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SandyS
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Registered: ‎12-28-2006
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

This passage also struck me as lovely.  I could feel the stillness of the winter day.
 
SandyS

bookhunter wrote:
This book does not have the beautiful language of some other books, nor many passages that are especially quotable.  But I do love the description of winter on page 132:  "I like its contradictions:  cold but cozy, sparse but beautiful, lifeless but not soulless."
 
Do you all think this is a good description of Ginny as well--full of contradictions?
 
Ann, bookhunter



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pheath
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

[ Edited ]

Sisters3 wrote:
What do you think of the constant rehashing by Maud of "Ginny ruining her life?" I haven't found anything that has answered that for me.





I see a few possibilities here. One, it could just be a typical thing that an alcoholic would say. Two, Maud knows that by keeping her alcoholism a secret, Ginny is accelerating in Maud's downward spiral. This would be a bit passive aggressive, but have we accused anyone in this family of being normal yet? Three, Maud drinks as a way of coping with the problems in her life which would include whatever it is about Ginny that makes her abnormal.

Message Edited by pheath on 03-09-2008 09:44 PM
-Philip
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



READERJANE wrote:
The reference to the deswtruction of the local Brimstone population is a forshadowing of the destruction of the family's history that  has been Ginny engaged in as an adult. Ginny seems to have to have been engaged in battles of destruction all of her life. Ginny seems to be seeing the world, and all those around her as "changing in to something real". WHile change is not a bad thing in and of itself, Ginny defentely views chage as a threat.


I was thinking, wouldn't it really put Clive and Ginny over the edge if they found out that Bernard found a new way to do the experiment by using only say 10 moths rather than 50,000! Ugh!
 
I found these chapters incredibly sad.  Not only the memories of the past but the way Ginny is ruining what could have been a wonderful reunion of two sisters that had once been so close.  Snooping all over the house, looking out every lookout point.  Why doesn't she just start anew, catch up with Viv when she goes for a walk and such.  Tell Viv why she's walking around with a glass of milk, etc., Just sad. 
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



bookhunter wrote:
Oldesq wrote:
"The problem with The Sister is that there is too much weirdness here. Every single encounter is fraught with weirdness and all of a different type. Ms. Adams seems to be setting us up for a grand climactic event, a denouement which the reader already fears is unlikely to satisfactorily resolve this world. Some novels are able to include a cast of quirky characters - Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil has already been mentioned or the denizens of the Pequod in Moby Dick. But in a successful book, these characters are mere window dressing that add a colorful depth to a well developed core story. However, the characters in these side stories can't carry their own baggage as they would sap energy from the main plot-- here, these extras are packed for a round the world tour:..."
 
Everyman wrote:
 
"Excellent post. I agree.

It's like meal that is all strong spices and no base food to balanced the spices against. We need some normal characters to balance the weirdness against; pure weirdness quickly palls. But we don't have any. There doesn't seem to be a single normal, healthy person in the whole story."
 

Hey, don't forget Arthur!  He seemed normal to me.  He tried to find his girlfriends family interesting and Clive warmed up to him eventually too because he showed an interest.  But I couldn't help but think that after Arthur and Viv left for London he probably couldn't stop talking about her family's weirdness ;o)
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

[ Edited ]


SandyS wrote:
This passage also struck me as lovely.  I could feel the stillness of the winter day.
 
SandyS

bookhunter wrote:
This book does not have the beautiful language of some other books, nor many passages that are especially quotable.  But I do love the description of winter on page 132:  "I like its contradictions:  cold but cozy, sparse but beautiful, lifeless but not soulless."
 
Do you all think this is a good description of Ginny as well--full of contradictions?
 
Ann, bookhunter





Good point Ann,  I loved this sentence describing winter.  Doesn't it seem to you that it could also be a description of Bulburrow? 


Message Edited by Carmenere_lady on 03-10-2008 05:00 AM
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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READERJANE
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎01-21-2008
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

I never looked at the chapters as being sad, but you are right.The destruiction, the snooping, the overall sense of Ginny trying to be right. It would have been so much better for the two of them if thery could have stasrted over with their relationship. These chapters are sad. Jane
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Everyman
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13 - CONTAINS SPOILER, INCIDENT FROM CHAPTER 14

>Carmenere_lady wrote: Hey, don't forget Arthur! He seemed normal to me.

SPOILER WARNING -- THE FOLLOWING REFERS TO AN INCIDENT IN CHAPTER 14. IF YOU'VE ONLY GOTTEN THROUGH CHAPTER 13, STOP HERE, DON'T READ ON OR A MAJOR PLOT ELEMENT WILL BE SPOILED FOR YOU.



Sorry, but I can't consider anybody who would have sex repeatedly with his wife's sister in order to produce a baby to satisfy his wife to be normal. Maybe when you posted your comment you had only read through Chapter 13, and if so, fine. But if you've now read through Chapter 14, do you still consider Arthur normal?
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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SandyS
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



Carmenere_lady wrote:


SandyS wrote:
This passage also struck me as lovely.  I could feel the stillness of the winter day.
 
SandyS

bookhunter wrote:
This book does not have the beautiful language of some other books, nor many passages that are especially quotable.  But I do love the description of winter on page 132:  "I like its contradictions:  cold but cozy, sparse but beautiful, lifeless but not soulless."
 
Do you all think this is a good description of Ginny as well--full of contradictions?
 
Ann, bookhunter





Good point Ann,  I loved this sentence describing winter.  Doesn't it seem to you that it could also be a description of Bulburrow? 


Message Edited by Carmenere_lady on 03-10-2008 05:00 AM

 

Perfect!  This describes the house beautifully!
 
SandyS
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thefamilymanager
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Chapter 10: Bernard’s Challenge

I feel sympathy for Maud because Clive and Ginny have completely forgotten about her.  It shows how insignificant Maud had become to Ginny and Clive.  Clive needs to feel important and I think that’s why he is so completely dedicated to his work.  He also needs to be completely engrossed in his work because I think he does know exactly what is going on with Maude and know that he can’t stop it.

As always, Ginny’s description of her work is again horrific. The war terminology is appropriate as Ginny is in a battle to also feel important but not important to the scientists but important to her father.  This is a battle to win his approval.  I think it also compares her battle of helping conceal Maud’s addiction to the outside world.

 

Chapter 12: I Spy

I think Ginny is guilty of trying to hide Maud’s problem but I also think the entire family is hiding something terrible about Ginny.  So, the theme of I SPY runs through this because Vivi is also spying on Ginny in a sense I think because she’s come back home.

I also think Vivi wants to find out the truth of Maud’s death because it seems as though she is searching so that she can put the past behind her.

 

Chapter 13: The Ridge Walk

I think Ginny finally feels empowered because she can do something that Vivi can’t. (Have a baby)  That makes her feel superior because Vivi had always been the adventurer and the one to do things that Ginny couldn’t or didn’t want to.  Now Ginny feels she has the upper hand.

-please discuss this statement by Ginny (it caps off the entire Fox Moth passage on pages 134-135, which I found fascinating!): "If you were born unaware, at least you'd be blissfully ignorant. It's not as if you're going to wake up one day and suddenly discover yourself."  - This passage describes Ginny in a way because I think she is unaware of many things like she and her father think about the Moths. 

Lisa

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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detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Exactly. Vivi's selfishness -- I can believe. But also selfish enough to demand a perfect child, which makes it unbelievable that she'd ask Ginny.
 
Unless we discover their neighbors are doing the early research on in-vitro fertilization :smileyvery-happy:

BookWoman718 wrote:
Vivi's request of Ginny was entirely selfish.  She is asking her unmarried sister to have sexual relations with her brother-in-law on a regular basis until such time as she might get impregnated, and then go through the physical and emotional burdens of unmarried pregnancy, and then turn the child over to be raised by her sister, during which time Ginny's own child would be calling her 'aunt.'   How is that not selfish?   But for me, apart from the breathtaking selfishness of the request, I found it unbelievable that Vivi, who has been showing all these signs of thinking something's 'wrong' with Ginny, would ask her to bear a child for her.  Why on earth, wanting a child, would she choose a surrogate mother with emotional/ behavioral / and or mental problems?  Would Vivi be dreaming of a little girl with Ginny's unattractive lower lip, her lack of social graces?   No, she wouldn't.    

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detailmuse
Posts: 180
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13: Mummy and Daddy!

Interesting. I overlooked that, but had made a note that Ginny cried and took Maud in her arms. All those childhood times when Ginny had been expected to cry, and didn't, yet here she does.
 
It's Maud who refers to him as Daddy. So were the girls actually taught to call them Mummy and Daddy?
 
I wonder if the girls addressed their parents as Mummy and Daddy, but referred to them as Maud and Clive? What might that mean?

pigwidgeon wrote:
I find it strange that, after all the discussion of the girls calling their parents by their first names, no one has yet mentioned that, on page 111, Ginny calls them Mummy and Daddy. At first I thought that the traumatic nature of finding Maud holed up, and intoxicated, in the library sparked a little regressive behavior, but then I remembered that she calls them by their first names from the earliest memories. What do you all make of this?

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thefamilymanager
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

As has been mentioned earlier in this discussion it seems strange that Vivi would ask Ginny to do this for her since Ginny seems to have some developmental problem EXCEPT we need to take in the time period of this request.  This is not the 80's or 90's or today.  This request was made in the 50's - 60's when surrogacy wasn't spoken.  I do however think it's a strange request but this is an extremely STRANGE family.  Although Vivi knows Ginny is not completely normal, she thinks this is the only way for her to have a biologically related child.  A sad, selfish thought but unfortunately I think she considers Ginny as somewhat an animal for this task. 
 
Just my two cents. :smileywink:
 
Lisa
 
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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detailmuse
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

The 4-day structure (i.e. the sections) of this novel set me up to expect a ticking-clock thriller. Yet we've spent most of the time in the past instead of in the premise of reunited sisters. I began to feel impatient for the real-time story on p.115, and when Ch.12 opened with "Vivian's been home for a day now," I thought: and we've seen nothing of it. :smileysad:
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detailmuse
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

I thought these chapters felt different, too. The Ginny here seems different from both the child Ginny and the current-day Ginny -- both in the way she behaves and the way she narrates. (I wondered if these scenes were written at a different time than the rest?) There's humor -- hello, Everyman :smileyvery-happy: -- (pp119-20) and the tension between Maud and Ginny (pp122-4) is chilling!

carriele wrote:
After reading these latest chapters, I keep having one pressing thought.  To me, the Ginny of youth doesn't seem the same as the Ginny of today.  I'm not sure I can explain exactly what I mean but I'll give it a go.  Throughout earlier discussions online, there has been considerable speculation that Ginny has some sort of mental deficit/disorder.  In the chapters when she discusses her youth, she seems more together, if you will.  She has the frame of mind to properly prepare the house for Vivi's arrival; she is in cahoots with Maud on how to disguise Maud's alcoholism; she even locks Maud in the library when she is drunk in an effort to prevent problems.  In her work with Clive, she seems knowledgeable and bright.  She understands the scientific terms well and can articulate the processes that occur in great detail.  Finally, her relationship with Vivi seems different.  In these chapters, I got the sense that Ginny is looking out for Vivi's well-being more than the other way around.  Yet, in the present day, Ginny doesn't seem to be able to get her points across as clearly and she seems easily frustrated.  I recognize time changes people but I am just having some difficulty meshing the fact that the young and old Ginny are the same person.
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bookfan08
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

In response to chapter 10
 
I found the explanation of the Brimstone a little much. I'm not sure if the whole moth study and explanations is supposed to be symbolic of the family relationship.
 
I did not really feel sorry for Maud in this chapter. I did find it hard to believe that Clive and Ginny were so involved that it was 2 days since they saw her. I think Ginny's analogy of the "real" Maud and "this" Maud was just her memories of how Maud was when Ginny was younger, the Maud today is a completely different person in Ginny's eyes.
 
Chapter 11
 
During this time, Vivi is really concerned about how the house will look to her sister, I think this has a lot to do with her agreement to help Maud.
Vivi thinks that now because Ginny no longer lives in the house with the family she is almost like an outsider and that is why she is centered on the house
 
The relationship between Vivi and Arthur is interesting because this is really the only glimpse we get into Vivi life outside of the family. I think Arthur is the one who made a real effort to be nice and get to know Vivi family.I don't think they actually "eat" him alive I think it is more of a slow warm up on the family's part to accept him.
 
Chapter 12
I thought that Ginny's explanation of spying on Vivi in the house is more evidence that supports Ginny's state of mind, I think because she has been there by herself so long that she is so in tuned in her world which is the house.
I think Viivi was skeptical that Muad fell down the steps, she does not know her mother was an alcoholic and if she does know she does not want to admit it and come to terms with what happened.
 I don't think Ginny was deluded by her family she was the one who received the worst treatment of Maud and yet protected her secret.
 
Chapter13
 
I think Clive is a little mentally unstable how can he be so involved in his work so much he is unaware of wht is going on around him does he not feel anything?
 
Ginny quote about being unaware gives us a deeper look into how her mind works and thinks, she feels that dhe is totally aware of herself i found the her thoughts about not being able to exist if you were unaware of yourself interesting considering the present state of mind of Ginny.
 
I was little put off by Viiv request she is always thinking me, me,me. I feel that  Viivi does not htrive on pepoles sorrows she doesn't go out of her way to make or want peoplre to suffer I think it just makes her more self aware and that she nis actually important anfd that people really need her.
 
 
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carriele
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



Sisters3 wrote:
What do you think of the constant rehashing by Maud of "Ginny ruining her life?"  I haven't found anything that has answered that for me.


I thought perhaps Maud blamed Ginny for two things. First, I think Maud may have felt that Ginny was somewhat responsible for Vivi leaving for London at such a young age.  I think Maud may have felt lonely without Vivi and therefore turned to the bottle more frequently.  Second, I have to wonder if Maud was also somewhat jealous/resentful of the relationship between Clive and Ginny.  They got so involved in their  research that they overlooked Maud for days at a time. 
 
Carrie E. 
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kmensing
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13 - CONTAINS SPOILER, INCIDENT FROM CHAPTER 14



Everyman wrote:
>Carmenere_lady wrote: Hey, don't forget Arthur! He seemed normal to me.

SPOILER WARNING -- THE FOLLOWING REFERS TO AN INCIDENT IN CHAPTER 14. IF YOU'VE ONLY GOTTEN THROUGH CHAPTER 13, STOP HERE, DON'T READ ON OR A MAJOR PLOT ELEMENT WILL BE SPOILED FOR YOU.



Sorry, but I can't consider anybody who would have sex repeatedly with his wife's sister in order to produce a baby to satisfy his wife to be normal. Maybe when you posted your comment you had only read through Chapter 13, and if so, fine. But if you've now read through Chapter 14, do you still consider Arthur normal?

Thank you for pointing this out---I thought maybe, it was just something that "was just done back in those days"--either way, I agree with an earlier post, which suggested the use of a turkey baster!  LOL!  We may not have found enough humor in the book, but at least we're keeping ourselves entertained here at the forum :smileyhappy:

 
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lcnh1
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13

Ginny as the surrogate mother surprised me as well.  Given the idea that something is "wrong" with Ginny I was amazed that Vivi would ask her sister to do this.  I thought the request was very selfish as well given the relationships within the family.  Vivi was asking Ginny to do something and was not provided any support at all.  I wondered what Vivi's motives were because I felt that there was something beyond having a child.  If she wanted a child, she could have adopted.

BookWoman718 wrote:
 
Vivi's request of Ginny was entirely selfish.  She is asking her unmarried sister to have sexual relations with her brother-in-law on a regular basis until such time as she might get impregnated, and then go through the physical and emotional burdens of unmarried pregnancy, and then turn the child over to be raised by her sister, during which time Ginny's own child would be calling her 'aunt.'   How is that not selfish?   But for me, apart from the breathtaking selfishness of the request, I found it unbelievable that Vivi, who has been showing all these signs of thinking something's 'wrong' with Ginny, would ask her to bear a child for her.  Why on earth, wanting a child, would she choose a surrogate mother with emotional/ behavioral / and or mental problems?  Would Vivi be dreaming of a little girl with Ginny's unattractive lower lip, her lack of social graces?   No, she wouldn't.    
 

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pheath
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13



detailmuse wrote:
The 4-day structure (i.e. the sections) of this novel set me up to expect a ticking-clock thriller. Yet we've spent most of the time in the past instead of in the premise of reunited sisters. I began to feel impatient for the real-time story on p.115, and when Ch.12 opened with "Vivian's been home for a day now," I thought: and we've seen nothing of it. :smileysad:





I remember thinking that the early part of the novel spent a disproportionate amount of time in back story. I'm not sure what the best way to resolve it would have been, but it felt a little out of balance now that you mention it.
-Philip
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Tarri
Posts: 457
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Re: Chapters 10 through 13 - CONTAINS SPOILER, INCIDENT FROM CHAPTER 14



Everyman wrote:
>Carmenere_lady wrote: Hey, don't forget Arthur! He seemed normal to me.

SPOILER WARNING -- THE FOLLOWING REFERS TO AN INCIDENT IN CHAPTER 14. IF YOU'VE ONLY GOTTEN THROUGH CHAPTER 13, STOP HERE, DON'T READ ON OR A MAJOR PLOT ELEMENT WILL BE SPOILED FOR YOU.



Sorry, but I can't consider anybody who would have sex repeatedly with his wife's sister in order to produce a baby to satisfy his wife to be normal. Maybe when you posted your comment you had only read through Chapter 13, and if so, fine. But if you've now read through Chapter 14, do you still consider Arthur normal?

Yeah, but we are comparing him to the Stone family. 
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