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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Loved this.  An Interesting way to explain the situation.....hehe
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



KxBurns wrote:


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?



I have to agree just because you live somewhere doesn't mean you are more entitled.  When my Grandfather passed on my Uncle just seemed to think that the house was now his since he lived in town and was the closest though it was "given" to my Mother.  It is just interesting how some people think they are entitled to things that they are not.  As to family loyalty they are the ones who tend to hurt us the most since they "see" us for who we are and who we could possibly be.....my thoughts anyway......
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Wow this is interesting. I never really noticed that she thought that she wasn't emotional.  I will have to go back and reread this chapter.  To me she appears to have a lot of them though she chooses not to show them to the world.
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: looking in the mirror and 20 minutes after 50 years



pigwidgeon wrote:
I actually think the narrator has taken a few hits here and there in this thread. As of the first chapter, I feel as though I can understand and connect with her, on various points. So she doesn't look in the mirror often, what does that really say? I have gone through the whole day, only to catch a glimpse of myself in a store window, or a random reflection, thinking (with a chuckle) "has my hair been sticking up like that all day", realizing that I hadn't looked myself in the mirror at all before that. Some people are not truly concerned about the perception of others, and in a house all alone, do you really need to be? Though, as a literary device, I can see this passing comment being an indicator that the narrator avoids looking into herself to keep from seeing what is there. And, it's hard to know at this early stage in the reading if she is feeling uncomfortable because of that, or because she is nervous upon her estranged sister's arrival. I tend to lean toward the latter, but we shall see.


LyndenMomof2 wrote:
...what is up with the time issue, so she's 20 minutes late after 50 years, at this point does it really matter?




There's been a bit of discussion about the narrator's "obsession" with time. I think there are people in this world, myself included, that find lateness disconcerting. Why should she be so specific about the time if she wasn't going to stick with her OWN schedule. Of course the narrator has butterflies (or moths :smileyhappy: ) about seeing her sister after 50 years, and her being late just makes it worse. Yes,... it really matters. For the 50 years, Vivi hasn't been expected home. Now, she states a specific time, and is expected, and continues on her own merry way with no regard for her sister who is waiting, nervously and patiently, for her. I am really interested to see how this aspect of their relationship plays out. (I can see it now "I always have to wait for you!" "Oh, come on! It's no big deal, don't worry about it." "How can I not worry with ALL of these clocks staring at me all the time!" hehe :smileyhappy: )

I am with you on people being late.  I make a point to be early and find it weird when people can't be on time.  I try to give people a little lee way since when driving things can occur that delay one.  I think this could have happened to Vivi.  I also wonder if maybe she showed up late on purpose.  Could Vivi have been nervous as well?
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



julyso wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


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.
 
 
I SO agree with both of you, I have not gotten into this story yet, but I sure hope I do and soon...






There were times, such as reading the first chapter, that I was intrigued and then all of a sudden I had to force myself to pick up the book to read the next few pages only to get intrigued again.  For so short of a book I found that there could have been a faster or at least more consistent flow to it.
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



tgem wrote:


Peppermill wrote:

time452play wrote:...I also see this author of having a talent to enable the reader to visualize the scenes and not just feel them.

From the perspective of a writer, is there a difference in the difficulty of those skills, i.e., creating the ability to visualize versus creating the ability to feel scenes?

Peppermill,
 
Thanks to your response to a couple of my posts. In response to this one - it reminds me of a discussion I had on another discussion board.  We found that avid readers have different levels of interest in the descriptions of the setting.  And some readers visualize in great detail, while others don't. 
 
 I tend to like a lot of description, because I don't visualize well on my own, and don't always feel the need to.  Reading is more emotional to me, but there's also just something about the words themselves and how they work together, that distinguishes poor, good, or great writing for me.  Sometimes I'll just read one paragraph and be thinking - wow! this is a great writer.  tgem



You have a point. I tend to love discription not because I can't visualize since I can way to vividly sometimes.  I just prefer to know the "facts" behind the character.  Granted for me light reading is somewhere in the neighborhood of about a thousand pages....hehe  I found that in someways she was excellent in the details and yet on others she was to long winded.  Since I don't wish to give Spoilers I will leave it at that.
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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jistamom
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Reading this chapter brought many questions for me and provided a hook that prodded me to keep reading to answer some of the questions.
 
I wondered why Vivi had been gone so long and what kind of relationship they sisters had kept up over the years - were there phone calls and letters?
 
I sensed a mental illness in Ginny - maybe some OCD with the obsession with time and all the clocks and prepartion for Vivi's visit.
 
I was wondering why Vivi was late and if something had happened to her along the way.
 
Ginny's mention of a perfect childhood made me wonder what had really happened during the girl's childhood and what was Ginny chosing to rewrite or forget in her own mind.
 
This may sound a bit strange but at one point I even wondered if Vivi was real or still alive or if Ginny had retreated to a delusional state and was creating a situation in which her long abentt sister was coming home.
 
The mental illness aspect and the possibilty of delusions comes from my own experiences living with foster and adoptive children who had developed severe mental illnesses as a coping measure in answer to some of the things they had been exposed to over the years. I wondered if Ginny was like one of these foster children and maybe that was one of the reasons that she called her parents by their first names because there was no emotional connection.
 
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CanTri
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



Everyman wrote:

>my first thoughts of the book were how well it's written.

At least for the time being, and I'm only through Chapter 5, I didn't find it that well written. It reads for me more like something written by a person who has read a number of books on writing and is trying hard to comply with their instructions rather than just writing out a story. But we'll have to see as the book progresses.




I'm only through ch. 5 and I'm having problems getting myself motivated to pick it up again. I'm finding it very simplistically written. Reading everyones comments is helping, you're pointing out a number of things that I hadn't thought about. I am amused reading the posts and seeing others loving it, I personally liked House at Riverton, but I know many of you didn't.

Kim
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niknak13
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I think that Poppy Adams has written an excellent first chapter.  The novel is easy to delve into and I immediately wanted MORE. 
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niknak13
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I wasn't sure where exactly to post this, so I apologize if it should have gone elsewhere.
I was further intrigued when I read in the Contents that the story takes place over just a few days.  I generally do not look at a Chapter Index because I don't want even a clue as to what lies ahead.  This time, however, I couldn't help but notice the days listed there, so I flipped the page to see how many were listed - trying all the while not to read the chapter titles :smileyhappy:
MLS
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MLS
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

[ Edited ]
 

          


Message Edited by MLS on 03-10-2008 08:19 PM
MLS
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MLS
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



applelarae wrote:
Everyman wrote:
 
>my first thoughts of the book were how well it's written.


At least for the time being, and I'm only through Chapter 5, I didn't find it that well written. It reads for me more like something written by a person who has read a number of books on writing and is trying hard to comply with their instructions rather than just writing out a story. But we'll have to see as the book progresses.
 
 
 
I absolutely agree. When I first picked the book up to start reading it my immediate impression was that I really didn't like the style of writing and I found the first person perspective a bit off putting. It didn't pull me into the story at all. I feel that looking at the first chapter and how Ginny stands at the window apprehensive about the arrival of her sister that she's unwelcoming so the book felt a bit unwelcoming.


                      I also am having a hard time getting into this story...especially disappointing after looking forward to it for so long.  I'm sure it will draw me in eventually. MLS
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bentley
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

[ Edited ]
When Ginni says that she senses she is about to be judged, this tells me that Ginni's inner voice has been judging Ginni herself for all of these years. Maybe she in some sense or within some dimension feels unworthy of the meeting or of the reunion. I wonder if Ginni knows how to live in the present moment or has the past become the only present which she relives day after day. Maybe she does not realize that the present is all we really have.

Right now I believe that Ginni's perception of herself is colored by her memories and "her story" as she has decided to tell it. This story I fear has been retold in Ginni's mind countless times before and maybe even she believes it as much as she believes anything about her life.

It is funny about time; have you ever been with an old girlfriend from college or high school and almost picked up where you left off. It is hard to tell right now. Will they recognize who they really are after all of these years and sense that down deep at the core that they have not changed at all.

I sense that everyone's world is being turned upside down by this return. I also cannot wait to hear about the incident which I suspect may have different slants and filters depending upon who is telling the story.

I have been busy so I am starting a bit later; but I know that I will catch up fast.

Message Edited by bentley on 03-11-2008 12:16 AM
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jasminarose
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I would have to say that when I started reading this chapter I returned to my high school days of recognizing some of the characteristics of characters. I find that the narrator is completely focused on time. She expects everyone and everything to care about the time. She seems very anxious and upset if things don't seem to be on time. She has been inside for so long, she must have nothing else to focus on. Makes her seem like she has a bad case of OCD, which might have developed after spending so many years alone. In this first chapter alone you realize that time is going to be the main theme of this book. You know that you will be thrust back and forth from the present to the past and back to the present again. Memories have a way of coming at you fast and make you forget about what is going on now.

You also notice that she seems to have learned how to spy on the outside world. She seems to be reclusive and hiding from whats out there. She sees the world as too vast and might have always thought that way, but is curious about the world out there. She also must not like her appearance too much, she seems afraid to look at herself. She might think of herself as someone who isn't worth looking at. It's hard to say, she just seems to be completely shut down.
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rstjm4
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Just from the first chapter I gather that our narrator is a recluse and has OCD. She looks out at the world and sees it through others eyes, rather than living life herself. When she mentions that she is the levelheaded one and has never been "an emotional person" this just stresses to me that she is a recluse. There are many things in this chapter that show that. She let other people live while she stood and watched. She doesn't know how to live life herself.
Why is Vivian coming home for good? It doesn't say specifically other than Vivian doesn't think they should grow old and die alone. Why now is she coming back? She hasn't been back in nearly 50 years. What would make her come back? There is a reason she left but what?
And what happened when Vivian almost died to set things in motion?
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m3girl
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Hope you are feeling better.
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KxBurns
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Re: looking in the mirror and 20 minutes after 50 years



Jaelin wrote:

Could Vivi have been nervous as well?


This is an interesting question. Conflicted feelings would certainly be natural in such a situation, and Vivi is probably feeling nervous as she makes her approach. But Ginny doesn't seem to imagine that her sister is having the same feelings -- the only mentality she attributes to Vivi in this opening chapter is that she is going to be judgmental. I wonder if this is a reflection of Vivi's actual personality (as Ginny knew her, when they were last together) or Ginny's own personality. Is it too early to guess?
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out



jasminarose wrote:
You also notice that she seems to have learned how to spy on the outside world. She seems to be reclusive and hiding from whats out there. She sees the world as too vast and might have always thought that way, but is curious about the world out there. She also must not like her appearance too much, she seems afraid to look at herself. She might think of herself as someone who isn't worth looking at. It's hard to say, she just seems to be completely shut down.

Yes, and it's telling that we get the impression she is not just observing her surroundings, surveying the property around her and the town, but spying. Spying implies secretiveness, right? Does Ginny herself think she's spying or is that how we, the readers, see it?
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Jennd1
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

Hi,

I just want to jump in and put my two cents in on some of the great points that are being raised in discussion. I think the cardy is more significant than I first thought because so few things have been kept. I also wonder why the sisters have not seen each other in 50 years and why Vivi is returning. I think the comment about one sister looking out and the other sister is looking in.

Jenn Doyle
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ezraSid
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Registered: ‎12-16-2007
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Re: Chapter 1: Look-out

I found it very interesting that she says she doesn't look at her reflection.  To be honest, how many of us do though.  we look at our faces, glance at our clothing, but how much do we really SEE.  I find her preoccupation with time interesting and wonder about the obsessive qualities she seems to display.  I wonder how she can think of herself as the level headed one after an absence of 40 years. 
~Grace~
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