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Skelly7645
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

I have to say that I am enjoying the book.  All the info on moths gets tedious at times, but I read those parts, digesting bits of the info, and moved on to the heart of the matter--the intertwined character studies. 
 
I read the comments made by bettymac( a couple of replies ago)  about books, the author's intent, etc. and agree with her.  Thanks for your insight.
 
 
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paula_02912
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

Karen wrote: "

Hmm, so 1959 is "the year that changed everything" (p. 99)...

 

How do you interpret the scene that unfolds on pages 104 to 107? Is Maud drunk? Do you sense she is desperate to gain entry to Clive and Ginny's little club? Or is our impression skewed by Ginny's point of view? Clive clearly loves the present his wife has chosen. Does the title of this chapter have duel meaning, and if so, to what does "another trap" refer, aside from Robinson's trap?"

My interpretation of this scene is that Maud wants to be seen by her husband...since he and Ginny became "partners", Maud has been shoved aside...they both ignore her and she has no sense of who she is or what her place is anymore...I believe that in this instance Maud is drunk...at first, I thought that it was possible that Maud was cheating on Clive since he doesn't pay her any attention anymore, but once I kept reading I got the sense that this wasn't the case...Ginny's description of her dress and the way she looked didn't seem to fit the look of a woman who was stepping out on her husband...I got the sense that she was depressed and turned to drink....It is possible that our impression is skewed by Ginny's point of view, especially if she had something to do with Maud's fall...she could be building up clues as to how Maud met her end...was she drinking when she fell? Did Ginny push her? or was it just an accident? Did Clive have anything to do with it?

I definitely think that the title of this chapter has a dual meaning...like the spelling you used "duel" it indicates the struggle that Maud has with Ginny for her husband's affections...Initially, I wondered why the Robinson Trap was even introduced...was it to show that Clive was set in his ways, or that he quest for the imperfect didn't allow him to view something that was proclaimed to be perfect as having any merit...sorry, I went off on a tangent...I think the title is not only talking about the Robinson trap, but also the Clive's "trap": his call for an entire overhaul of the classification system...I also think that it could also be indicating the "trapped"/claustophic feeling that Ginny felt when she found herself in the corner with Bernard and her thought that he was groping her in chapter 8...was she in a mental trap? Did Bernard really fondle her, or was it all a figment of Ginny's imagination? The trap could also be that she was trapped into being the lone female in a field where males dominated...not sure if this argument would wash though...what are your thoughts?

On page 102, Ginny was describing how Maud looked on the stairs and she seemed to recall something...the lines read "I was sure I'd never seen her in that dress before, yet it reminded me of something. I thought if I stopped trying to think of it, it would spill unexpectedly from my memory..." I wondered what the dress could have reminded her of...is it linked to something that happened to her as a child? Did Ginny really remember this or is it her adult self questioning her memory?

On 105-106, Ginny talks of Clive trapping moths...however, he did something he never done before...he destroyed great specimens in order to get to a micro-moth...and he killed it in a very "harsh" way, rather than anesthetizing it...I wondered if this micro-moth had any significance, more than what it was and if it was, in some way, related to Maud's death...this prompted me to question whether he had anything to do with Maud's death...simply because Ginny stated that she "wasn't to find out for two more years, on the day that Maud died" why he was so interested in this micro-moth.

 

Peace and love,
Paula R.

"Adversity causes some people to break, but causes others to break records."

Author Unknown
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bettymac
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap


Skelly7645 wrote:
I have to say that I am enjoying the book. All the info on moths gets tedious at times, but I read those parts, digesting bits of the info, and moved on to the heart of the matter--the intertwined character studies.
I read the comments made by bettymac( a couple of replies ago) about books, the author's intent, etc. and agree with her. Thanks for your insight.





Thanks for your comment, Skelly...
Sometimes writers deliberately slow down the action of a story to create a mood or make a point...the tediousness of the moth sections emphasizes the tedium of their lives and their work...Adams could have just told us this kind of study was tedious (or had Ginny tell us) but it would not have been as effective as it is when she "makes" us go through the tediousness of it with Clive and Ginny...as characters they become amazing to us that they can find the topic interesting, much less totally absorbing...Adams may want us to get edgy and frustrated and eager to know more...she wants us impatient to learn all the details...she deliberately strings them out just as a scientist's work drags out as he figures out each small detail or makes each small step towards a discovery...sometimes writers make a character do something we don't understand so we will want to understand...if the actions are too normal, we wouldn't be interested...we wouldn't be having a new experience...we wouldn't be curious...

I personally like all the hints that there is more to come...I like for authors to tease me as a reader...first of all, I have to be reading carefully to pick them up and then remember them so that when the answer is revealed, I can have a Eureka! moment.

Betty in NC
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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Laurel
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

Great points, Betty. I like to be made to think.

bettymac wrote:

Skelly7645 wrote:
I have to say that I am enjoying the book. All the info on moths gets tedious at times, but I read those parts, digesting bits of the info, and moved on to the heart of the matter--the intertwined character studies.
I read the comments made by bettymac( a couple of replies ago) about books, the author's intent, etc. and agree with her. Thanks for your insight.





Thanks for your comment, Skelly...
Sometimes writers deliberately slow down the action of a story to create a mood or make a point...the tediousness of the moth sections emphasizes the tedium of their lives and their work...Adams could have just told us this kind of study was tedious (or had Ginny tell us) but it would not have been as effective as it is when she "makes" us go through the tediousness of it with Clive and Ginny...as characters they become amazing to us that they can find the topic interesting, much less totally absorbing...Adams may want us to get edgy and frustrated and eager to know more...she wants us impatient to learn all the details...she deliberately strings them out just as a scientist's work drags out as he figures out each small detail or makes each small step towards a discovery...sometimes writers make a character do something we don't understand so we will want to understand...if the actions are too normal, we wouldn't be interested...we wouldn't be having a new experience...we wouldn't be curious...

I personally like all the hints that there is more to come...I like for authors to tease me as a reader...first of all, I have to be reading carefully to pick them up and then remember them so that when the answer is revealed, I can have a Eureka! moment.

Betty in NC


"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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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap



paula_02912 wrote:

On page 102, Ginny was describing how Maud looked on the stairs and she seemed to recall something...the lines read "I was sure I'd never seen her in that dress before, yet it reminded me of something. I thought if I stopped trying to think of it, it would spill unexpectedly from my memory..." I wondered what the dress could have reminded her of...is it linked to something that happened to her as a child? Did Ginny really remember this or is it her adult self questioning her memory?


Great catch! Will the dress have significance later on?...
 
(Oh, and oops on the dual/duel typo. Maybe they will duke it out at some point :smileyhappy: )
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap



crazyasitsounds wrote:
I think Maud does feel excluded from Clive & Ginny's little entomological world, especially without Vivi there, & it did seem as though she was drunk. The mist interesting part of the scene, in my opinion, is seeing how Ginny's opinion of Clive changes gradually as she watches him interact with Maud & with the trap. At first she doesn't understand how Maud could give Clive a gift he so clearly doesn't want, but she starts to realize that Maud knows Clive better than she does, knows that Clive will come around & love the gift.

Two possibilities come to mind as to why Clive wouldn't tell Ginny about the reclassification proposal. One is that he wanted to surprise & impress her. The other is that he was afraid she would question the prudence of unveiling something like that out of the blue in a lecture. I guess it depends on what Ginny's relationship with Clive is like at this point, what the balance between the father-daughter & professional relationships is.

There's certainly another, less literal trap involved in the title of the chapter, but I have no idea what it is. It's kind of like that line at the end of the chapter about not Ginny not understanding things until two years later.

Here's another possible reason for Clive's secrecy: he views Ginny as untrustworthy, either mentally or as a colleague...
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

Everyman and others, I understand the frustration you have expressed. Maybe we are overanalyzing some aspects of the book in a way that renders it somewhat tedious. I'm going to try to take slightly broader strokes with my talking points for the next set of chapters and see if this helps matters at all. (Those who wish to dissect further can absolutely still do so and I'll chime in!...)
 
Karen
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lmpmn
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

When I first started to read the book, I was like, oh no--a bunch of talk about nature and moths--boring!  But Ginny really drew me in.  I did get a bit bogged down in this chapter and the last with moths, but I plugged along, reminding myself this has got to have something to do with how we'll ulitimately look at the characters and relationship dynamics when we're done reading and begin to digest the book as a whole.
 
As I've said before, I find myself giggling at Ginny's odd behavior and thoughts at some points.  I can be odd myself and find weird things funny.
Happiness is a warm blanket!
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sheshe703
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

I agree that there is too much discussion about the moths, but keep reading.  As you begin to put their history together the story gets much better.  I am guessing that there is a metamorphasis at the end for the sisters, just like hte metamorphasis of the moths that Clive and Ginny study.
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sheshe703
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

[ Edited ]
[edited by moderator]


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-07-2008 11:56 AM
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap



KxBurns wrote:


paula_02912 wrote:

On page 102, Ginny was describing how Maud looked on the stairs and she seemed to recall something...the lines read "I was sure I'd never seen her in that dress before, yet it reminded me of something. I thought if I stopped trying to think of it, it would spill unexpectedly from my memory..." I wondered what the dress could have reminded her of...is it linked to something that happened to her as a child? Did Ginny really remember this or is it her adult self questioning her memory?


Great catch! Will the dress have significance later on?...
 
(Oh, and oops on the dual/duel typo. Maybe they will duke it out at some point :smileyhappy: )


The dress was a green and blue peacock-print evening dress, which Ginny says "was the kind of thing she had worn when she was much younger" and goes on to emphasize that it "didn't suit her age".  I believe that it was the same dress Maud was wearing in the photo of her and Clive "embracing on a balcony in a foreign city" described on page 11.
 
"Maude is wearing a pretty peacock-print dress.  She's lifting her chin and arching backwards with happiness, Clive's arms looped round the small of her back, supporting her preciously."
 
Its really quite sad.  I think she was trying to recapture some of what she and Clive had when that photograph was taken. 
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ELee
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

[ Edited ]


sheshe703 wrote:
 


[edited by moderator]


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-07-2008 11:56 AM
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sheshe703
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

I thought the same thing, that it was all in Ginny's mind.  Then as I read more I wondered if Ginny was just a ghost (kind of like the Nicole Kidman movie "The Others") and Vivi came back to empty out the house after Ginny's death, only to find that it was empty because Ginny had been selling things off.  I cannot wait to finish this book just to see how it all comes together.
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sheshe703
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

Thanks.  I did not even put those two together.
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ABH47
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

I have to say I am very disappointed with this book. I usually give all books I read the "100 page" rule. If, after reading 100 pages of a book, I am not "hooked" I give it up because there are so many books out there and no way to read everything.
This book's discourse(s) about moths eventually drove me up the wall. I also cannot get involved with any of the characters. I don't really care about any of them...

I feel quite guilty not wanting to finish the book since it was sent to me in good faith to read and comment upon. I have found the style of writing ponderous and heavy handed. Perhaps I'm spoiled from the last ARC book which seemed to just flow and was a real page turner. I really feel an obligation to finish this book, yet I really don't want to, as I just don't like it. If someone can help me get some enthusiasm up for finishing it, I'd appreciate it!
Thanks in advance.....
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mnotto
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

I know that Ginny's narrative about all the moth business (scientific, methodolgy,etc.) may be getting a little tedious for some, but I think that is the author's way of giving us a glimpse into Ginny's mind and the way her thought process works.  In looking back at her life, what she remembers most or seems to place more importance on remembering is not her relationship with her family, and all the day-to-day dramas of family life, but her Father's all consuming study of moths, and her own involvement in lepidoptery.  She remembers and relates incidences connected to lepidoptery in great detail, while she remembers interpersonal family events in almost a very clincial, detached voice with very little detail or emotion.  Again, I think that Ginny clearly suffers from some sort of mental illness (and a dysfunctional family), and it appears that lepidoptery is something tangible that she can relate to, which is why it so woven into the story.   I don't think that it is possible for Ginny to just get to the point -- it's not the way she thinks.
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detailmuse
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

For me, the teases and mystery come across as writer-speak for, "Bear with me, reader, I'll get back to the story -- and it'll be terrific -- but there's a gob of background I need to lay out first." That pulls me out of the story. I want a writer to weave sections of backstory in smoothly, rather than issue a plea to hang in there.
 
I'm also frustrated by reading slowly and closely enough to parse each story passage. The process seems designed to reveal the reader's experience in detail (for what purpose -- manuscript revisions?), but it's artificial, it's not how I read. I want to love this novel, so I'm going to bow out here until I finish the book.
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psawyers
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

Everyman wrote:
Well, I confess it.

I am finding the perpetual angst of this book and the way too many obvious attempts to create mystery to be too much for my tastes. The end of chapter 9, "I wasn't to find out for two more years, on the day Mother died, why he was so unusually interested in it" to be the last straw. I just had to sigh and say "oh, come on." If she was truly his assistant, why wouldn't he have told her? The only point of withholding that would seem to be for Adams to add yet another cliffhanger to a book that is so full of them that it's tiring.

And the moths. Yes, the discussion of free will was interesting as a philosophical discussion, but otherwise, how could moths be made any less interesting? I tend to enjoy books whose authors take me into unfamiliar realms of activity. Trollope and his fox-hunting; normally I have very little interest in fox hunting, but Trollope pulls me into it and arouses my interest. Dick Francis and racing: I have never been to a horse race, was not raised around horses, and but for a summer when I dated a girl who owned horses have had nothing to do with them and no particular interest in them, but Francis makes the smallest details of racing fascinating and draws me inexorably into that world. The campanology of Dorothy Sayers's The Nine Tailors, the Egyptology of Peters's Amelia Peabody books, have both given me great enjoyment learning about things I didn't realize I could be much interested in. But frankly I don't find anything of this sort with Adams and her moths. After several chapters of them I never want to hear another word about moths (but I know I will).

I frankly don't care whether Ginny pushed Vivi off the bell tower or not. Push, no push, who cares? Not I.

If this were a book I had gotten out of the library, it would go back unfinished. Because I so greatly enjoy the discussions here and enjoy being a part of them I will stick with the book. Even a not very good book can be the basis of a very good discussion.

But unless things get a lot better very soon, this is not a book I will recommend to any friend whose good opinion I value.

Enough of this rant. Back to the discussion, with thanks to everyone here for making that discussion so interesting and enjoyable.

 
I have to agree with those who are enjoying this book.  I think it comes down to a matter of preference in writing style.  As I said in chapter 1, this book and the style of writing reminds me of Rebecca by Daphne DuMaurier, and I loved that book.  But, you have to like the style of writing where you have to assume a lot of information, or where you have to fish out the information from the details in the book.  I also think in this story, Ginny's disorder, be it mental health or autistic, is the backbone of the story, and that, if you consider that, the author did a fabulous job of portraying the story through the disorder.
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bookhunter
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap

[ Edited ]
Bettymac wrote:
 
"Sometimes writers deliberately slow down the action of a story to create a mood or make a point...the tediousness of the moth sections emphasizes the tedium of their lives and their work...Adams could have just told us this kind of study was tedious (or had Ginny tell us) but it would not have been as effective as it is when she "makes" us go through the tediousness of it with Clive and Ginny...as characters they become amazing to us that they can find the topic interesting, much less totally absorbing...Adams may want us to get edgy and frustrated and eager to know more...she wants us impatient to learn all the details...she deliberately strings them out just as a scientist's work drags out as he figures out each small detail or makes each small step towards a discovery...sometimes writers make a character do something we don't understand so we will want to understand...if the actions are too normal, we wouldn't be interested...we wouldn't be having a new experience...we wouldn't be curious..."
 
Betty, I agree so much with your comments here.  The "moth-speak" is not there to give us information about moths as it is to provide us insight into how Ginny's mind works.
 
Ginny obviously does not think like a "normal" person.  We haven't been given a "label" or diagnosis for her, but are given insight into how her brain works.  She is hyper-obssessive about things and minute tasks.  She does not "get" social cues like a joke or that the furniture guy has cheated her family out of maybe millions.  She doesn't understand other people.  It seems she has been somewhat protected and sheltered by her family. 
 
I love it that Ms. Adams chose to give us this story in first person instead of third so that WE see the story as GINNY sees it. 
 
Ann, bookhunter
 
 
 
 


Message Edited by bookhunter on 03-07-2008 10:04 AM
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pheath
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Re: Chapter 9: Another Trap



ABH47 wrote:
I have to say I am very disappointed with this book. I usually give all books I read the "100 page" rule. If, after reading 100 pages of a book, I am not "hooked" I give it up because there are so many books out there and no way to read everything.
This book's discourse(s) about moths eventually drove me up the wall. I also cannot get involved with any of the characters. I don't really care about any of them...

I feel quite guilty not wanting to finish the book since it was sent to me in good faith to read and comment upon. I have found the style of writing ponderous and heavy handed. Perhaps I'm spoiled from the last ARC book which seemed to just flow and was a real page turner. I really feel an obligation to finish this book, yet I really don't want to, as I just don't like it. If someone can help me get some enthusiasm up for finishing it, I'd appreciate it!
Thanks in advance.....




I found that the story does get better throughout the book, but I was also already hooked by this point.

I guess I would also encourage you to finish the book and continue to participate in order to continue with the program in good faith. I believe that we are making a commitment when we submit our request for these books that is a little beyond "finish it if you like it." It's somewhere between reading for pleasure and reading for an official course.
-Philip
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