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BookSavage
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



 
Given the premise that there might be something mentally or pyschologically different with Ginny, I felt that the card games with Dr. Moyse may have been some sort of evaluation of her state, an ongoing testing of her mental health. The fact that the book up to this point was not more definitive as to what was "wrong" with Ginny (and one gets that feeling something is wrong almost from the beginning) has been very unsettling for me; I find myself searching for clues to this puzzle and losing focus on the story line...
 
Pat


It is not hard to lose your focus on the story line because there has been no story line so far.  Although I did enjoy chapter five and six more than the first chapter, Adams still has shown no ability to actually develop a plot line and I wonder if this novel is ever going to go anywhere.  Debating Ginny's mental condition is about the only redeeming factor to this book.
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BookSavage
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



swamplover wrote:
After finishing the first 5 chapters, I'm convinced of the following:
 
Ginny definately has some "condition"  - whether Asperger's Syndrom, OCD, or something else is not clear to me yet.  It's surely not split personality with Vivi and Ginny the same person, a possibility I had considered earlier.
 
There is an absolute metaphor between Ginny's life and the life of moths.  It is everywhere.  She sees life in that way too - although she may not be conscious that she does, or that it is unusual in any way.  For instance: "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now".   The lack of struturre is what is occurring in the pupal stage, the "pupal soup" referrred to in the Ch. 5.  And yet in Ch. 3 (p 39) she says, "I can feel the start of Vivien's and my relationship re-forming again . . .." And she goes on to comment - complain? - that is is exactly the same, not matured at all.  When the caterpillar re-forms inside the cocoon, it matures and comes out a moth.  She expects that the relationship should re-form and come out something else.  But what? 
 
I personally love all the scientific references and description.  Reminds me a bit of Barbara Kingsolver's Prodigal Summer  in that respect.  But then I suppose I'm something of an science geek  as I have a degree in Environmental Science.  Note my name  :smileywink:
 
 


I couldn't help but think of Prodigal Summer as well, especially due to the fact that moths are talked about in both if I am not mistaken.
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



pheath wrote:


BookSavage wrote:


MsMorninglight wrote:


LizzieAnn wrote:
Her obsession is so strong that I can't help but think it's been a part of her for a long time.
Possibly. But she did say "As I've grown older I've realized how essential it is keeping time, being on time & knowing time." But the irony & mystery are, why is time so important to her? She doesn't leave the house, she doesn't interact with people; it doesn't sound like she even works with her moths & butterflies any longer.
She also says, "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now". I wonder, is it really Death that she fears? That would be the ultimate timelessness for some.



I think this is a very good analysis that has not been mentioned before. I would agree with you that Ginny is very afraid of death.





I'm not sure. I think she would see death as the logical conclusion of the predetermined mechanical process in which she is caught up.

I agree with your take on it, pheath. More than death, I believe Ginny's fear of the endless now is representative of fearing dementia, which Clive developed...
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erina
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

So many years later Ginny is still tormented by the fall?  Perhaps Vivi did die in the fall and is now coming back to Ginny or maybe Ginny's role in the fall is more than she is letting on. 
 
The element of time is bothering me.  Ginny has 6 clocks, one watch on each wrist.  I don't know if it's insomnia or pure loneliness.  She mentions that she will not know when Michael is coming if one clock is off. 
 
55 minutes to make a bed?  I know that I would not feel comfortable sleeping in my parent's bed after they died.  I thought this was odd how she had a house full of furniture and she kept their bed.  Does anyone else think this odd?  Perhaps this is security for her. 
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



KxBurns wrote:

I thought there was much support in this chapter (which represents our entry into Saturday) for some of the ideas we've already discussed.

 

As Ginny lies awake, suffering from insomnia, she hears the bell and admits she hears it often: "…I know it's not the real bell at all, but that faint, relentless ringing in my ears, the reverberation of that single strike still trapped, rebounding round my head…" (p. 61-62). She later (top of p. 73) reiterates the singular impact that Vivi's fall had on her life. I think this is all pretty indicative of a guilty conscience; do you agree?

 

The strange issue of Dr. Moyse is developed a little bit further – first we learn more about his visits, during which he played games with Ginny (the simplicity of which probably hide their deeper purpose from her), and then Vivi makes reference to some recurring and "peculiar" dreams that Ginny has about Dr. Moyse (p. 67). This statement could support suspicions that Dr. Moyse engaged in inappropriate behavior, but I think Vivi's comment points more to her knowing something about Ginny that Ginny herself does not know. What do you think?

 

Ginny reveals that "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now" (p. 64). But Vivi's arrival has certainly prompted the return of old memories, which Ginny describes as invading her head earlier in the chapter. It will be interesting to see if the distinction between memories and the present starts to dissolve for Ginny.

 

What did you take from Ginny's account of Maud and Clive's love affair? The passage underscores the difference between being "fond" of something and wanting to protect it, and being "fascinated by it," wanting to "unravel" its mysteries. This dual approach might dovetail nicely when it comes to nature, but can you see any difficulties it might cause in parenting?

 

The main interaction between the sisters in this chapter illustrates the push and pull between Ginny's desire for intimacy with her sister and her impulses toward isolation. Which do you think is winning out for now? What did you make of Vivi's curious reaction to the bed in Ginny's room?



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-05-2008 12:29 PM

I found this chapter interesting.  I am wondering if Ginny's "guilt" is not due to the fact that she had anything to do with Vivi's fall as to that she didn't do anything to keep her from falling.  She was so intrigued by watching Vivi fumble with her toast that she didn't see the significance of where she was perched.  Kind of like dropping a glass/cup and trying to grab it before it shatters on floor and missing the cupboard that is going to come up and clobber you in the head or hand or other body part.....glass shatters anyway and so does the pain.....  Could be a case of survivors guilt as well.....Why her and not me? 
 
Dr. Moyse strikes me as odd and yet not.  He does appear to know something about Ginny.  To me it appears that he is serious with her because she is intelligent and does not need to be "led" by the hand on most subjects.  I keep getting the overall impression that Ginny is very intelligent if a bit eccentric. 
 
Clive and Maud seem to be completly polar opposites.  "Opposites Attract" seems to be an apt cliche here.  In many ways they get on fabulously yet there is an underlying sense of unforgiving betrayal going on.  As if someone said it was going to be one way and yet it isn't.  It is as if the fairy tale beginning did not become the fairy tale ending and morphed into something other.  This would have made parenting a little difficult if Maud saw what she didn't "like" in Ginny because of Clive and vice versa with Vivi and Clive. 
 
this "push and pull" that you speak of is interesting.  My hubby is military and tends to have to leave often for his job.  There are times when I am so happy he is gone since I can do what I want and others when I miss him horribly.  This is what I think of when I look at Ginny and Vivi.  She wants her there yet she doesn't.  It almost makes her feel guilty to have these thoughts and yet she can't help herself. 
 
The bed may have brought back memories for Vivi that reminded her of her mother.  Since it appears that Maud and Vivi were alike she may have spent a lot of time near or on that bed while getting ready for an outing with Maud.
 

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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kanellio65
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology--I agree with Book Savage!

I totally agree with Pat and Book Savage about the book so far. I LOVE to read and this is my first post and first book club online. I am REALLY trying to "get into" this book but like you said, there isn't much to be interested in so much so that I have to look for it and hope it gets better SOON! I found the first 5 chapters especially SO FULL of tedious details that I almost started to skim. I also agree with Pat who said it is easy to lose focus! I don't need THAT much description of every last thing to create a mental image. I DO NEED the story to move a bit faster as I soon will not care about these possibly intriguing characters unless there is more than just description of everything from a tea bag to a tree! I think the important parts like the caterpillar, etc, are parts that are quite telling but it still drags too much for me. I have found in all my many years of reading that life is too short to torture myself reading something if I really can't get into it. I used to force myself to finish every book I bought no matter what. But as I have grown older and my priorities change (and by the way, I am a reading teacher) I don't torment myself! I am a bit behind schedule (probably because of this) but if I get to chapter 10 today and it still drags, I'm afraid this is one butterfly that will just have to fly away!

Also, I agree with so many who said the book cover has to grab their attention but this one surely doesn't. The butterflies almost made me think of Silence of the Lambs but the statue turned me away! Sorry to be negative but SO MUCH wanted to love this experience and so far, no! Any hints from those of you who I envy the time to post so much?
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nfam
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

In this chapter we get a clearer picture of Ginny's peculiarities. I wonder if they date from Vivi's accident, are a product of old age, or perhaps Ginny was always strange. I was also struck by the discussion of Dr Moyse playing cards with Ginny. Was it related to the accident, or was there another reason that it was necessary for him to work with Ginny?

Vivi illustrates by her behavior the lack of boundaries between the sisters. However, in the present day, Ginny seems unsure of whether she wants to allow the intimacy they had known in the past.

Ginny's description of watching the house being taken over by nature, crumbling into a ruin seems appropriate for the family as well. She describes the encroaching devastation in a very scientific way. I'm sure Vivi doesn't see it this way. I thought that was part of the reason for her fascination with the bed. It was a way of recreating childhood and the way things were.

Nancy
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nfam
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

It is not hard to lose your focus on the story line because there has been no story line so far. Although I did enjoy chapter five and six more than the first chapter, Adams still has shown no ability to actually develop a plot line and I wonder if this novel is ever going to go anywhere. Debating Ginny's mental condition is about the only redeeming factor to this book.



I have to agree that this book is slow going from the plot standpoint. We have lots of references to the mystery of Ginny's behavior, but the driving force is lacking. I guess this book comes under the heading of character study, but it's a rather slender premise on which to build a novel.

Nancy
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thefamilymanager
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

I think the saying "Method to her Madness" definitely applies to this chapter.  We see a lot of OCD tendancies in Ginny and truly some reasoning why she is the way she is.  The author has built up to this extremely slowly through the other chapters but the precisness of being a scientist has flowed into her life. The scientist portion has completely enveloped her entire way of thinking.  Everything has to be done exactly the same way....kind of like a control experiment. 
 
I don't think the Dr. may be evil as much as he's assessing Ginny's mental capacity with his games.
 
I also think Clive and Maude realize that the only way for Ginny to function was to be a scientist with her father so that her father might be able to protect her. 
 
I do feel that the author tends to go into too much detail with the moths, etc. This book is moving slower than I thought it would.
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 6: Methodology

Yes, Ginny is exhibiting OCD more and more often as she grows up. Apparently, her parents recognize something is "not right" with her and perhaps that is the reason for the frequent visits by the doctor.
Psychiatry wasn't common at the time of this novel. Most counseling was through the family doctor. Unfortunately, that also meant the patient didn't get any true help and that seems to be what occurs with Ginny. Her mental illness only gets worse and now, she's very far advanced with her obsessive behaviors.
Due to that, it's not surprising she is the daughter who remained in the family home. Change was difficult for her, as exhibited in the earlier chapter when her parents tried to send the two girls to school. When that didn't work, she was so happy to get back home.
 
I do agree that the author tends to ramble on and on about the moths. I realize they are important to the story, but there comes a point where enough is enough.
I've noticed that I tend to get bogged down in the moth description parts and begin skimming through them. I worry that I may be missing important points when that happens.
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BookSavage
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



lamorgan wrote:
Yes, Ginny is exhibiting OCD more and more often as she grows up. Apparently, her parents recognize something is "not right" with her and perhaps that is the reason for the frequent visits by the doctor.
Psychiatry wasn't common at the time of this novel. Most counseling was through the family doctor. Unfortunately, that also meant the patient didn't get any true help and that seems to be what occurs with Ginny. Her mental illness only gets worse and now, she's very far advanced with her obsessive behaviors.
Due to that, it's not surprising she is the daughter who remained in the family home. Change was difficult for her, as exhibited in the earlier chapter when her parents tried to send the two girls to school. When that didn't work, she was so happy to get back home.
 
I do agree that the author tends to ramble on and on about the moths. I realize they are important to the story, but there comes a point where enough is enough.
I've noticed that I tend to get bogged down in the moth description parts and begin skimming through them. I worry that I may be missing important points when that happens.


Very nice summary.  I agree with your thoughts on this chapter.  I feel like a lot of the mass public will have the same reaction to all the moth talk that you did.
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bentley
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

I do think that Ginny has a guilty conscience about a lot of things. She seems to be emotionally blocked. I had the distinct feeling that Doctor Moyse was not the good doctor. I am not sure whether Vivian knows something that Ginny does not know about herself; or is it Vivian's way to pretend knowledge in order to get the edge on her older sister. Ginny is happy being the captain of her ship and likes the reclusiveness and structure. Vivian's coming invades her space and feels uncomfortable. Clive was always the scientist and was very clinical. I think he was rather the eccentric and I am sure we will discover other secrets. Maybe Clive treated Maud as a specimen to be unraveled and that love was just another scientific experiment. I think it is odd that Ginny chooses to use her mother's and father's bed and walks around in her father's clothing. The whole book so far is extremely odd in my estimation and I am not sure how much more I need to know about moths and the poisons in the house. I think that even if there were no physical poisons in the house; the atmosphere and the house itself would be poisonous for developing children. And Clive to me is wierd and I think that Maud is very strange herself. I see her and Clive as co-dependants.
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HannibalCat
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology


KxBurns wrote:

I thought there was much support in this chapter (which represents our entry into Saturday) for some of the ideas we've already discussed.


 


As Ginny lies awake, suffering from insomnia, she hears the bell and admits she hears it often: "…I know it's not the real bell at all, but that faint, relentless ringing in my ears, the reverberation of that single strike still trapped, rebounding round my head…" (p. 61-62). She later (top of p. 73) reiterates the singular impact that Vivi's fall had on her life. I think this is all pretty indicative of a guilty conscience; do you agree?


 


The strange issue of Dr. Moyse is developed a little bit further – first we learn more about his visits, during which he played games with Ginny (the simplicity of which probably hide their deeper purpose from her), and then Vivi makes reference to some recurring and "peculiar" dreams that Ginny has about Dr. Moyse (p. 67). This statement could support suspicions that Dr. Moyse engaged in inappropriate behavior, but I think Vivi's comment points more to her knowing something about Ginny that Ginny herself does not know. What do you think?


 


Ginny reveals that "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now" (p. 64). But Vivi's arrival has certainly prompted the return of old memories, which Ginny describes as invading her head earlier in the chapter. It will be interesting to see if the distinction between memories and the present starts to dissolve for Ginny.


 


What did you take from Ginny's account of Maud and Clive's love affair? The passage underscores the difference between being "fond" of something and wanting to protect it, and being "fascinated by it," wanting to "unravel" its mysteries. This dual approach might dovetail nicely when it comes to nature, but can you see any difficulties it might cause in parenting?


 


The main interaction between the sisters in this chapter illustrates the push and pull between Ginny's desire for intimacy with her sister and her impulses toward isolation. Which do you think is winning out for now? What did you make of Vivi's curious reaction to the bed in Ginny's room?



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-05-2008 12:29 PM




Just a quick question. On a couple of pages that I have gone back to in your messages, pg. 64 and 67, my book is 2 pages off. My book has your 64 at 62 and your 67 at 65. Is there anyone else with this problem? Is your book off or mine?
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tgem
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



LizzieAnn wrote (in part):
 
Also, her OCD is made more apparent with her commentary about her bedding:  how she gets in without messing it up, how the sheet is safety-pinned to the blanket, how everything is just so, and how it takes her 55 minutes to get exactly right.  We also see the OCD regarding the tea that Vivien brings her - it's too milk and spilled onto the saucer, so she'd never drink it.  She talks about her tea needing to be just right - and the methodology in that.
 
She seems consumed by order, by time, by methodology, and by strict control.  It makes me wonder what would happen if she lost control.  I can't help but wonder if she subconsciously knows she needs to maintain control.

LizzieAnn,
 
I've read/heard that those who have the greatest need for control are those who have the most to fear about not being in control.
 
tgem

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tgem
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



Everyman wrote:
For me, the main thing I take from this chapter is that Ginny is so totally consumed with order and method. She can't even drink the tea because it wasn't properly made. She can't sleep in a bed if it isn't properly made.

She and Vivi are NOT going to get along living together!

Agreed! Ginny is tight like a spring, and Vivi is loosey-goosey.  tgem
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tgem
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

krb2g wrote (in part):
 
I would be a lot more disturbed by Vivian's return to possess the house if Ginny weren't acting the way she is: sure Vivi invites herself into bed, but Ginny immediately tells us: "I'd never have said no to Vivian getting into bed with me, not when she offers that sort of closeness" (69). Furthermore, she's observing Vivi more closely than a stalker might: she waits until Vivi reaches the door in the third chapter before she even goes down to greet her, and in the fourth chapter, she's "focusing intently" on making tea, yet is painfully aware of Vivian "walking back and forth past the open kitchen door talking on her mobile phone or her driver carrying her boxes and bags from the car into the house and up the stairs" (36). If Vivi is invading Ginny's privacy by entering her space, it seems to me Ginny is as much invading Vivi's privacy by her persistent and uncanny observation.

 
 krb2g: 
 
Others are speculating as to inappropriate relations between Ginny and her father, or the doctor -  but it was this sentence that made me wonder about her relationship with her sister.
 
I also really relate to your observation about Ginny "invading Vivi's privacy" with her unnatural level of observation.  Come to think of it, they both have extremely poor boundaries concerning others.
 
tgem
 

 
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tgem
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Re: Dr. Moyse's card games

[ Edited ]

ELee wrote:
 
There is also a Tasks of Emotional Development (T.E.D.) test.  Scroll down to the chart for a description.  Below it is an explanation of how they are scored.

 
ELee,
 
I think you're really onto something here.  Even if this specific test wasn't available at  the time, I think the card games were something very similar.  Excellent link.
 
tgem




Message Edited by tgem on 03-11-2008 08:34 PM
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m3girl
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology

A few comments on Chapter 6:
 
I am very intrigued by this Dr Morse.  What the heck sort of Doctor is he?  And why is he seeing Ginny and not Vivi?  I keep trying to figure out what could be wrong with Ginny.  Her comments about her successful science career might be more her interpretation than reality...but if she was mentally challenged - how and why would anyone leave her alone for all of those years in that house?  So, because of that, I am not sure what it could be....nothing I try makes sense.  So I must read on.....happily, of course.
 
Her fear of timelessness adn the lack of structure in her life is a strange comment.  She seemed to live in this timelessness and structureless reality for all of those years - thus I would expect that to be her equilibrium state - and not a state that would make her uncomfortable.
 
I sympathisize with her reaction to having someone else in the house - especially someone that feels free to wander throughout it's entirety.  Living alone - I understand how the vibe changes when someone comes to stay for a few days....
 
I was intrigued about these dreams about Dr Morse - and do hope to get more understanding about all of this.
 
The story of how Maud and Clive met was interesting - and perhaps Maud romanticized it more than reality would prove.  Clive seemed to have found something that would interest him for the years to come when he landed into the reseach started by Maud's father....what a score for him - he would not have to start from scratch.
 
She laces in lots of teasers throughout the chapters and I like that....they aren't very subtle - which is fine....they are quite effective.
 
This is a family of eccentrics - even Maud and Vi are alittle strange.
 
So, Vi is surprised about the state of the house after all of these years....I find that odd - with such a large house it would take a fortune to maintain it over the years - where was Ginny supposed to get all of that money?
 
Ginny is a nutty sort with her methods, processes and attention to time...was she always like that or is that the result of being house bound all these years?
 
Susan
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology


HannibalCat wrote:

KxBurns wrote: The strange issue of Dr. Moyse is developed a little bit further – first we learn more about his visits, during which he played games with Ginny (the simplicity of which probably hide their deeper purpose from her), and then Vivi makes reference to some recurring and "peculiar" dreams that Ginny has about Dr. Moyse (p. 67). This statement could support suspicions that Dr. Moyse engaged in inappropriate behavior, but I think Vivi's comment points more to her knowing something about Ginny that Ginny herself does not know. What do you think?
Ginny reveals that "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now" (p. 64). But Vivi's arrival has certainly prompted the return of old memories, which Ginny describes as invading her head earlier in the chapter. It will be interesting to see if the distinction between memories and the present starts to dissolve for Ginny.
Just a quick question. On a couple of pages that I have gone back to in your messages, pg. 64 and 67, my book is 2 pages off. My book has your 64 at 62 and your 67 at 65. Is there anyone else with this problem? Is your book off or mine?


HannibalCat: My page numbers for the quotes match up with yours. I think Karen posted elsewhere that the book she is going off of is a version just previous to ours. That should explain the discrepancy. :smileyhappy:
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 6: Methodology



pigwidgeon wrote:

HannibalCat wrote:

KxBurns wrote: The strange issue of Dr. Moyse is developed a little bit further – first we learn more about his visits, during which he played games with Ginny (the simplicity of which probably hide their deeper purpose from her), and then Vivi makes reference to some recurring and "peculiar" dreams that Ginny has about Dr. Moyse (p. 67). This statement could support suspicions that Dr. Moyse engaged in inappropriate behavior, but I think Vivi's comment points more to her knowing something about Ginny that Ginny herself does not know. What do you think?
Ginny reveals that "What I fear is timelessness, a lack of structure in my life, an endless Now" (p. 64). But Vivi's arrival has certainly prompted the return of old memories, which Ginny describes as invading her head earlier in the chapter. It will be interesting to see if the distinction between memories and the present starts to dissolve for Ginny.
Just a quick question. On a couple of pages that I have gone back to in your messages, pg. 64 and 67, my book is 2 pages off. My book has your 64 at 62 and your 67 at 65. Is there anyone else with this problem? Is your book off or mine?


HannibalCat: My page numbers for the quotes match up with yours. I think Karen posted elsewhere that the book she is going off of is a version just previous to ours. That should explain the discrepancy. :smileyhappy:

Yup, that's the case - sorry for the confusion! In later chapters (when I noticed the page #s were different) I pulled my page numbers for the quotes from the same version that you all have. So they'll line up at some point. :smileyhappy:
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