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fordmg
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



SleightGirl wrote:
I think I just assumed that when Maude said that Ginny ruined her life that it was because Maude was then stuck with Clive.  They are such a different and odd couple, I wonder if Maude would have stayed with him if she didn't have the child to worry about.  During that time, if one got pregnant (premaritally), then the only option was to get married whether one wanted to or not.  I think Maude had to give up a lot of who she was to stay with Clive.


Also remember that Clive learned his trade from his father in law.  Maude might have felt pressured to marry someone who would carry on the family tradition.  After she found someone to carry on with the research, then what?  She never lived her own life.
MG
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fordmg
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



Everyman wrote:
Somebody, I forget who, suggested that Clive had actually poisoned Maud (maybe in the wine or other alcoholic beverage at the picnic? She "reeked of alcohol" according to Ginny) and laid her out at the bottom of the stairs.

This suggestion seems supported by two things First, when people fall down stairs, how likely is it that they would lie out splayed at the bottom, neatly, like a child playing dead? Second, how come there is no mention at all of blood? Shouldn't there be at least some blood?



So that is why Clive insisted that Ginny call Dr. Moyse - to make sure that the death certificate was "correct".
Maybe that is why Vivian is so upset.   I think she kicked the good doctor out after she arrived.   Arthur must have enlightened her as to what was going on.
MG
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nfam
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I think that these chapters are an indication that we are seeing everything from the wrong perspective. Looked at from Ginny's perspective nothing makes sense. However, turn it around and see what happens. Ginny isn't pregnant, Vivi is. That would explain the picture. Ginny is making up the whole business about the pregnancy.

Clive knows what's happening, that Maud is beating Ginny and doesn't step in. I also think he knows Ginny killed her mother. He and Vivi both take off after Maud's death. They are afraid of Ginny, but can't bear to accuse her of her mother's death.

As to the scene with Vivi and Clive, personally, I think she was taking him to task for leaving someone as mentally challenged as Ginny alone in the house. I have to say that taken from a rational perspective no one would leave someone like Ginny alone. Today social services would be taking a strong hand. I know there's a lady who tries to leave leaflets, but it's pretty weak. I come back to the analogy of the cannibal caterpillar. I believe it's Ginny and she's destroying the family, exactly what Maud was saying.

Certainly the scene in the graveyard is a prefiguring of what happens to Ginny. Like the untended graves, she is left by herself to molder in the old,crumbling house.

This is definitely a strange story. It's as if the author is trying to stretch the mystery. I wonder if she has a clear idea of the back story. Why would Vivi come at this particular time after all the dreadful things she walked away from before. I also don't think that Ginny has any scientific ability. I think her relationship with Clive is all in her mind.

Thinking about the irresponsible behavior of all these people, it makes you wonder why they would leave someone as mentally unstable as Ginny in a house loaded with deadly poison. It doesn't make a great deal of sense.
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SleightGirl
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



fordmg wrote:


SleightGirl wrote:
I think I just assumed that when Maude said that Ginny ruined her life that it was because Maude was then stuck with Clive.  They are such a different and odd couple, I wonder if Maude would have stayed with him if she didn't have the child to worry about.  During that time, if one got pregnant (premaritally), then the only option was to get married whether one wanted to or not.  I think Maude had to give up a lot of who she was to stay with Clive.


Also remember that Clive learned his trade from his father in law.  Maude might have felt pressured to marry someone who would carry on the family tradition.  After she found someone to carry on with the research, then what?  She never lived her own life.
MG



Oh yeah! I forgot about that...good point.
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

 

Chapter 14

When Ginny ransacks Vivi’s purse she seems to be looking for who this new Vivi is.  That Vivi would head out and not tell her she was leaving is something that is foreign to Ginny.  I get the impression that she assumed that she would need to know where Vivi was just like when they were kids.  If Vivi went somewhere so did Ginny and I think she felt left out when Vivi just left without telling her so she did something that would make her feel better and maybe get to know why she came back.

 

She could have found a surrogate mother or she was adopting and didn’t want anyone to know so she faked her “pregnancy”.

 

Ginny blows off the bruises that Maud gives her to Arthur so that the little secret will not get out.  That Ginny has taken for all this time Maud and her ravings is amazing to me.  I know with my personality that I would not have been able to take it once much less as many times as Maud lets go on Ginny.  That is a lot of perseverance on Ginny’s part.  Though I am beginning to wonder why Ginny is not letting Clive know about what is happening. 

 

Even after all this time Ginny has a fear of alcohol.  That Vivi smells like it after coming home would make a person edgy and put her a little off.  Ginny may be also thinking that Vivi has come home because she has to keep a secret as well.

 

Chapter 15

I have to say what struck me about this chapter was where she actually had Cannabis tea bags in her room.  The fact that she was using a drug of any kind after she saw what it did to Maud is interesting.  Did she feel that she could handle it or did she only use them when absolutely necessary.  Did this use of the drug have anything to do with her arthritis or did it have to do with prolonged use over a long period of time.  The fact that Michael supplied her with it makes me wonder if she knew that he was possibly making money from it since he grew it in her garden and decided to turn a blind eye to it. 

 

Michael seems to have had a fairly quiet life until his father died then he could do as he wanted.  Ginny may have had the same ability after a time.  She was set into a field that was thrust upon her and not of her choice and maybe now she could set it aside and do as she pleased.  Maybe this is why she seems so eccentric.  She finally did what she wanted to do and please herself instead of someone else and by doing so many people thought she needed someone to care for her.

 

The name of the Chapter is deceiving.  You feel like you are going to get to a catalyst finally for all the things that are happening and to find that this person has been dead for almost 200 years and is the place where Ginny and Arthur connect more on an emotional level than on an intellectual one.  Not that this is a bad thing it just appears to be unrelated to the store and allows one to be sidetracked from the story.  I found myself wondering why she would mention this when it had no bearing or would we find out that this person was related later in the book.

 

I like the part where Arthur asks Ginny about the Family Secret.  Ginny panics until Arthur mentions the Cannibal Caterpillar and she actually relaxes enough to an answer him with, as I read into it, humor.

 

Maud’s attack on Ginny makes the reader aware that no matter how discreet a person can be someone else will eventually pick up on it.  That Ginny thought Maud would never find out is interesting.  Did Ginny figure that Maud was to drunk and completely out of it to realize what Arthur and Ginny were doing.  Clive could have been oblivious though even he had to come to realize he was around to much.  Could Clive have, as he is a scientist, figured out what was going on and chose not to say anything knowing that Vivi wanted a baby and this was the best way to go about it?   Could Maud being a mother may have not seen this and assumed the worst? 

 

Clive probably intervened the way he did since he knew it was the easiest way to diffuse the situation.  He chose to ignore the common and go or unusual to get them to focus on him and not on what was going on.  Arthur just  did what was natural and went along since he didn’t know the full story.

 

Chapter 16

This Chapter really brings into focus how preoccupied we can be with our own interests and life.  That Ginny didn’t realize that Clive had already decided what to do with the estate underlines this.  Maud’s death may or may not have been planned though he may have gotten ready for the inevitability of it since he did know she was drinking.  That Clive wished for Dr. Moyse so quickly make me wonder as well as if this was not planned out between the two of them should anything happen.  It may or may not have been murder just that Dr. Moyse would have been able to keep quiet what had been the definitive factor in her death.

 

Dr. Moyse here again appears to be weird.  He seems to be more “worried” about Ginny then Clive.  After Vivi shows up Ginny says that Dr. Moyse attaches himself back to her and Ginny “suspected he and Clive had agreed not to leave me alone in case I collapsed beneath the weight of my grief, which they hadn’t realized was eluding me.”  That she could say this about her mother make me see that even though she put up with Maud she felt that there was nothing she could have done for her.  That in the end there was nothing to grieve for since she had ceased caring for Maud as a mother and only saw her as a person who had to be taken care of.  Clive and Vivi had a long talk or as the case appears argument.  Ginny never sees Vivi so doesn’t get to “see” what her emotions are though she does over hear Dr. Moyse and Vivi and through her words we get the impression that she is very angry over what happened to her mother.

 

Ginny tells Clive she is pregnant and all he says is congratulations.  This tells me that he knew all along what she and Arthur were doing.  As I mentioned earlier he must have known that Vivi wanted a baby.  It does make me wonder if he didn’t help Maud down the stairs since he knew what would happen if Maud found out that Ginny was pregnant or that the latest incident with the frying pan was going to lead to the end of Ginny and not Maud. 

 

Arthur and Ginny’s relationship changed when he found out she was pregnant.  I think that he wanted a baby and since she was carrying the baby that he would naturally change some of his affections to her and not Vivi.  The picture that she found of Arthur and Vivi may have been indicative of that tension that was now between them and what he now felt for Ginny.

 

Poppy is definitely keeping me interested now that she has finally got to the meat of the story.

Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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bmbrennan
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

-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?

 

It seems odd to me, however remember Ginny sees her as an outsider/visitor/guest  since she left the house and perhaps wants a more lasting bond, the baby, would give that to her at least in her mind.  While Ginny constantly ruminates over her childhood memories of her and Vivi, I get the impression at times that she is trying to convince herself that they had a good relationship because she was always there for Vivi.  It seems though that Vivi always made the move, coming to her bed, waiting for her so they could go out, coming home from London, true Vivi too also had an agenda but Ginny remained stationary while everyone else moved.

bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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bmbrennan
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

-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?

 

My opinion, yes there is some sort of bipolar disorder combine that with alcohol and reclusiveness and this becomes a deadly combination.  I think Maud feels she is sticking up for Vivi because Vivi is not there and she has witnessed an adulterous affair and justice must be meted out.  Her cruelty has been escalating so this shouldn't have come as a surprise even to Clive who has tried to distance himself from his family with his work.  Arthur I think knows more than he lets on, however how do you intrude when you are there infrequently.

bmbrennan
When the eagles are silent, the parrots begin to jabber. Churchill
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Jennd1
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I think these chapters show us the inner workings of the family however disfunctional they may be. I think the situation between Ginny and Maude was escalating and Clive knew he had to step in. I don't know that he wanted to kill Maude, he may have just wanted to injure her enough that they had to get her help. I think Ginny's decline was slow and I guess no one thought about the chemicals and such that she used in her work being a danger to her. I think Ginny digging through vivi's purse is very out of character, but makes for a light hearted moment of sorts which is needed. I think Ginny may have envied her sister her husband and her marriage and perhaps that is part of what drove them apart.
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MissKay1
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I thought the book has been a bit difficult to read until these chapters. Now things are starting to move along and I am finding I cannot put it down!
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bookhunter
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



MissKay1 wrote:
I thought the book has been a bit difficult to read until these chapters. Now things are starting to move along and I am finding I cannot put it down!


It is fascinating howq Ginny pulls us into this word of hers.   think about how different the story would have been if told from Viv' s view..
 
Ann, bookhunter
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



MissKay1 wrote:
I thought the book has been a bit difficult to read until these chapters. Now things are starting to move along and I am finding I cannot put it down!


That's great! What specifically do you think is adding to your enjoyment now that was missing earlier?
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maude40
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Ginny is worried about what people will say about her family. "I've just seen her stride off boldly down the middle of the drive, headed for the village, straight into the arms of it's whispering houses." It seems she has experienced the village gossip before. Yvonne
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maude40
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

On page 147 a line struck me as hilarious. "I would have liked to see the equipment we had to work with before we got started." Ginny takes this "making a baby" job as just that, a job to be fulfilled for her sister. She is practical and very non-emotional. Good,I guess, under the circumtances.  Yvonne
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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



maude40 wrote:
Ginny is worried about what people will say about her family. "I've just seen her stride off boldly down the middle of the drive, headed for the village, straight into the arms of it's whispering houses." It seems she has experienced the village gossip before. Yvonne


That's a great quote. It really illustrates how foreign the idea of moving freely about the community has become to Ginny, and how frought with peril this concept is to her, doesn't it?
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Jaelin
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16



kmensing wrote:
 
I'm always begging for more information while reading this book.....


I have to agree with you on this.  I get plenty of scientific knowledge and nothing of the characters or why something happened.....frustrating....though it got better towards the end of the book.  Still not enough "tangible" information to make me really notice this book.
 

 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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dghobbs
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I really enjoyed these three chapters. The book is starting to get quite exciting. :smileyhappy:Doug
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lamorgan
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

Chapter 14 - 16
Again, this chapter demonstrates Ginny's obsessive personality. She's been perplexed with Vivi's presence in the home after all these years of solitude. When Vivi finally leaves for the day, Ginny is baffled. What to do? Peak through her handbag and see what's in it! After she's done sifting through the contents, she tries to put it back into the messy state she found it in. But, as she says, her "natural disposition is to order things." While trying to cover her snooping, she finds a photo hidden in the lining of Vivi and Arthur. We are now introduced to Vivi's husband and the relationship he had with Ginny.
Ginny is led to believe that surrogacy is fairly common, yet the secret is to be kept from their parents. Strange. If Ginny didn't have some sort of mental imbalance, would she have agreed so readily to the proposal?
This is another incident where I feel I don't like Vivi very much. She's obviously using Ginny to her own advantage.
As the affair continues, it's obvious that at least Arthur seems to care how it affects Ginny. He maintains kindness toward her, yet Ginny is able to be her ever-scientific self and keep somewhat of a neutral check on her feelings. A part of her probably is falling in love with Arthur, but she's probably not totally capable of understanding those emotions, possibly due to her OCD.
When she is attacked by her mother upon the discovery of the affair, Ginny makes no attempt to explain herself, per se. Although Clive comes to Ginny's rescue, he doesn't truly defend his daughter. Granted, he saves her from possible serious physical harm, but he still acts as if the drinking doesn't exist or that these attacks haven't occurred before.
I'm having a problem with Clive's denial of Maud's drinking. I still maintain that he does indeed have to know about it, yet he never acknowledges it. He probably also knows what has been taking place between Ginny and Arthur (although, not why).
Did Maud fall down the steps on her own? Was she pushed by either Clive or Ginny? The scene of her demise is reminiscent of Vivi's fall from the bell tower. It could easily be compared, yet the circumstances are entirely different ... or are they?
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Chapters 14 through 16

I am enjoying the story and hope that all of my many questions are answered....

Chapter 14
It was sort of like dropping a bomb on pate 143 when she says she remembers the first time she and Arthur had sex.....but then I guess it was long before in vitro and they had to do it the old fashioned way...funny how we get used to technology today.
I thought it was interesting how she sort of skipped ahead and omits the part where she agreed to the sex and pregnancy...interesting flow.
I would have thought that Clive and Maud would have been interested in Arthur's visits without Vi...and why he kept coming back so many times.
Interesting strategy not to tell Clive and Maud until Ginny's pregnant. Now if there is something wrong with Ginny wouldn't it be so very mean to push for her to carry her baby on Vi's side?
I was happy to read that they did talk about the plan - Ginny agreed to the plan - no doubt to make Vi happy rather than anything else...
I wonder what Arthur really thought about the bruises - and felt so bad for Ginny being her mother's drunken punching bag. I also wonder if the baby and/or sex with Arthur was what lead them to the long term separation.
Good hook at the end of the chapter - did she get pregnant? And does Vi have the same problem with alcohol as her mother?

Chapter 15
I really don't like Maud and I really wish Ginny would tell her father or her sister about the abuse. The verbal abuse sounds almost as bad as the physical abuse. It sure was alot for a young girl to put up with. What would Vi have done? And was Clive deaf or just not listening...or did he ignore it all? And if so, why?
I love her obsessive compulsive ways - so like what I would expect.
I like the cannabis - not necessarily something I would have expected but tells a lot about Ginny.
I liked what was happening between Arthur and Ginny on his visits. Ginny needed a friend....and Arthur had to realize he might have married the wrong daughter...
All the talk of moths in this chapter makes me wonder the results of that contest...will I ever know? When drunks get mean I always wonder the source of their meanness - do they really believe the things they are saying - or is it just the alcohol? Or do we convince ourselves that it is the alcohol because anything else would be too upsetting?

Chapter 16
Clive definitely planned to push Maud down the stairs. I wonder what pushed him to do that, finally? Ever since I heard that Maud fell down the stairs in an earlier chapter I thought that Ginny had something to do with it (more as defense than premeditated murder)...so this is a surprise. And then Clive's story to Ginny that it is an accident...is interesting. And she believes him - because that is easier than seeing your father as a murderer?? And as I read on - I realized that this was something that Clive had planned for sometime. All the arrangements would have taken time to complete. Why didn't he just get her help? And then he takes off - making him look guilty - to the reader but not to Ginny. And what did Vi and Clive talk about and was that why she never returned? That doesn't make sense since Clive was gone - she just never came back until years later - never seeming to care about what happened to Ginny. Did Arthur come back for another try?
When Clive tells Ginny to tell Vi that he loves her but doesn't seem to tell Ginny the same - I really disliked the man...and he has no reaction to Ginny's news of her pregnancy - what a terrible father!
Arthur is the only one that treats her nicely - not surprised she starts to have feelings for him....
I'm glad to see she's having feelings and fantasies about Arthur.
Did Clive confess to Vi? Is that why she was so angry? Did she blame Ginny somehow?

More later....
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