Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Contributor
purplepaigeturner
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I felt the scene with the monster caterpillar was the ugliest scene I have ever read in any book- and that includes some Steven King-. It was awful but I could not stop reading it. And as I read it I became aware that it is a metaphor for something. But what? Any ideas? 
paige turner
Contributor
trolycar
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎01-31-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

so far from what I gather something else "happily" living its life "reproduced" its self deep inside of another thus its future preserved while the life of the other reduced to nothing -- sounds kinda like the impact of whole fall scene and the forever loss of Vivian's children on Ginny and recollection of the whole thing--hmm --anyone else
Wordsmith
BookWoman718
Posts: 220
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I definitely vote with those who could have stood far fewer paragraphs and pages about the details of moth life cycles, moth types, moth collecting, and moth habitats.  Analogies or not, this was far too much info. 
Contributor
AmyEJ
Posts: 13
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I'm not as bothered by the focus on the moths as others, I guess.  I found it was an interesting way to see how Ginny thinks and perhaps why.  It gave me some insight about her emotional detachment (it does seem somewhat inherited from her father).  And, no offense to any lepidopterists out there, but it seems only fitting for Ginny that she would be so fixated on something so different, even if it was an interest chosen for her. 
 
Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



purplepaigeturner wrote:
I felt the scene with the monster caterpillar was the ugliest scene I have ever read in any book- and that includes some Steven King-. It was awful but I could not stop reading it. And as I read it I became aware that it is a metaphor for something. But what? Any ideas? 



 I am glad I havent read a Stephen King book, then. Cause that was gross about the capterpillar.
Frequent Contributor
fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

The catapillar episode was kind of discusting.  I had trouble digesting it, and wonder how a 6 year old would deal with the reality of seeing it.
MG
Frequent Contributor
umlaut
Posts: 34
Registered: ‎01-29-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

While reading this chapter, what i gather till now was how much of Ginny's life has gotten like a moth. Just like a moth, which follows a predictable pattern, so has Ginny's life where her mom predicts, she will be following her dad's footsteps; which she does *very* well. Also, just as a moth, she has enclosed herself in this shell "her house" and seems to be waiting for something to happen, which is her sister coming home.
also, there seems to be a darker side to Ginny's which i believe is been bottled up by her, watching her dad @ work dissecting insects with pleasure doesn't seem to be helping her so far. In my view this child is asking for help and little attention, by getting closer to her dad, however but i don't see her dad seeing the cry for help.
Frequent Contributor
LisaMM
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎01-28-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



fordmg wrote:
The catapillar episode was kind of discusting.  I had trouble digesting it, and wonder how a 6 year old would deal with the reality of seeing it.
MG





I think a lot of 6 year olds would be fine with it and fascinated by it, because many kids that age are into bugs and creepy crawlies. 3 years ago, when my youngest daughter was 6, I caught her in the driveway with the neighbor kid frying ants with a magnifying glass and getting a huge kick out of it, because (in her words) it was at once "gross and awesome!"
www.lisamm.wordpress.com
Frequent Contributor
LizzieAnn
Posts: 2,344
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Equating Ginny's life with that of a moth is an interesting point of view.


umlaut wrote:

While reading this chapter, what i gather till now was how much of Ginny's life has gotten like a moth. Just like a moth, which follows a predictable pattern, so has Ginny's life where her mom predicts, she will be following her dad's footsteps; which she does *very* well. Also, just as a moth, she has enclosed herself in this shell "her house" and seems to be waiting for something to happen, which is her sister coming home.

also, there seems to be a darker side to Ginny's which i believe is been bottled up by her, watching her dad @ work dissecting insects with pleasure doesn't seem to be helping her so far. In my view this child is asking for help and little attention, by getting closer to her dad, however but i don't see her dad seeing the cry for help.


Liz ♥ ♥


Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested. ~ Francis Bacon
Frequent Contributor
fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup



Bedelia wrote:
WAY more about moths than I ever wanted to know! The plot of the sisters is too slow in forming!


I agree totally.  I am not finding the plot yet.
MG
Inspired Contributor
Jo6353
Posts: 683
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Right off the bat, I will admit that while the story of the monster caterpillar was riveting, I also thought it was pretty horrific. Are we intended to see the caterpillar’s being eaten alive from the inside out by maggots as a metaphor for something?

I was eating lunch while reading that. Jo
Correspondent
SandyS
Posts: 148
Registered: ‎12-28-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery



Frank_n_beans wrote:
This is a general question...but I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about the author's decision to use chapter titles?  I was a little thrown-off by it at first because I felt it was a little childish..but, at the same time, I understand the value in foreshadowing and creating a kind of road map for the reader.  Any thoughts on this?? 


I am really enjoying the chapter titles.  I find it interesting to see what Poppy Adams believes are "hot topics" for the chapter.  They help lead me along and summarize where we've been.
 
SandyS
CAG
Inspired Correspondent
CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I am thinking that the caterpillar scene is a metaphor for Ginny and her life within this family.
CAG
Frequent Contributor
BookSavage
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎01-11-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

I am sure that these items have all been brought up else where in this thread, but I have not been able to be on the board in a day or so and don't feel like reading through the 100 and something new posts.  So anyway, here are my thoughts on chapter five.
 
First of all, I continue to have a hard time "getting into" this novel.  I really don't feel like Adams does a good job developing a plot line.  I keep looking back at the summary and these two sisters revealing all these secrets and buried resentments, but yet I am five chapters in and the sisters have barely spent any time together.
 
The biggest thing that chapter five did for me was confirm my belief that Ginny has aspergers syndrom.  Here are a few passages that I think reflect that.
 
     Page 49: "The moths didn't interest Vivi so it was always me, rather than her, who volunteered to help Clive during the busiest times of the year and it was me, rather than Vivi, who followed him into the profession. Clive often told me that I'd make a great lepidopterist. 'Its in your veins,' he would say, 'Nobody can take that away from you."
 
                It is not unusual at all for those with AS to be very good in the math and science field.
 
   Page 50: "Even then I found eye contact with anyone outside of my family almost unbearable"
 
I also liked the fact that in this chapter you find out that even Ginny recognizes that she just lets things happen to her, that she is not an active force in her own fate.
 
Go Cubs Go!
Contributor
dordavis33
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Clive's obsession with perfecting the best malformed moth is disconcerting. I can understand part of his reasoning about understanding the moth species better by looking into abnormalities but I am also inclined to think that he has gone over the top too! Maybe his obsession alludes to the state of his family. With the emphasis on normality, maybe he is trying to understand the imperfections of his own family. Why is Ginny the way she is? Scientifically speaking, what happened to her during those prenatal months? maybe his experimentation and exploration with the moths is also his way coping...? Or he could really be into scientific exploration, but somehow that just simplifies the already thickening plot.
Frequent Contributor
pigwidgeon
Posts: 293
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: Lepidoptery


vivico1 wrote:

Frank_n_beans wrote:
This is a general question...but I'm curious as to what everyone thinks about the author's decision to use chapter titles? I was a little thrown-off by it at first because I felt it was a little childish..but, at the same time, I understand the value in foreshadowing and creating a kind of road map for the reader. Any thoughts on this??



I am with the person who said, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, for the chapter titles! I love books with chapter titles, Especially if I want to go back and find something in the book, or like for a discussion. I hate trying to remember what chapter NUMBER, the story of this or that was in, especially if its a long book. I am so glad in the last ARC, they decided to change the words at the top of each page from the name of the book, (We really do know that already) to the name of the chapter your in. I think that was awesome of them to do that. As for "foreshadowing", I think we over use the term in here. And for chapter titles, when you are reading a book just for enjoyment, do you really (meaning any of us) really look at the chapter title long and wonder - ohhh I wonder what that means and ponder it, or rather use it to find where you are and more than as a foreshadowing. When you are through or past that chapter its good as an indicator of what was just in it that you read and can now use to find your place again. Once you read a chapter, when you can really make a major connection between the chapter title and what is in it, especially if its a bit obscure, then I think the author did a good job at naming the chapters too. I do agree tho that sometimes titles are a bit childish, but I prefer them always, to none.




I, also, LOVE chapter titles, and a table of contents. I agree with vivico1, that after reading, it is easier to find a paragraph, or subject, using the titles. It also, lets the author direct your focus for that section, and call attention to, often subtle, parts of the story. For this reason, and others, I avoid the chapter titles and table of contents before I have read the book. I like to come across the titles fresh, at the beginning of each chapter, and I often feel as though they could be (mild to out-right) spoilers of the plot sometimes (so, YES, I do "really look at the chapter title long and wonder - ohhh I wonder what that means and ponder it" ). But, when you finish a thrilling chapter and think, "I'll just read the title of the next chapter", how are you not sucked back in (this has made for MANY late night reading sessions for me).

So, I guess what I'm saying is, I have yet to find chapter titles to NOT enhance my reading experience. Also, I like vivico1's idea of putting the chapter title at the top of the page, instead of the book title (we ARE well aware of what we are reading).
Frequent Contributor
pigwidgeon
Posts: 293
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup


JAZ wrote: The section on the monster caterpillar is something that will always stick in my mind. It also shows unemotional Ginny is.


bichonlover1 wrote: I felt the same way about the catapillar- how could one watch the destruction from within by maggots and not show a reaction . Ginny seemed stiff and not in touch with her emotions. And why would a father encourage a young child to watch a horrific thing like that.



I have to quite disagree. Ginny says, on page 48, "I've never been more afraid, before or since, and I was still riveted to the spot, holding my jumper stretched out in front of me, when Clive came out of his study. He saw me staring down, my face pale with horror.." and continues, "I whispered, not taking my eyes off it lest the revolting creature started to shimmy up my jumper... 'I've seen lots of Privet Hawks,' I said stretching my jumper to get it as far away as possible.. I hoped he (Clive) might throw it in the fire."

Yes, I agree that the description of this "process of nature" may have been extremely detailed and grotesque, but it hardly shows Ginny as the emotionless automaton that she seem to be continually painted as on this board. Are fear, disgust, and horror, not valid emotional responses? Ginny's responses to this situation are very much the same as those I have been reading from many people here. Are our emotional responses THAT different from hers? How would we feel if that Privet Hawk was on our sweaters (like Ginny), and not just on the page of a book? I think, quite a few (but surely not all) of us would hope someone would throw it in the fire as well.

Once the caterpillar was put into the tin, with a glass viewing lid, her initial reaction subsided (the "threat" part had been removed). Watching the process through the glass lid must have been much like watching it on TV. In that situation, I don't think her emotional reactions were far off either. When we watch some nature show on TV, depicting something like Ginny saw, yes, we have some emotional reaction (like "ewww" or "that's sad" ), but Ginny (like most people interested in the science of nature) felt it was awe inspiring to watch. "Well, that momentous event at six years old thrilled and disgusted me so much that I have been fascinate(d) by these creatures ever since."(pg.49) Is that not how a normal 6 year old would react? Like they couldn't keep themselves from saying "ewww" and "cool" at the same time. I'm not trying to insist that there is nothing askew with Ginny, just merely that I think she is being rather harshly categorized, and that it is possibly effecting our perceptions of the reading. Just a thought, feel free to disagree... :smileyhappy:
Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup


LisaMM wrote:

fordmg wrote:
The catapillar episode was kind of discusting. I had trouble digesting it, and wonder how a 6 year old would deal with the reality of seeing it.
I think a lot of 6 year olds would be fine with it and fascinated by it, because many kids that age are into bugs and creepy crawlies. 3 years ago, when my youngest daughter was 6, I caught her in the driveway with the neighbor kid frying ants with a magnifying glass and getting a huge kick out of it, because (in her words) it was at once "gross and awesome!"
Lisa -- great post from real life! Six-year olds do cut through the chaff sometimes!
"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
Frequent Contributor
pigwidgeon
Posts: 293
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Narrative Time in Chapters 1-5


krb2g wrote:
I'm interested in Poppy Adam's structuring choices for the book. The first five chapters, which are identified collectively as "Friday" in the Table of Contents, definitely move the story forward in the time of narration (Ginny waits for Vivian, Vivian arrives with her old dog, Ginny stalks/spys on Vivian as she moves about the house, the sisters argue about the sale of the furniture, and they eat pizza together), but Ginny also spends a large portion of this section (including almost the whole of Chapter 5) narrating ancient (well, say more than 50 years old), family history.

This split in time both creates and eases suspense--Vivian falls off the bell tower and nearly dies, we learn in the first chapter, and Maud's response to Ginny's possible role in the accident in the second chapter has troubled many of us, and so I think we're all waiting for more information about the bell tower accident specifically and Ginny's childhood and mental state more generally, but we also know that things will end up with Ginny living alone in her childhood house fifty-nine years later, waiting for Vivian to come.

Also complicating this dual narrative timeline (where back-story about Ginny and Vivian's past is filled in as they participate in a story happening in the "present day" ) is Ginny's unreliability as narrator. She seems unable to deal with people in emotionally healthy ways (she can't even welcome Vivian's dog to the house normally) and acts positively reclusive. Furthermore, she's talking about her childhood, which is a long time ago for her--and even if it weren't, childhood memories are not always the most reliable--especially considering that Ginny's already not very good at interpreting people.

I know it's far too early to make any final conclusions about why Poppy Adams chose to write her book by filling in a lot of past history while telling a present-day story, but I do want to remain aware of these structural choices and how they affect the way we interpret the information she has presented us.




I like the structuring of the book, and hope it will be successful, to the author's means, in the end. I also like the shifts from present to past. They imitate the ebb and flow of recollections and intimate conversation. Thirdly, I really enjoyed krb2g's assessment. Thanks!
Contributor
dordavis33
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎12-19-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Chapter 5: The Monster, the Thief and Pupal Soup

Ginny has definitely been a passive participant in her own life, but she doesn't she that as a problem because everything fell into place, which makes her believe that she is one of the "lucky ones". Maybe she believes that she was lucky because during that time frame women were not at the forefront of exciting careers but were more commonly housewives. If Ginny had/has some type of mental condition, she would have considered herself lucky because someone else was able to map out her life for her. A task that may have been too much for her considering the fact that she was just as content when her younger sister would plot out their days. Ginny was a follower, and if the course was mapped out for her, she followed.
Users Online
Currently online: 37 members 470 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: