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CathieS
Posts: 37
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



MsMorninglight wrote:
 
I felt saddened by Ginny's experiences at school.  Anyone who was never one of the "cool kids" can relate to her not fitting in.  It was even sadder to see that Vivi didn't do what she could to make it less difficult for her sister.  It appears Ginny is not only a head strong young woman, but also a very self-centered one. And reading on in the chapter, the way she's just bulldozed herself in the house, having furniture delivered etc., she's definitely spoiled and used to having her way.
 

I dont know that we can necessarily expect Vivi to protect her sister.  When they started at school they were 13 and 10.  Is a 10 year old equiped to take on her sisters battles?  The other thing that I wonder about is if she was even aware of them.  The book states that Vivi was 10 and starting in the lower fourth.  I wonder if Vivi was in the elementary school portion and Ginny in the Junior High/Middle School portion.  Some schools don't allow for much interaction between the two age groups.  It's sounds like they might have had to sneak to see each other.  Page 42.  "I didn't see her much.  When we did meet, it would be behind the bins in the changing rooms in the quad....." 
 
It could still be that Vivi couldn't cope with her unpopular sister or it could also be Ginny only sees it that way.
 
At this point,  I really think it's just Ginny's interpretation of the situation.  I really think now that maybe Michael has called her home to take care of her sister.  In Chapter 2 we learn that Michael does the grocery shopping and takes out the trash even though he isn't paid.  I almost suspect that he may have called Vivi home and that's why she is here after all these years,  to take care of Ginny who maybe can't be alone anymore even though she isn't aware of it.
 
Cathie
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swamplover
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



ClaudiaLuce wrote:
After reading the speculation that Vivien actually died during her accident, here is another take for us to consider.  How about Ginny / Vivien being one and the same person.  The Vivi personality could have been buried deep inside for 50 years after having been prominent during childhood, then suddenly reappeared. Just a thought!



Yes, perhaps a split personality.  That would account for the "package deal" at school and both having to leave at the same time.  And retreating into herself may mean coming out as the "other" personality.  The question still remains - why, after 50 years, is she returning?  Of course, if Ginny is really a very unreliable narrator AND a split personality, maybe Vivi has been "coming back" repeatedly all this time, but Ginny does not remember any of those times. We are just seeing this particular return.  And keep in mind that the present narrative occurs during only a 4-day period.  Looking at the Contents pages, I wonder if it is significant that the section titled "Today" has no chapters.
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I found it very disconcerting that a mother would teach (help) her daughter retreat inside herself to a point of shutting out the world. It doesn't matter how long a time it is. Who was helping Ginny cope? I don't see that from what we know about the Dr. What is Ginny learning to hide from?
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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kmensing
Posts: 110
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Ginny describes Maud as near perfect (which she also thinks of Vivi) and Clive of more like herself--"he wore slippers to a luncheon".  Is this her way of blaming Maud for her own faults--what happened between mother & daughter?
 
Ginny describe the sisters relationship as picking up right where it left off, and Vivi is once again in charge.  Does Ginny want to release all her responsibilities to Vive, does this make her more comfortable? 
 
Ginny thinks "why is it now, after all these years, that she's decided to come home?"  Aren't we all curious?
 
 
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kmensing
Posts: 110
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

"""but I have to wonder if Vivi didn't actually die when she fell off the roof, and if her return isn't being imagined by a lonely, senile Ginny"""
 
OH!  I love this theory.  I read another book with that type of ending & I was blown away!
 
 
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psujulie
Posts: 52
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I'm a little confused about why Ginny has put Maud and Vivien on this pedestal. I could understand it a little more if she aspired to be more of a social person, but I just wasn't thinking that she valued that character trait. Maybe I'm way off base and she just isn't able to be social.
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Laurabairn
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎08-25-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Well I'm glad I'm not the only one with crazy speculations early on. Yesterday my pet theory was Ginny was a product of some gene mutation her father had begun and that was what made her such an oddball.I know..pretty crazy...still
 
I read some of yesterdays postings about early life exposures changing you and it made me think what kind trauma had occured that would cause such damage. The title made me think....The Sister....which Sister...
was there another sister...one we know nothing about...perhaps a twin or an sibling who died unexpectedly and was never talked about??? Ok...it's pure speculation...Does anyone else have an out-of the box theory?
I'd love to hear them!
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



GMorrison wrote:
I know it's extremely premature speculation, but I have to wonder if Vivi didn't actually die when she fell off the roof, and if her return isn't being imagined by a lonely, senile Ginny. (Think something along the lines of The Others or Surrender.) My suspicions have only been deepened by Maud's "training" of Ginny to "take refuge" (I'd say withdraw) deep within herself instead of confronting and dealing with her problems.

And there you have it, folks! My pet theory 39 pages into the novel:-)

GMorrison




Wow. I hadn't thought about this either, but what a twist that would make! Interesting theory.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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BookSavage
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎01-11-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



Everyman wrote:


Tasses wrote:
... >Ginny is hiding something and whatever it is, it's not going to be pretty (little prediction there).

Vivi seems like a normal well-adjusted person.>

I agree with you about Ginny.

I don't so much agree about Vivian. I don't think the way she's taking over the house that Ginny has lived in for fifty years is normal or well-adjusted. It's unusually bossy and controlling.

Although we have had our disagreements already, I am glad to see that someone else does not think that Vivi is normal.  I found her storming in after 40 years to very unusual and bothersome.
Go Cubs Go!
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BookSavage
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎01-11-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



LisaMM wrote:
I haven't seen this mentioned (maybe I missed it). I'm intrigued by the section on p. 42 that reads:

"She's on the other side of the landing from my bedroom, through the glass-paned double doors, and I've not been in that part of the house for more than forty years. I doubt I'd even be able to. I wouldn't feel safe. It's not for superstitious reasons, I'm far too levelheaded for that. It's just not what I call the Normal Order of Things. I do like Order."

Ok, a couple things. Why the weird capitalization in the last 2 sentences? Why doesn't she feel safe in that part of the house? What happened there?

I was going to post about this portion of the text, but instead I will just respond to your post.  This definetly made me think that something happened in the house.  I was not like a lot of other posters in feeling like there was something sinister earlier in the novel, but this passage really made me wonder.  I got the feeling even that she chose to make the house smaller and smaller as her life became longer, and to her once a part of your life is over, then you don't go back to it and revisit it.
Go Cubs Go!
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

In this chapter I was saddened by the taunts of the other girls toward Ginny but having experienced things like that myself I'm not surprised, children really never change.
As far as Vivi's not helping Ginny at school I really don't find that odd, I think maybe this is where Vivi finally begins to find herself as an individual and realizes that Ginny isn't her whole world like at home. I agree that Maud contributed maybe Ginny's social inadequate behavior, but maybe in dealing with Clive and seeing them so alike she thought that treating Ginny the same way was best. Who knows we've all made mistakes as parents, children don't come with directions. I find that reading more about Ginny reminds me of my grandmother when Ginny would change to teabags but still use a teapot, how set in their ways they get and change comes always at a price. It also amazes me how all of us of a certain age where we were constantly subjected to things that today our parents would be put in jail for. Like riding in the back of a car with harmful chemicals bouncing around.
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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot


BookSavage wrote:


Everyman wrote:


Tasses wrote:
... >Ginny is hiding something and whatever it is, it's not going to be pretty (little prediction there).

Vivi seems like a normal well-adjusted person.>

I agree with you about Ginny.

I don't so much agree about Vivian. I don't think the way she's taking over the house that Ginny has lived in for fifty years is normal or well-adjusted. It's unusually bossy and controlling.

Although we have had our disagreements already, I am glad to see that someone else does not think that Vivi is normal. I found her storming in after 40 years to very unusual and bothersome.



You know, it may not be that vivi is not "normal". It could be what does happen sometimes when its single women and they get older and one is dominant. Sometimes, a woman can just say, I am coming home for good, under the guise of you needing help because of your age, or wanting to make things right after many years or whatever, when what is often happening is the one who left and made a life for themself, now finds their life falling apart financially and has no one but the sister, or brother living at home alone too, so they go home, but not letting on that they are the one needing help, no longer feeling the successful one or having any resources. They want to maintain some feeling of being in charge of their life, so they come home acting as if thats what they are still doing, for you, not for them. It does happen.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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SleightGirl
Posts: 26
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

I think that Maud teaches Ginny to retreat as a coping mechanism.  We know that Maud isn't quite the normal parent, so I think she's passing on her knowledge and what has worked for her to Ginny.  This could mean that Maud has something that she needs to retreat from too.
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DreamAngel052986
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎01-26-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

In this chapter it seems that Ginny is trying to make sence of why her sister has returned after all those years... what does she want...what is there that was worth her coming back. it seems that Ginny is trying to understand and protect herself and her home.  personally i would do the same things that Ginny is doing.
 
 
I do agree that their mother was kinda blind to what was going on and it didnt seem that if she knew she would do something about it.
 
 
 
Caitlin
"Literature is my Utopia. Here I am not disenfranchised. No barrier of the senses shuts me out from the sweet, gracious discourses of my book friends. They talk to me without embarrassment or awkwardness."
Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)
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dubbuh
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Registered: ‎02-04-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

Ohhh. Split personality. I love it.  I had just gone so far as to think that maybe Ginny is dead and Vivi is coming back to claim the place.  It seems like Vivi almost ignores Ginny and her feelings to the point where she may not even be there at all.
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lcnh1
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Registered: ‎01-31-2008
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

It didn't surprise me either that Vivi would not help her sister when they were at school.  As another reader pointed out, Vivi may have realized that there was a whole other world out there that did not include her parents or sister.  She was taking the opportunity to discover what she wanted out of life - even at a young age.  Vivi always seemed more sure of herself.
 
What I found odd was that Maud and Clive decided that both should start school at the same time.  I'm not sure what it is with Ginny's personality.  She does appear to have some OCD traits as an adult, but did she have them as a child??  I would have thought she would have benefitted more had she been sent to school earlier rather than being forced to be Vivi's shadow.
 
I am also very intrigued by the posting that Ginny and Vivi might be the same person - different personalities manifesting themselves.
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dubbuh
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

[ Edited ]
Back in chapter 2 on page 15 I made a note that the two sisters were almost biologically connected.  What happens to one happens to the other.  If this isn't a true multiple personality in one person, their lives definitely are intertwined in some way, even though they are very different in many ways. 
 
 


Message Edited by dubbuh on 03-04-2008 09:51 AM
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GMorrison
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎12-20-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot



ClaudiaLuce wrote:
After reading the speculation that Vivien actually died during her accident, here is another take for us to consider.  How about Ginny / Vivien being one and the same person.  The Vivi personality could have been buried deep inside for 50 years after having been prominent during childhood, then suddenly reappeared. Just a thought!





I was wondering about that too, ClaudiaLuce. I think that explanation might better explain one of the hazily-related events in Chapter 5 (which is why I didn't mention it here), although one wonders why, if that theory is true, Ginny has no one around to care for her.
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sbrinkley
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-02-2007
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

i questioned that to. what kind of mother would encourage their daughter to withdraw from the "real world" to hide inside her head. and if ginny and vivi are so close why does ginny spy on vivi and not just go up there and so what was going on. and why does ginny think she could not enter that part of the house where vivi is. this book brings out so many questions for me, i can't wait to find the answers
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LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapter 4: Belinda's Pot

That would definitely make an interesting twist to the story. 
Liz ♥ ♥


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