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renhair
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

Additionally, I found it odd that that was the reason Ginny jumped to.  Unless there's some baggage (which I think we've all determined that there is), I don't think most people would think that of their family members.  The baggage could be something as simple as a Ginny's feeling of abandonment by Vivi's leaving (at least that's how I read that conversation between the two girls) or some huge animosity between the two.  Not sure which....

boo27 wrote:
I am looking forward to the explanation of Vivi's statement about Clive being able to "smell a rat in the pantry from the lab".
 
I am wondering if the fact that Ginny is so insecure that she is making the superior statements, i.e. she'll be fine, how famous she is in her line of work, etc to boost her self esteem.
 
Vivi could just be exploring her house, after all she has been gone for 50 years, but to Ginny it would automatically seem suspicioius because that behavior is totally foreign to Ginny.  She can't understand why someone would want to explore the whole house.  After all, she didn't even go and see what furniture Bobby had taken away to sell.  And it seems that any behavior Ginney herself doesn't understand she assigns ulterior motives to.



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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

Maud's presence during Ginny's/Dr. Moyse's card games eased my worries, too. But Maud's fall down the stairs hasn't been explained yet, and now we find that Ginny has purged the house of everything related to her. Could Maud have been complicit in something?

(from the Ch. 6 thread)
lmpmn wrote:
...when [Ginny] was with the doctor, Maud would bring her biscuits and look over their shoulders.  I suspect Maud wouldn't have ever let anyone harm Ginny or Vivi.

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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

This jumped out at me, too -- and felt quite chilling! I'm keeping Ginny at a distance -- I don't want her talking directly to me and assuming I'm buying her story. :smileyvery-happy:
 
The sentence would be smoother as, "It's difficult for me to explain to you why, to put it into words." Thus the inclusion feels intentional.

Everyman wrote:
On page 73 she says "It is difficult for me to explain to you..." Who does she thing the "you" is? For whom is she writing this? It was quite usual for 18th and 19th novelists to speak directly to the reader, but most modern first person narratives don't move out of the page and address the reader that way.

We aren't told why she is writing this, whether she just started writing when Vivi decided to come home or whether she has been recording events of her life prior to this, or what her intent or purpose is. But it's interesting that here she reaches out to whomever she thinks her reader is to be and says it's hard to explain to us. It struck me as a bit incongruous, and not explained.

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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

It struck me in this chapter that the sisters had spent 5 years at their school (Vivi entered at age 10 (p39), was expelled at 15 (p51)). After that long, the expulsion absolutely wasn't about stealing bananas, probably not even prejudice. There had to have been a major precipitating event.
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Everyman
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

Good find. I had missed that length of time. It certainly does reflect more than a single incident of theft of a banana to cause the school to expel both students.

detailmuse wrote:
It struck me in this chapter that the sisters had spent 5 years at their school (Vivi entered at age 10 (p39), was expelled at 15 (p51)). After that long, the expulsion absolutely wasn't about stealing bananas, probably not even prejudice. There had to have been a major precipitating event.



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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



kbbg42 wrote:
I found this chapter to be very revealing in the sisters relationships to their parents. First off Vivi too calls them Maude and Clive so it must have been the parents that wished to be called by their first names. Also telling was the fact that Ginny kept all of her fathers things and got rid of all her mother's. I have to ask myself what Maude did to create the distaste that Ginny has for her? Or is it guilt on Ginny's part? Did she in fact push Maude down the stairs and kill her? Could it have been an accidental push? I feel sorry for Vivi that she has nothing of her mothers. Yes she is partly to blame, if she had come to the house earlier she could have had somthing. She definatly waited too long but still... I also found her attitude to her father extraordinary as it was him "putting his foot down" that let her go away to secritarial school when she was younger. What greivences does she have against him?


Where I agree that it seems strange that Ginny got rid of everything concerning her mother and kept her fathers stuff, we need to remember that Ginny followed her father into the same occupation.  By keeping Clive's things, she was also keeping her own lifes work. 
MG
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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



boo27 wrote:
I too, find it strange that Vivi holds such animosity towards her father.  What could he have done to have her view hin in such a negative light?  Or was she just simply jealous because he understood Ginny better because they shared so much of the same interests?
 
Ginny strikes me as someone who isn't at all comfortable in her own skin, let alone in the presence of other people even including family members.  I think perhaps Maud and Clive must have sensed some of this and overcompensated in their attentions to Ginny, leaving Vivi feeling excluded and ignored.  But why Vivi views Clive in such a unfavorable light and Maud the opposite, I have no idea.  And Ginny seems to view her parents the exact opposite.  Interesting.
 
Has anyone else noticed that Ginny is constantly saying that she is happy to have Vivi home, yet her actions and anxiety say the exact opposite.


Clive was not a family man.  He was into his work (moths) and had little time for his daughters.  So......Vivi just didn't relate to him, or vise versa.  Ginny had a relationship with Clive becuase she shared is interest in moths.   Vivi wanted so much out of life, and the 30,000 sq. ft. house was confining to her.  She craved friends and people, not scientific methodology.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



COCOSPALS wrote:
I got the distinct impresssion that Vivi was definitely looking for something in the house, why else would she be "sneaking" around.  To re-acquant oneself with their home, it would be more of a wandering, maybe a "wow I forgot how large this house is, I am going to wander around if that is Ok with you?". It was too sneaky for me.
 
I

I don't think that Vivi is sneaking around.  She is defenately exploring, but not sneaking.  Ginny is sneaking - spying on Vivi, trying to find out what she is doing.  Vivi is looking for something maybe, and seeing what is left in the house.  The relationship between the sisters is strange to say the least, but then we already knew that.  If they didn't even have contact with each other for 50 years - London wasn't that far away.  Either could have made the effort.
MG
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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

The story still feels old-world or other-world -- so far, there have been just a few historical/pop-cultural references to root it in time. One was WWII, which seemed to fit. Another was pizza, which startled me a bit with its casual, contemporary feel. Now there's the reference to James Dean (p80; his death and the poster on Vivi's bedroom wall) -- I suppose it characterizes Vivi as a "normal" teen, but it felt out of place and pulled me right out of the story.
 
Anybody notice any others?
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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



MsMorninglight wrote:

 
I'm not sure about Vivi's bitterness towards Clive, but in this chapter, you do sense again, that Ginny was Clive's favorite & Vivian was Maud's. 
 
And how do we account for the fact that when Vivian asks if there is anything left of Maude, Ginny says no?  Why would she have nothing left of her mothers?  But, wait, wasn't "Belinda's Pot" Maud's??


We find out that Vivian misses school because she needs the social interactions of people.  At home there is nothing for her.  I can't say that Vivian is jeolous, so much as not wanting to live in the cocoon that her home had become.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast



AnnieS wrote:
Is the chapter title Tea and Toast or Breakfast?  I have breakfast.  just wonder'n


The title is Breakfast.
MG
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Peppermill
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast


fordmg wrote:


AnnieS wrote:
Is the chapter title Tea and Toast or Breakfast? I have breakfast. just wonder'n


The title is Breakfast.
MG


Why didn't they leave the more British title for the Chapter? (As Karen comments her earlier edition had.) That would have seemed more appropriate to me.
"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
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umlaut
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

I agree with all your points, I also wanted to point out when Ginny and Vivien had a talk in Vivien's room and how her (Viven's) room is filled with pictures specifically Ginny remembers James Dean "Rebel without a cause" too me this was very suggestive how Ginny viewed Vivien as an rebel and trying to break free from home and how he had died in a car accident because he was careless? not sure what i am trying to get at her but seems Ginny's doesn't understand Vivien and the chances she is taking.



LizzieAnn wrote:
There are several things that popped out from this chapter:
The Ginny considers Vivien to be an "infection" in the house for having disturbed her order.
That Vivien seems to be searching for something.
That Ginny's views of Clive and Vivi's are vastly different. I found it interesting when Vivi said that Clive could "smell a rat in the pantry from the lab."
The conversation Ginny has with her parents regarding Vivi's future, and her parents reactions & positions.
Vivien seems to have some bitterness towards Clive
That Ginny seems to have obliterated all existence of Maud by not having kept any of her things - only Clive's. Vivien seems to want something, anything at all, of her mother.
Ginny seems to have felt superior to Vivien in the flashback: Ginny knew what she was going to do with her life because Maud had decreed it so, but Maud hadn't done so for Vivien.
Ginny seems to feel superior - that while their parents seemed to say that Vivien would be fine, it was in fact, she (Ginny) who was fine - Maud & Clive had gotten it backwards. It's similar to the boast Ginny made earlier about how famous she was.
Ginny is wondering what Vivi's ulterior motive/hidden agenda is.
How Ginny thinks Vivien secretly snuck up to the attic instead of the fact that she may have just went up one set of stairs instead of another. Paranoid?



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bettymac
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast


Mselet wrote:
Ginny's "creeping" to spy on Vivi is reminiscient of the protagonist in Charlotte Perkins Gilman's short story, "The Yellow Wallpaper." As the character descends into madness, she begins to "creep" around her room. Ginny's creeping in hallways and on landings, to spy in Vivi, shows us just how peculiar she is, but also hints at a shadow of madness. Ginny even mentions in her flashback that her room was painted yellow. I wonder if it was a direct nod from Poppy to Gilman.





I am so interested that you mentioned "The Yellow Wallpaper." I have been thinking of that story since I first began reading this novel. That story is one of the best examples of the need to be wary of first person narratives because of the skilled way the author presents the story...love it, love it, love it...thanks for sharing this idea with the group...
Betty

"Tell me what you read and I'll tell you who you are" is true enough, but I'd know you better if you told me what you reread. ~François Mauriac
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapter 7: got milk?



ELee wrote:


psujulie wrote:
I think this chapter again showed us that Ginny isn't quite right. She felt she had to sneak around and spy on Vivien as Vivien was looking around the house. She even poured the glass of milk (which she never drinks) so she had an excuse! Most "normal" people would have just asked Vivien what she was doing. I think this behavior by Ginny further demonstrates her inability to communicate with people.


Right on! Not only does she not drink milk, she positively does not like milk! And to think that this would constitute "a prop" that would allow her to be discovered anywhere in the house "drinking it", shows just how "far out" she is. If you poured yourself a glass of milk in the kitchen, would you adjourn to the hall, or the stair, or the landing, to drink it? In trying to cover her oddness, she is emphasizing it!





ELee: Those were my thoughts exactly! How in the world is a glass of milk supposed to make it look like she wasn't sneaking around... "Oh me? Well, I was just relaxing here on the stairs enjoying my lovely glass of milk." :smileywink:
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 7: got milk?



pigwidgeon wrote:


ELee: Those were my thoughts exactly! How in the world is a glass of milk supposed to make it look like she wasn't sneaking around... "Oh me? Well, I was just relaxing here on the stairs enjoying my lovely glass of milk." :smileywink:

ROFL!!!  Doesn't everyone drink their milk on the stairs?!
 
I can also imaging Ginny's milk moustache:  "Got milk?"
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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 7: got milk?

too funny, both of you!! :smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy: Thanks for the laugh, all this story dissection is making me squirrely.

ELee wrote:

pigwidgeon wrote:
ELee: Those were my thoughts exactly! How in the world is a glass of milk supposed to make it look like she wasn't sneaking around... "Oh me? Well, I was just relaxing here on the stairs enjoying my lovely glass of milk." :smileywink:

ROFL!!!  Doesn't everyone drink their milk on the stairs?!
I can also imaging Ginny's milk moustache:  "Got milk?"


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Laurel
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Re: Chapter 7: got milk?

And someone said that the book had no humor!

detailmuse wrote:
too funny, both of you!! :smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy: Thanks for the laugh, all this story dissection is making me squirrely.

ELee wrote:

pigwidgeon wrote:
ELee: Those were my thoughts exactly! How in the world is a glass of milk supposed to make it look like she wasn't sneaking around... "Oh me? Well, I was just relaxing here on the stairs enjoying my lovely glass of milk." :smileywink:

ROFL!!! Doesn't everyone drink their milk on the stairs?!
I can also imaging Ginny's milk moustache: "Got milk?"





"Truth must of necessity be stranger than fiction, for fiction is the creation of the human mind, and therefore is congenial to it." ~~G.K. Chesterton
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SweetReaderMA
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Re: Chapter 7: Breakfast

I am not sure what it is about the past that Ginny is afraid of or repressing but I have a feeling it is something big because usually we don't try to repress things unless they have hurt us or will hurt us mentally if we think about them.

I am not sure whether Ginny's suspicion of Vivien and her exploring of the house is for good reason or not. Vivien did seem upset about all of the things that were removed from the house and on one hand I can understand that but then again, is it possible she is afraid that something she may have hid is now gone?

As for Vivien and Ginny's total opposite views of Clive, I was wondering if that was a hint to be careful of the accuracy of Ginny's narration of events.
These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice... and just as the touch of a button on our set will fill the room with music, so by taking down one of these volumes and opening it, one can call into range the voice of a man far distant in time and space, and hear him speaking to us, mind to mind, heart to heart. ~Gilbert Highet
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dewgirl
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Re: Chapter 7: Tea and Toast

Everyman wrote:
On page 73 she says "It is difficult for me to explain to you..." Who does she thing the "you" is? For whom is she writing this? It was quite usual for 18th and 19th novelists to speak directly to the reader, but most modern first person narratives don't move out of the page and address the reader that way.





In some of the posts for the earlier chapters, people have said that it doesn't feel like it is written for the present time (2008), that it has a feel of being written for a different time period. I definitely agree with that. It will be interesting to get the author's reasoning on it.
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