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KxBurns
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Chapters 14 through 16

[ Edited ]

Chapter 14: Vivien's Day Out

 

-well, there is plenty of evidence of Ginny's idiosyncrasies to pick apart here (especially in her ransacking of the handbag). Have at it if you wish!  :smileyhappy:

 

-evidence of Vivi's own pregnancy is a much a mystery to Ginny as it is to us. Any theories?...

 

-as far as the surrogacy is concerned, isn't it really odd that Ginny's professed motive for agreeing is "securing that everlasting kinship with Vivi" (p. 144) since they're already kin?

 

-I get the impression that Arthur is better able to perceive Ginny's limitations than her own family, especially in light of the comment on page 149 about his accidentally having pointed out a deformity. He seems aware of things that nobody else in the family will acknowledge.

 

-Ginny's reaction to getting a whiff of sherry from Vivi again brings up the imagery of a parasite: "The smell unleashes a little remnant of fear and unease that burrows its way out onto the skin of my arms…" (p. 151).

 

 

Chapter 15: In Remembrance of Pauline Abbey Clarke

 

-it is telling that Ginny makes the comparison between herself and Michael. What do you see as the similarities and the differences between the two?

 

-how does Pauline Abbey Clarke, of the chapter's title, relate to the story of Ginny and her family?

 

-at the beginning of the chapter it seems like Arthur wants to get to know Ginny better but she would prefer to keep the relationship impersonal; by the end (still the same day, though) Ginny has come to think they are alike in many ways. This, combined with her reference to the possible baby as "my child" (p. 160), signals trouble ahead.

 

-Maud's assault on Ginny was truly chilling, and Clive's intercession made it no less bizarre -- particularly when viewed through Ginny's eyes in which it has the strange air of a performance. Clive is not nearly as oblivious as Ginny believes, but now the question becomes, how much does Arthur know? What do you think?

 

 

Chapter 16: A Nuclear Test and Titus

 

-Maud dies on Good Friday. Do you think she was sacrificed by Clive to spare Ginny?

 

-why was Dr. Moyse really called in? What do you think is the source of Vivi's rage and the rift between her and Clive?

 

-Ginny again describes the scene when Vivi arrives as having a theatricality about it. Is this because she's distancing herself emotionally from the events as she watches? Is there another reason?

 

-check out the picture of the Emperor Titus on this page. Remind you of anything?

 

-Ginny is pregnant, and her relationship with Arthur has clearly changed. What is it that Arthur and Ginny seek in one another? Who is at fault for this betrayal?

 

 

(You might have noticed that Chapter 17 is actually part of Sunday -- I think it makes more sense to discuss it with that section...)



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-09-2008 06:23 PM
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julyso
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I enjoyed these chapters, things are really starting to move now! What will happen to this baby???
Julie
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Gracie136
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I have read most of the book today and just made it to this point. I think Clive's coming in middle of the attack clearly shows he is aware of what has been going on. Yet he has no response to Ginny on the floor. Why does Ginny feel she has to keep all of this from him? Is she protecting Maude or Clive? Why did Maude tell Ginny she ruined her life? I did think that Clive was responsible for Maude's death. It's the only way to save Ginny. He not only gives up Maude but his whole way of life.
I have many questions now and am off to finish reading.
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kmensing
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Ch 14

“but for a child to grow up amid a secret that everyone knew was wrong and unkind”--This quote from Vivi is surely connected to Ginny’s childhood secrets.

Author sees signs of Mauds abuse--how much will this woman take from her mother. Which leads me back to the “did she push her mother down the stairs” theory.

I must admit, I’m starting to find humor in this book. For instance the love making scene--when Ginny contemplates taking the sperm up to the lab & putting it under the microscope. Hehehe!

Ch 15

Another mystery -- why is Maud accusing Ginny of ruining her life?

Michael turns out to be Ginny’s pot dealer--again, I’ve finally found humor in this book. Ginny makes a connection to him, probably because both had taken care of abusive parents.

Ginny states that she’s upset with herself for not talking to Clive about Maud. Where is Clive in the house & how can he not notice Maud’s alcoholism--denial is one thing, but come on.

Ginny is finally at ease with Arthur. And Maud is “on” to them--goes into a rage--Clive walks into the room & acts as if nothing is wrong. How can he not fly into a rage? I’m assuming that he takes great pride in Ginny ‘s following in his profession--so why isn’t he affected more? Regarding Maud holding the skillet as a tool, Clive says “shall I take that Maud”, “or are you about to cook us some steak”--this is funny, yet so sad. I’m also wondering why, if Arthur knows what’s going on in the house, doesn’t he take Ginny back to live with he & Vivi?

Ch 16

Maud’s fall. Did Clive push her? Did Ginny push her & then repress the memory? What does Vivi believe happened? If Clive pushed her, I wonder what the topic of conversation was during their picnic? What was the motive, no matter who the pusher? Or was she simply too drunk to know which door she was going thru? And Ginny’s lack of emotion leads me more and more towards the autism theory.

Pg. 173 “I haven’t yet told you the extraordinary thing Clive did when he’d finished up in his study” another cliffhanger? I hope not. And will we finally realize what the moth connection is to Maud’s death? I hope so.

Clive’s sudden retirement, Vivi’s leaving the house for the last time & her attitude towards Ginny. What was the conversation between Clive & Vivi. The Dr.’s comment “even your mother would have wanted it” pg. 176-177. The mysteries just keep adding up and at this point absolutely nothing is being answered. This is the most suspenseful I’ve ever felt about a book I didn’t like--make sense? Hehehe! This book had better end with a bang.

The chapter ends with Arthur & Ginny embracing….how will this relationship progress?

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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

[ Edited ]


kmensing wrote:

Michael turns out to be Ginny’s pot dealer--again, I’ve finally found humor in this book.


I agree - I chuckled at this part and marvelled to myself that Ginny isn't more... relaxed...
 
 

kmensing wrote:

Ginny is finally at ease with Arthur. And Maud is “on” to them--goes into a rage--Clive walks into the room & acts as if nothing is wrong. How can he not fly into a rage? I’m assuming that he takes great pride in Ginny ‘s following in his profession--so why isn’t he affected more? Regarding Maud holding the skillet as a tool, Clive says “shall I take that Maud”, “or are you about to cook us some steak”--this is funny, yet so sad. I’m also wondering why, if Arthur knows what’s going on in the house, doesn’t he take Ginny back to live with he & Vivi?


I'm starting to think that Vivi thinks Ginny is a danger to Maud but that Clives sees correctly that it is Maud who is a danger to Ginny. This would explain the fights between Vivi and Maud on the phone -- Maud has to defend Ginny in order to avoid revealing her own alcoholism -- and Vivi's anger with Clive, as well as what I sense is her anger at Ginny.

But it does not explain how she could want such a person to carry a child for her. Unless she's truly the maggot and Ginny the caterpillar. Maybe Vivi intends to use Ginny as her host and then discard her to rot in Bulburrow Court?



Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-09-2008 07:34 PM
CAG
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CAG
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I think Clive knew what was going on between Maude and Ginny but not the degree of physical abuse. Maybe it was easier for him to let Ginny take care of his wife when she was drinking. I think Maude told Ginny she ruined her life because of Ginny's conditiion (my personal opinion is she has Aspergers syndrom) and I think both Maude and Clive felt they wanted to hide her condition as much as possible. They seem like a strange pair to begin with and Ginny may have made the family feel even more odd. Perhaps Maude had to give up something she wanted to do with her life in order to take care a child who wasn't quite "normal".
 
I am wondering more now if Ginny didn't push her sister.
 
I am not sure if Clive is responsible for Maude's death. I
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Sisters3
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Well, my tune has greatly changed since the last few chapters! I wasn't sure
if I would carry on with the book and was glad I stuck with it (makes me
wonder if I have set down other books too soon?)
 
I truly am starting to feel sorry for Ginny.  She has never had a life of her own, she is so clinical about her relationships and keeps everyone at a distance (even with Arthur and his sincere, I think,  intent of getting to know Ginny better.)  The family is such a disconnected bunch.  There is always something being alluded to with Ginny and her health, I can't quite figure out what she is dealing with (dementia? she couldn't deal with things the way that Vivi could...is there a reason why?)
 
What DID happen to Maud? Did Clive have something to do with her fall? Or was there
a connection between Maud's fall and the earlier fall of Vivi (all to do with Ginny?)
 
I will keep reading and hope to get some answers.... :smileyhappy:
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avanders
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

[ Edited ]
My responses to some of Moderator KxBurns' questions:

Chapter 14: Vivien's Day Out

-well, there is plenty of evidence of Ginny's idiosyncrasies to pick apart here (especially in her ransacking of the handbag). Have at it if you wish!
** I loved that Ginny not only felt the need to look... Vivi does not ever appear to be covering anything up, up to this point in the book, and I find it very interesting that Ginny feels the need to secretly peruse Vivi's bag, rather than just asking her questions. Obviously the almost 50-year absence has much to do with this hesitation, but, as someone with sisters, I am left to wonder if there might not be something more here -- some additional hint of a personality of Ginny's that we're just beginning to see.

-evidence of Vivi's own pregnancy is a much a mystery to Ginny as it is to us. Any theories?...
** I wondered about this and immediately thought of two theories: (1) that somehow Vivi actually was able to bear a child. Maybe she had some surgery and had some necessary things put back in -- not eggs, but at least enough to carry a child? Much more likely, however (and not knowing enough medicine now or at that time to further the prior theory or debunk it), is (2) that she so badly wanted to have her own child that she pretended she had one. I felt this probably happened *while* Ginny was pregnant and may have had something to do with the number of questions Vivi hounded Ginny with about her pregnancy, her feelings, her cravings, etc.

-as far as the surrogacy is concerned, isn't it really odd that Ginny's professed motive for agreeing is "securing that everlasting kinship with Vivi" (p. 144) since they're already kin?
** Interesting thought... from the beginning, Ginny is the less spunky, more following sister and Vivi leads, although younger (and at age 3--half her age!). But Ginny always seemed to be seeking approval or acceptance from Vivi (albeit not explicitly) and this, to me, seemed a way for her to have permanent acceptance...

-I get the impression that Arthur is better able to perceive Ginny's limitations than her own family, especially in light of the comment on page 149 about his accidentally having pointed out a deformity. He seems aware of things that nobody else in the family will acknowledge.
** It felt to me that Arthur wasn't *able* to perceive Ginny's limitations better as much as he was *willing* to perceive, and then move on to accept, her limitations. Which is probably why they were able to form a more... "normal" friendship


Chapter 15: In Remembrance of Pauline Abbey Clarke

-at the beginning of the chapter it seems like Arthur wants to get to know Ginny better but she would prefer to keep the relationship impersonal; by the end (still the same day, though) Ginny has come to think they are alike in many ways. This, combined with her reference to the possible baby as "my child" (p. 160), signals trouble ahead.
** indeed it signals trouble... we are left to wonder if there won't be some triangle formed. Though we do know, based on the book so far, that Ginny does not end up with the child -- she has been alone for so long in that house...


-Maud's assault on Ginny was truly chilling, and Clive's intercession made it no less bizarre -- particularly when viewed through Ginny's eyes in which it has the strange air of a performance. Clive is not nearly as oblivious as Ginny believes, but now the question becomes, how much does Arthur know? What do you think?
** It seems at this point that Arthur has talked to Clive about the situation, at least on a surface level, and they appear to have been anticipating this sort of outburst and readying themselves, at least mentally, to deal with it when the time came. What is interesting is Arthur's apparent and complete willingness to go along with Clive's "game".


Chapter 16: A Nuclear Test and Titus

-Maud dies on Good Friday. Do you think she was sacrificed by Clive to spare Ginny?
** It seemed to me that this was a very strong possibility.

-why was Dr. Moyse really called in? What do you think is the source of Vivi's rage and the rift between her and Clive?
** Dr. Moyse! Since I am joining in this discussion somewhat late, I don't know what discussion has already been had bout him, but he is one of the more fascinating characters in the story, if only because of how much intrigue he lends to Ginny & what her family believes is her ... situation. I think Dr. Moyse was called in to be a "doctor", in order to ensure that the proper steps were taking in recording the death... but probably to simultaneously ensure that not too many of the wrong questions were asked ... to the wrong people.. At this point in the book, I think Vivi is enraged with Clive either for murdering Maud and for covering it all up, as if it were nothing important, instead of dealing with the matter(s) appropriately. Or for covering up *Ginny's* act (assuming Maud didn't fall and someone pushed her), instead of letting her be punished for it.

-Ginny again describes the scene when Vivi arrives as having a theatricality about it. Is this because she's distancing herself emotionally from the events as she watches? Is there another reason?
** Hmm. I think, yes, she seems to distance herself emotionally from most events. Maybe another reason is that Vivi's vivaciousness does actually have a theatrical element?

-Ginny is pregnant, and her relationship with Arthur has clearly changed. What is it that Arthur and Ginny seek in one another? Who is at fault for this betrayal?
** They probably seek normalcy and friendship in a bizarre world. They also appear to be seeking an intimacy, at least in part to make the situation seem less bizarre. I think the argument could be made that almost every character has some fault in the situation... Clive & Maud clearly don't have the communication that might have assuaged some of the later situations that arise/have arisen. Vivi has created a situation so bizarre by her needs that Arthur and Ginny seek to become normal within it. And of course Arthur and Ginny, as main parties to the betrayal, are to blame for their own actions.

Great Reading -- Thank you!

Message Edited by avanders on 03-09-2008 08:21 PM

Message Edited by avanders on 03-09-2008 08:30 PM
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krb2g
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

It's getting increasingly hard for me to suspend disbelief in this section. I feel like I'm in the middle of a soap opera. Vivi wants to keep the surrogacy a secret because everyone keeping a secret from a child is wrong (it seems rather selfish to me that she can't imagine having a child that knows it's not biologically hers)--and yet, if Ginny carries the pregnancy to term, probably many people will notice her pregnancy. In the meanwhile, Ginny does seem to have some sort of condition like autism, not to mention the abuse she takes from Maud--and Arthur notices it and apparently does nothing about it. At the very least, you might think he'd want to protect the potential birth mother of his unborn child during her pregnancy. Ginny has seemed emotionally stunted throughout the novel, yet all it takes is one walk with Arthur for her to loosen up with him? Finally there's Arthur and Vivi's persistent efforts to make sure Ginny knows exactly what she's getting into: "The first thing Arthur said to me, almost formally, was 'Ginny, I need to know that you understand what you're doing, that you know you're giving the baby away. It will not be your baby. You will not be its mother, Vivien will. Are you sure you want to do that.' He said it so very s-l-o-w-l-y and c-l-e-a-r-l-y as if I were an idiot" (146). Arthur's comment here, and his embarrassment/back-tracking on page 149 when he notices Ginny's bruises seem to indicate to me that he knows that Ginny's ability to consent to Vivi's plan might be questionable and that Ginny is in a very tenuous position in her own home (i.e. being beaten) and yet he is willing to go through with the plan for Vivi. Although he is kind to Ginny the whole time, these actions make me think he's as selfish as Vivi in some respects.
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thewanderingjew
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

 
KxBurns wrote:
-check out the picture of the Emperor Titus on this page. Remind you of anything?

 

i actually posted a comment on another board asking if anyone else thought there was a similarity between the cover and a bust of caesar. no one else seemed to agree. i am glad someone else noticed the similarity, albeit to another roman; i was feeling pretty lonely out there!

twj

 

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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

"Now that (Vivi's) gone and I've finally lost sight of her, I'm not craving for her to turn back at all. To tell you the truth, the twisting anxiety that has wrung my stomach ever since her arrival has evaporated, and now I'm overtaken by a delightful sense of relief and freedom. It's the same feeling I had when I watched Bobby driving away, the furniture and all that clutter disappearing down the drive in his van."(141)

I find it interesting that Ginny equates Vivi with the house's furnishings here. Clearly, they both are full of an emotional baggage (clutter) that Ginny would prefer to send away, rather than deal with. I'm really beginning to understand Ginny's feelings about having Vivi in the house. She dearly wants a close relationship with her sister, like when they were small, though she feels so much anxiety about "whatever circumstances happened since Vivi's leaving home", she knows it would be easier, and a relief, if she could just send Vivi away, like the furniture, and not deal with the ghosts of their past. I am anxious, myself, to find out exactly what all of these ghosts are.....
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runnybabbit620
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Chapter 14--
 
Right from the start, I noticed the fact that Ginny loses control when Vivi walked out.  (First sentence in Chapter 14.)  So, Ginny is more than comfortable to spy on Vivi, but if Vivi goes out for a walk somewhere that Ginny can't snoop on her, Ginny loses control?  It seems as if, when Vivi left the house years ago to move to London that they stopped considering her close family and more of a visitor whenever she'd come back to stay.
 
To have Ginny snooping around in Vivi's purse seems to me that, since she can't follow Vivi, that she must do SOMETHING to help Ginny "get to know her better".  (I am almost surprised that she doesn't "steal" a few bobby pins or safety pins to make things "even" in Ginny's eyes.)
 
Then she discovers the gold brooch and opens it to find an old picture of Vivi and Arthur.  In the picture, Vivi appears visibly pregnant.  We know this cannot happen due to circumstances described much earlier in the book, so how can this be?  Maybe this is to cover up for the fact that Ginny plans to be a surrogate to Vivi for a child for Vivi and Arthur?  Vivi could have constructed a makeshift "bump" to make it look like she was carrying a child while she and Arthur lived in London.  But what's with the fear in coming right out with the truth and saying that you have a surrogate mother because of your medical inability to have children?  Other than Vivi saying to Ginny (on p. 144) "that the surrogacy must be kept secret from everyone--apart from the three of us" and that, if Clive and Maud knew, they'd be opposed to the idea.
 
The first time Arthur and Ginny meet is almost downright hilarous if it weren't for the fact that Ginny is so darned scientific about it.  It's as if Ginny fully expects conception the first time around while Arthur plans to have to make multiple trips to "get the job done", so to speak.  I wonder if this relationship felt confusing to Arthur, he's married to Vivi, but trying to conceive with Ginny.  He seems kind of hesitant at the idea on p.147 and Ginny certainly doesn't seem much help (on p. 148) as she lays there as still as she could and then compares him to a stag beetle.  A STAG BEETLE???
 
Chapter 15--
 
Arthur understands that conception could take a while and, while Ginny doesn't want admit that such a thing can be true, due in part to her highly scientific calculations,  Arthur does what he can to form a sort of bond with Ginny for the duration of their times together.  I find it sad that Ginny does have a place, but doesn't want Arthur to know about it as she feels he would not be as appreciative of it.  Still, from the first day of their meeting when Vivi brought him to meet their family, Arthur is genuinely trying to understand and get along with them.  Why shouldn't the same ring true, in Arthur's mind, for him to get to know Ginny even more during their time together by killing some time in a "favorite spot" of Ginny's?  Thankfully, we find that Arthur, too, appreciates Ginny's favorite spot and is in agreement to enjoying graveyards.
 
"My life took on the form of a treacherous board game, the people within it the counters.  But I was playing on my own, for and against myself, discreetly moving the counters, making sure each one was winning while ensuring that none of them was aware that they were being played."  I find that statement from Ginny very eerie.  I think that she believed that she was in control of all the aspects of life at Bulburrow Court, but she may well not have really been.
 
It seems to me that Maud knew the creaks and crevices in the house and where to listen for clues as, later on, we find Ginny doing.  Maybe this is how we come to find Maud accusing Ginny and attempting to hit her over the head with a frying pan.  It is still sad to see, however, that Clive is casually ignorant of the goings-on, or at least prefers to be more involved in his moth study than his family and the lives they live.
 
Chapter 16--
 
Reading this chapter again, I DO notice what seemed a premeditated action on Clive's part regarding the problem Maud had become.  Maybe taking her out for a picnic on Good Friday was part of his plan to "handle the situation" and maybe HE left the door to the cellar unlocked on purpose?  It seems to me that the events that led to Maud's death happened a little too quickly after Maud and Clive returned home from the picnic for things to be a "pure accident". 
 
Clive's actions and mannerisms shortly thereafter really make me wonder if he was truly guilty, leaving the estate to Ginny (and Vivien!) and admitting himself into Anchorage retirement home the following day.  It as if he is at once remorseful of the separation by death of Maud and, maybe, in part, feeling guilty for perhaps contributing to her death--whether intentionally or unintentionally.  (See his reactions on pp. 173-174.)
 
I find that all the work that Clive (and Ginny) had been doing regarding the flourescent compound of a certain moth and to have to kill hundreds of thousands of them just to find out that the one for which Clive was searching for as part of the challenge to determine that it was radioactive from a French nuclear test in the Sahara Desert to all have been a bit obsessive, destructive, and a waste of time.
 
I half wonder if Vivi's rage over Clive is because of some event that Ginny doesn't tell us or maybe doesn't know transpired between Vivi and Clive.  It almost feels as if Clive was doing illicit things with Vivi before she intervened with Ginny to help plead her case for the secretarial school in London (to get away from Clive???).  Or maybe it was something regarding the will that Arthur mentions a concern about (on p.181) and that Ginny observes upon must be something about the will or in Clive's handing over the estate to us, but never bothers to figure out what it is that has turned Vivi into "a raging bull".  Instead, I believe that Ginny fully expects Vivi to approach her with her questions and concerns (or even go to Clive, if Vivi could make herself do that) stating that Vivi should "tell (her) and then we might be able to sort it out, talk it through.  I can't be expected to guess what's got to her..."
 
So, the bust on the front cover is Titus Sorrell, the man who turned around Crewkerne's ailing economy in the mid-19th century.  Even so, why exactly is it on the cover of the book?  What significance does he have with Ginny and her family in Bulburrow Court?
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

[ Edited ]
I found the whole handbag incident quite funny. I could almost hear "cha-ching... Jackpot!" when Ginny finds the handbag on the counter. I love that she tries her very best to put everything back in the bag in a messy way, and even sticks her hand back in a couple times to stir up the mess. :smileyvery-happy: The thing that struck me the most odd, was the keys. Ginny asks"(what for?)"(142), and I thought the same thing. Vivi has come back to Bullburrow Court "for good", and doesn't have her own car, so why would she need a "bunch of keys"(142)? I thought, maybe, they were Michael's spare keys to the house and grounds (since he's the one who takes care of those things, kind of) and Vivi was going to try and get in to the cellar, and possibly some other places that have been locked up. Could she have turned the tables and started spying on Ginny, or her past?

I have to agree with most of you, that Vivi was probably staging a pregnancy, so as to not have any questions from people in London when she suddenly had a baby in tow. Did any of you find it funny that Vivi made lists of "what to do" and "what not to do" for Ginny? and even funnier that Ginny quotes the lists to Arthur? hehehehe

Message Edited by pigwidgeon on 03-09-2008 10:07 PM
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psujulie
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

My initial thoughts were that Clive had something to do with Maud's accident. That would make some sense as to why Vivien has very negative feelings towards him.
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pigwidgeon
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I love the interaction between Ginny and Arthur at the beginning of their second visit. It is the first time that we see Ginny have a "normal" relationship, and conversation, with someone. The two of them seem to understand each other, and take the time to talk a bit, putting aside their roles in Vivi's "production" if for only a few moments. It's good to see Ginny relaxed and comfortable (once Arthur agreed with her a little), for a change.

I was horrified by the scene in the kitchen with Maud! Clive, and Arthur, had surely been on the lookout for something like this. Do you think that Clive kept that test tube handy (like Ginny's milk prop, in a previous chapter), so he could appear with it at will? Ginny said he should have been disappointed that the mixture didn't show a result, but he merely said "Oh well"(167) and changed the focus toward Maud and the fry pan. Clive knew he didn't have to physically get into the fight, only let Maud know he was present, for it to halt (recall Maud previously trying to act sober whenever Clive was around, despite her progressively heavier drinking), though I think Arthur was enlisted as backup, just in case. I'm sure, after the kitchen incident, the picnic excursion and Maud's death were orchestrated by Clive. Clive must have felt responsible, partially at least, for Maud's drinking and abuse of Ginny, and finally decided to do something to handle a situation that was WAY out of control. At that point he had very few options left, and probably felt that putting Maud out of her misery was the easiest option, with the least amount of effort.

I assume, if Clive had a hand in Maud's demise, that is why he left the house (almost immediately), and was said to battle demons as he approached death himself.

Are we getting a separate thread for chapter 17? or will it be lumped together with Chapters 18-20?
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

When I read of Clive coming into the kitchen just at the necessary moment to save Ginny from probable serious injury, I hearkened back to Vivi's comment very early in the book that contrary to Ginny's sense the Clive was off in his little world, in fact Clive knew very well what was going in in the house. I can't remember the exact words, but recall the comment.

It seems to me that he does know, but that his commitment to his moth study is so all-consuming that he doesn't bother to act on what he knows until he finds it really necessary to pause his studies to attend to some human interaction issue.
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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



Sisters3 wrote:
I truly am starting to feel sorry for Ginny. She has never had a life of her own, she is so clinical about her relationships and keeps everyone at a distance (even with Arthur and his sincere, I think, intent of getting to know Ginny better.)

I found the episode of Ginny and Arthur to be almost unbearably sad, bordering on depressing. The impersonal way in which Ginny approaches the most intimate of human interactions, her quite casual, almost clinical detachment, her inability as far as I can see to have any inkling of an emotional aspect to what she apparently sees as a mere act of simple procreation, no different from breeding moths to produce more Brimstones to kill. As a lover, parent, and grandparent, I could hardly bear to read these passages which eviscerated any humanity from the most compelling human relationship that a man and woman can share.

I wonder what kind of person could write these passages.
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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

In the picture, Vivi appears visibly pregnant. We know this cannot happen due to circumstances described much earlier in the book, so how can this be? Maybe this is to cover up for the fact that Ginny plans to be a surrogate to Vivi for a child for Vivi and Arthur? Vivi could have constructed a makeshift "bump" to make it look like she was carrying a child while she and Arthur lived in London.

That's what I assumed, so they would have pictures to show the relatives and child to prove it was really Vivi's. We have to recall that this was probably in the 1950s, before surrogate parenting became at least somewhat acceptable. They probably felt it was still necessary to hide the reality.
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I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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jillhubbs
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-29-2006
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



CAG wrote:
I think Clive knew what was going on between Maude and Ginny but not the degree of physical abuse. Maybe it was easier for him to let Ginny take care of his wife when she was drinking. I think Maude told Ginny she ruined her life because of Ginny's conditiion (my personal opinion is she has Aspergers syndrom) and I think both Maude and Clive felt they wanted to hide her condition as much as possible. They seem like a strange pair to begin with and Ginny may have made the family feel even more odd. Perhaps Maude had to give up something she wanted to do with her life in order to take care a child who wasn't quite "normal".
 
I am wondering more now if Ginny didn't push her sister.
 
I am not sure if Clive is responsible for Maude's death. I





I have been trying to figure out how it is that Ginny ruined Maude's life, I wondered if it was because her shared passion with Clive took him away from Maude too much but now that I read this post I think yes maybe it is because Ginny is different. I hope we learn why Maude felt this way.
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Deenow
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎02-01-2008
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I am  starting to enjoy these chapters as well.Everything seems to finally be moving at a good pace.... and just when I was staring to enjoy the book. I couldn't put it down . I won't spoil it for you guys, but I am upset at the ending .
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