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KxBurns
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Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

[ Edited ]

In this chapter, we witness Vivien's first homecoming alongside the evacuees of Bristol, as well as her fall from the bell tower, which evidently set her on a path that would lead away from the family home. The fall appears to have been a formative experience in Ginny's life, as well, and I got the distinct impression that Ginny's role in the fall is questioned by Maud and Dr. Moyse. But why? To what do you attribute Ginny's unemotional response to the accident?

The description of Bulburrow Court is wonderful and paints such a dramatic image of the estate in my mind. It seems that the house – both the physical structure and its contents – constitutes something of a shrine to this family, and that both the structure and the family are in a state of deterioration.

Lepidoptery sounds like a rather predatory activity, doesn't it?: "…they had scoured the earth in a bid to kill and pin every poor insect that crossed their path" (p. 10).

The sisterly dynamic is alluded to numerous times throughout this chapter. How would you characterize Ginny and Vivi's respective roles?

One thing that struck me was how Ginny's fate seems so utterly tethered to Vivi's (at least in Ginny's mind). Ginny says: "…whilst she was on that stretcher I actually saw her Entire Future giving up the struggle to survive and leave her and at the same time I felt my own future reduced to a dead and eventless vacuum, a mere biological process" (p. 15). Interesting...

Are we to gather from the end of this chapter that neither sister had children? If that is the case, then how or why does Ginny believe that children are "what life was all about and nothing else mattered" (p. 21)?  I suppose we'll find out!

Karen



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-03-2008 01:31 PM
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LisaMM
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

The most curious thing to me in this chapter is the attention paid to Ginny by the doctor and the veiled accusation of Maud that Ginny had something to do with the fall. Why would they think that? Do they think she has some kind of evil intent toward her sister? Do they think she has some sort of mental illness? It's curious.
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FrankieD
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Cool !!! It's not just me,because I thought the doctor's inquisition was a bit much...and wondered if there were thoughts that she was guilty of something. Perhaps this will come back later on...we'll have to wait and see.
                                     FrankieD :smileyhappy:
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

Similar thoughts occurred to me.  Why would the mother automatically assume that Ginny may have pushed Vivi?  It makes me wonder if there were things Maud saw in Ginny that made her uncomfortable - things that Ginny herself doesn't see or realize are off-kilter.  Her lack of emotion did bother me. 
 
The doctor made me uncomfortable, especially when Ginny tells of how he always seemed to wanted to talk to and question her - how he tried to imply some sort of camraderie. 
 


LisaMM wrote:

The most curious thing to me in this chapter is the attention paid to Ginny by the doctor and the veiled accusation of Maud that Ginny had something to do with the fall. Why would they think that? Do they think she has some kind of evil intent toward her sister? Do they think she has some sort of mental illness? It's curious.


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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LizzieAnn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

The sisterly dynamic is alluded to numerous times throughout this chapter. How would you characterize Ginny and Vivi's respective roles?
 
I'm reminded of that vine that attaches itself to a tree and grows up and off it.   Ginny is like that vine - she seems to live through Vivi.  Vivi comes across as so alive, while Ginny is more robotic - the way she refers to her parents as Maud & Clive, the way she seems to analyze things, the way she just seems to go along in life.
 
 
The conversation between Clive & Maud on page 16 is also intriguing.  When Maud mentions that it's her fault . . . thought they could live like a normal family, etc.  Has Ginny always exhibited signs that her mother thought are less than normal?  Is there a family history of unstableness that Maud's worried about? 
 
I can't wait to see what develops.
Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
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DSaff
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I enjoyed the description of Bulburrow Court, even with its failings. It has character and history. One of my favorite lines is found on pg. 13 - "It was on this platform, under this bell, in our own little turret, that we found just enough space for two small children to dream." What a marvelous spot, a place I wish was available to more children today. A place to dream.

It is odd that Ginny doesn't display emotion when her sister is hurt. I found the disagreement between her parents about being a "normal" family (page 16) interesting. It makes me wonder if something is wrong with Ginny. And, what's up with Dr. Moyse? I'm not sure I like him, but hope to find out more about his purpose there. While Vivi is technically going to be ok, I wonder if her fall and injury will affect the sisters as they grow up. Our author made a point of saying that Vivi was still a child, not yet old enough to desire one of her own (pg. 21).
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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Laurabairn
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

There were two things that struck me as odd and revealing of Ginny's character  in  this chapter. Once the evacuees had gone back and only baby Vivi remained , her mother had to explain to Ginny..." She's your sister...this is her home" . Ginny would have been six by then, normally an age where siblings have already made important bonds. Was she such a different kind of girl, even as a child, that she wouldn't have
noticed? 
 
The calling of her mother by her given name, Maud, not Mom or Mama or Mother really bothers me too. Something seems very strained about this family. The comment by Maud " I thought we could just be a normal family" (pg 16) also makes me wonder what other secrets have been hidden from us. Why aren't they normal?
 
The doctor seemed a very odd persona to me as well. I almost wondered about a svengalli like relationship there...like she was a project for him. His interest seemed clinical and detached but more like a scientist than a doctor. . Wait...I haven't read beyond chapter 5 yet, but I'm getting an eery freeling about the reasons for this. Anyone else? I don't want to spoil things if my speculation is accurate, but the expirments with moths as a vehicle for understanding human life and Ginny's oddness suddenly have an uncanny connection.
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reddoglady
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I also wondered about the "normal" family aspect -- and what's up with the doctor -- guess all will be told --
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



Laurabairn wrote:
There were two things that struck me as odd and revealing of Ginny's character  in  this chapter. Once the evacuees had gone back and only baby Vivi remained , her mother had to explain to Ginny..." She's your sister...this is her home" . Ginny would have been six by then, normally an age where siblings have already made important bonds. Was she such a different kind of girl, even as a child, that she wouldn't have
noticed? 
 

It seems that she wants to make her level of emotional detachment acceptable by classifying herself as "sensible" and "levelheaded". 

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lcnh1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I picked up on the "normal family" comment also and wondered what it meant.   
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sbrinkley
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

i wonder if they might think genny was jealous of her sister for being what seems outgoing and maybe center of attention and they thought she lived in vivian shadow
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carriele
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

KX Burns wrote:

The sisterly dynamic is alluded to numerous times throughout this chapter. How would you characterize Ginny and Vivi's respective roles?

________________________________________________________________________________

I find the relationship between the sisters to be quite interesting.  We learn that Vivi is the leader and Ginny the follower.  Vivi is more creative and outgoing but she is also the YOUNGER sister.  That's puzzling to me. 

Concerning the rest of the chapter, I, too, was puzzled by what Maud meant when she said.  "It's all my fault.  I thought we could be a normal family."  I can't wait to find out more. 

Carrie E.

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MelissaW
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I had the same thoughts when I was reading this chapter.
 
Why did Maud jump to the conclusion that Ginny had done something?
 
The doctor made me nervous as well.  It seems like he was trying to be her best friend and yet, he seemed to be searching for something.  Proof that Ginny had somehow hurt Vivi?
 
 
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dhaupt
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I had my suspicion that Maud and Clive were mom and dad and now I am wondering why Ginny was calling them by their first names I guess something else to be sought out later.
Lepidoptery sounds like you turn in to a werewolf at the full moon (ha).
I like that the family is generous in that they took in the evacuees during the war.
I thought it very strange that Maud and the doctor spent so much time w/Ginny about Vivi's accident, I wonder if they had cause to think she had something to do with it, and Maud alludes to the fact that there might be something "off" in Ginny on page 16 when Ginny overhears her parents talking and Maude says "There must be something ___".
We know for sure that Vivi didn't have any children of her own, but we don't find out if Ginny did for sure
The author takes a lot of time describing the house I wonder if this house has talking walls.
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ginger81
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I was wondering the same thing. I know this is probably pretty far fetched, but it reminded me of the movie The Good Son. Since we only get to hear Ginny's side of the story, we will have to question validity on all accounts.
 
 
GW
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kmensing
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I'm wondering why Ginny calls her parents by name, is this just a family quirk?  We find out that their parents take in all those evacuee children....such patience they must have had!  hehehe! 
 
pg. 13 "I thought when God made Vivi he was giving me a window to see the world in a different way."---I love this quote.
 
Do you sense that their parents are blaming Ginny for Vivi's fall?  What leads them to this conclusion?  And why is Ginny so unaffected emotionally by this incident?
 
In the end of the chapter we learn that Vivi can never have children.  I'm also sensing from chapter 1 that Ginny never had kids either---why I wonder?
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kbbg42
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

The impression that I got of Ginny from the Bell Tower chapter is that she is a budding sociopath. With her inability to express emotions her inability to "connect" with her family. The way she calls her parents Maude and Clive. Did you notice when the Doctor asked where her mother was Ginny answered "Maude is upstairs"? Also the Doctor's questioning of her and his "interest" in her. Could the Doctor be a Psychiatrist? Remember he couldn't cure her warts,Clive had to freeze them off with the liquid nitrogen.
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trolycar
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

{ I got the distinct impression that Ginny's role in the fall is questioned by Maud and Dr. Moyse. But why? To what do you attribute Ginny's unemotional response to the accident?}

I think it was questioned because it may very well have been presupposed that Ginny is naturally envious of her younger sibling. I think Ginny may very well had no emotion in which to react -- she seems to be --at least to this point an average person just living to satisfy all of her sister whims -- her sister is happy so is Ginny she is sad and Ginny exhibits a loss as if how does one respond --so without her younger sibling Ginny's own light dims and she doesn't have much left of her own self --- let alone emotions in which to handle the situation at hand.
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower



DSaff wrote:
I enjoyed the description of Bulburrow Court, even with its failings. It has character and history. One of my favorite lines is found on pg. 13 - "It was on this platform, under this bell, in our own little turret, that we found just enough space for two small children to dream." What a marvelous spot, a place I wish was available to more children today. A place to dream.


Here is a picture of a Victorian folly castle, which is how Poppy Adams describes Bulburrow court in her letter.
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lcnh1
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Re: Chapter 2: The Bell Tower

I wonder if Ginny's unemotional response to Vivi's fall is more Ginny's recollection of the events 50+ years later rather than her actual response at the time. 
 
I somewhat had the impression with the conversation between Ginny's parents that Vivi might have been the more favored child by Maud.  That might have played into why Maud was so upset and seemed to almost accuse Ginny of pushing Vivi.
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