out whether her martyrdom is driven by spite or love (or something else)...





Great observation and good questions. The fact that she seems to have sold antique furniture and paintings, etc, for what seems like possibly a great deal less than she could have, would seem to indicate that she does not think too deeply. She just lets life happen. The "friend" who sells off her inheritance is probably making enough money to buy the family estate while she suffers from the cold. I think she does not so much sacrifice her life, as does not take part in her life.

Which still does not answer whether it is being done in spite, or love, or something else.
kbc
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kbc
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I'm behind on reading but wanted to post my thoughts.  I am quoting some prior posts but I am new to this and didn't write down who posted it so forgive me.
 

I think 1st person narrators can be tough because you never really truly get inside any of the other character’s heads.  But on the same part, I like them because you really see everything the way they see it.  I think it’s the most realistic since no one can ever really get into anyone else’s head.  All we can do is see the world and life through our own eyes really.

 

I thought the same thing about why Ginny is so accepting of Vivi’s return based on a single letter.

 

Quote:  " "...you could easily end up living in a completely erroneous time frame." --p. 4

I'm wondering whether that is what she is already doing."

 

This is an interesting thought.

 

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

 

I wondered the same thing.

 

Quote: "I think the use of "Maud" and "Clive" instead of "Mom" and "Dad" is symptomatic of the same estrangement with and alienation from her family that the narrator shows when we learn that she has not spoken with her sister for fifty years."

 

I don’t think she is that estranged from her parents since she is living in the family house.

 

Quote: "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 agree, although I found Chapter 2 harder to get through than Chapter 1.  I’m hoping it picks up.

 

Quote: "I personally feel like the author does not do a great job describing things.  I find her to be way too verbose in her descriptions."

 

I agree. 

 

Off to read the comments on Chapter 2.

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bookfan08
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I like Adams style in this first chapter. She gives us just enough information to get us  intrigued. I wanted to know why had VIvi been away for so long, what was the significance of the bell tower. I think that this first chapter gets us used to Ginny's personality. I think because she has been living by herself in the house for so long she has created her own world and is very cut off from the real world.Her ocd about time is interesting also. I think this is because her sisters letter said she would be there at a certain time and Ginny is obsessing because Vivi is late.
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crazyasitsounds
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I did get the sense that time would be important in the novel--not just to the narrator, but also because you get the feeling that this is going to be one of those books that jumps from the present to the past & back again. It'll be particularly important if the temporal setting jumps around at the whim of the narrator's memory.
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womanryter
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think the narrator is a mature older woman, who, at the prospect of seeing her younger sister after a significant separation, is back in a child's mindset.  It's who she was when she last saw her sister.  I seems natural enough to me.  (maybe I'm disconnected from the world!)
 
If she hasn't seen her in 50 years, she doesn't have any significant adult memories of Vivi.  It seems natural for her to go back into her habit of watching the time and remembering how Vivi was always late.  There is probably some other event where the lateness is particularly memorable
 
She's also excited about the prospect of seeing her sister again, and being a recluse, her excitement is messing with her daily 'routine'.  I feel she's discombobulated, but naturally so given how sheltered and isolated she seems to keep herself.
 
Can we ever trust a first person narrator?  It's so one-sided!  I enjoy seeing her perspective.  Third person would take some of the curiosity away.  This is Ginny's story of her life and her sister, I hope it's a little off-center.  :smileyhappy:
 
-Lisa
Lisa Haselton

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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out


womanryter wrote:
I think the narrator is a mature older woman, who, at the prospect of seeing her younger sister after a significant separation, is back in a child's mindset. It's who she was when she last saw her sister. I seems natural enough to me. (maybe I'm disconnected from the world!)
If she hasn't seen her in 50 years, she doesn't have any significant adult memories of Vivi. It seems natural for her to go back into her habit of watching the time and remembering how Vivi was always late. There is probably some other event where the lateness is particularly memorable
She's also excited about the prospect of seeing her sister again, and being a recluse, her excitement is messing with her daily 'routine'. I feel she's discombobulated, but naturally so given how sheltered and isolated she seems to keep herself.
Can we ever trust a first person narrator? It's so one-sided! I enjoy seeing her perspective. Third person would take some of the curiosity away. This is Ginny's story of her life and her sister, I hope it's a little off-center. :smileyhappy:
-Lisa




womanryter:
A very thoughtful assessment. And, doesn't it feel good to type "discombobulated" every once in a while. What a word! :smileyvery-happy:
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corym
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Chapter 1 starts with a great opening line that catches your attention right away.  From reading this chaper, I don't think that Ginny is really that excited about her sister visiting.  It is more like dreed then being happy.  If they did not talk for so long, then I can see how she is nervous and maybe not that excited about her sister coming to see her.
 
 
It also appears that Ginny did not have a very close relationship with her parents since she refers to them by their first name vs. mother & father.
 
 
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