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pigwidgeon
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22


bookhunter wrote:
I really want to understand WHY Ginny kills Vivi. Ginny has her own "Ginny logic" about everything, so I think she must have a "reason" for killing Vivi.
She is thrown off kilter by Vivi's seemingly ignoring the baby's grave. In Ginny's mind, Vivi is SUPPOSED to mourn the baby because it was HER baby.
She is further thrown off by Vivi saying that Clive killed Maud. This upsets Ginny's memory of what happened. Further, Vivi suggests that Ginny had some fault in Maud's death by not telling the police what she had seen.
Because Ginny requires a strict order and structure in her thoughts and actions, she rids her life of anything that interferes with that. She has shut off rooms, sold all the "clutter" in the house.
So killing Vivi is ridding herself of something that upsets her orderly life. And like in the quote that Thayer pointed out, as a scientist she rises above instinct and emotion.
Does that make sense to you all (in "Ginny logic", at least!)"
Ann, bookhunter



I really like your summation of reasoning! Right on..
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runnybabbit620
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Chapter 20--

 

After all the tension since Vivi arrived on Friday and now, on Monday, she has killed her.  (Or at least thinks she has, at this point.)  I can't help thinking that Ginny is feeling a distinct sense of relief from the unexplained visit, the "snooping", and the endless attempts at discussions that Vivi is constantly trying to initiate.

 

I find it interesting and appropriate for the situation that all her beloved clocks now show different times.  Which timepiece does she trust?  For now, it appears to be her digital wristwatch.  But is the digital wristwatch accurate or is she wrong in her assumption?

 

I remarked to myself how odd it was that this plan to kill Vivi was fairly masterfully executed, but, as Vivi lays dying, Ginny can't bring herself to come into her room in the East wing to check on her to see if she is, in point of fact, dead.  She's waiting for someone else to discover Vivi.

 

I'm just wondering to myself how she knows what quantity to give Vivi to kill her as she's only really used potassium cyanide powder to kill moths.  How would she know the lethal doseage for a human being?

 

I find it strange (or maybe not so) that on p. 246, when Simon, Vivi's dog, starts scratching and whining for food, that Ginny goes down and feeds him what she can find (cheddar cheese and shreddies).  From the look the dog gives Ginny, we can tell that that is not the type of food to which the dog is accustomed.  Personally, I was reserving the fear when reading this page that Ginny was going to give Simon the poisoned milk too.  The dog seems almost worthless to Ginny, so why did she bother to save it?

 

Chapter 21--

 

I found this statement most poignant: "Murder. I take no pleasure in it, yet feel no shame, no anxiety. But this time there is no pretending that I am leaving it up to chance.  I accept fully what I am doing... This time it is me, it is my will.  I am in control."  She continues on, "I am in control and yet, perhaps, I also have no choice." 

 

Her mathematical equation for the reason she is going to kill Vivi very weak and odd.  "me + Vivi falling off the bell tower + taunting at school + Maud's sherry drinking + the existence of poison in the house..."  I understand, that Ginny, as a scientist, must think in these sort of terms frequently, but it seems like a trite equation for a very significant murder.  But, from earlier situations, we see that sometimes Ginny's emotions just run cold or are not apparent at all.  She has a choice and refuses to face that choice, instead staying with her current decision to eliminate the problem (Vivi).

 

"Perhaps I have become a killer through circumstances acting on my biological makeup.  Which means, of course, that none of this is my fault and that it's all out of my hands."  This statement makes me wonder if our assumptions/observations were true.  Did Clive (actively or passively) murder Maud?  Did Ginny make Vivi fall from the bell tower?

 

How could Ginny blatantly lie to Vivi about seeing Eileen and having her call a doctor and then urge her to drink some water (poisoned with more cyanide) and still say that she loved her sister?  Clearly, her love for her sister was when Vivi was far away from Bulburrow Court, and not riffling through "Ginny's" house/stuff.  I would think that since the house was left to both of them, that Ginny should have come to realize that Vivi deserved to partake in her fair share too.  Why didn't Ginny come out and ask Vivi (when she was still alive) why she was coming back after all those years? 

 

I know that if my parents were to die and the house were left to myself and my brother, that we would both share equally and definitely wouldn't have any qualms about inquiring to the other why the hell they were there.

 

Chapter 22--

 

I find it almost comical that Inspector Piggott shows up so soon after Ginny finishes disposing of the sister.  Yet I find the calm, cool, and collected way in which she handled his arrival as a sign of a new, emerging, confident Ginny.

 

When she finds out that her own digital wristwatch is the timepiece in error and so much so as to be behind by 3 hours, Ginny faints.  It's as if, realizing that her trustworthy timepiece is not so reliable, she can't handle life and her current problems anymore.

 

Which leads to what Ginny had wanted all along.  For someone else to discover that Vivi is dead.

 

Ginny implicates herself though, possibly unwittingly or because she is so out of touch from just recovering from her faint, by saying that they have plenty of cyanide there.   That would lead Inspector Piggott to either think that the cyanide in the water was either a suicide attempt or murder.  Just a matter of a simple investigation should lead to which is the true way that Vivi has died.

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pigwidgeon
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I'm so glad that we finally got to see Vivi's room (even though it was for a bad experience). You can tell a lot about people from their personal space. Does what we see match up with what we think about Vivi (from the relatively little interaction we have seen with her)? I think so.

I found it incredibly sad that killing Vivi was, what Ginny considered to be, the first choice she had ever made in her life. She constantly referenced, throughout the book, that she was merely riding along fate, and the predetermined. How will Ginny deal with this? She has already started to rationalize it to herself, will she be able to live with this solitary decision?

I, as well, liked the phrase about a "last minute fingertip reconciliation"(257). What I found the most interesting about that passage was that even though she doesn't want to hold Vivi's hand, she does it anyway. It reminded me of the morning that Vivi crawled into bed with Ginny, and she said she would "never have said no to.. that sort of closeness."(69) She likens the final hand holding to taking a "mouthful of something disgusting"(257), this only saddens me more. Ginny seemed to enjoy the closeness with Vivi as a child, and didn't mind it as much when Vivi first returned. Now it is disgusting, I believe, for the same resons she feels she needs to end Vivi's life.

I think chapter 22, with the police, was quite a trip. Isn't it interesting that the inspector asks about Vivi possibly committing suicide? Is it because they are older women, and not in the most common demographic for murder? Is it because Ginny was so forthcoming about the poisons in the house? Or do they really know that Ginny has done it, and are trying to pick her brain? If we think that they do know that Ginny has poisoned Vivi, why don't they take her into custody?

I am excited to finish the book and see what is waiting for us at the ending..... :smileyhappy:
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bentley
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



Everyman wrote:
I had trouble in these chapters with Ginny's ability to function quite deliberately and intentionally with her increasing disconnect from reality.

Oh -- and does anybody understand why she felt that she had to kill Vivian?




Not any that hold any water. I keep drifting through one chapter after another looking for answers and I have now come to the end of the book empty handed.

The only one that I conjured up was that Ginny was afraid that Vivian was trying to usurp her from the only home that she knew by having her taken away or institutionalized (so that she could take over the home with no hassle) and/or sell it right from under her. She knew that possibly Vivian was already turning folks against her (Eileen, the church reading out her name). I think she viewed Vivian as dangerous to her well-being.
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paula_02912
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

runnybabbit620 wrote:
 
Chapter 21
 
"Perhaps I have become a killer through circumstances acting on my biological makeup.  Which means, of course, that none of this is my fault and that it's all out of my hands."  This statement makes me wonder if our assumptions/observations were true.  Did Clive (actively or passively) murder Maud?  Did Ginny make Vivi fall from the bell tower?
 
I loved the summations your wrote about...I too questioned who really killed Maud...when I read that Vivi thought Clive killed her, I said yes...I was right, but after reading how Ginny planned out Vivi's murder and was able to use the correct amount or close to the correct dosage to kill her, gave me pause...it made me think that maybe she did this before, but with Maud this time...who is to say that she didn't "spike" Maud's sherry before her demise...maybe Clive helped her...who knows...but I think that Ginny definitely played a roll in Maud's death...
 
Chapter 22
 
When she finds out that her own digital wristwatch is the timepiece in error and so much so as to be behind by 3 hours, Ginny faints.  It's as if, realizing that her trustworthy timepiece is not so reliable, she can't handle life and her current problems anymore.
 
I felt the same way as she did...throughout the book, Ginny often intimated that Vivi was her life and with her death, Ginny also broke down...the time pieces to me indicated the fragility of her own mind...they all vary in time and her actions are varied as well...she seemed rather sane and methodical at points, scared and uncertain at others, and unemotional at others...like the time pieces, which mental state should we, the reader, believe...I think that Ginny might have been more sane than I thought in the beginning of the book...her life ran parallel to the agreement with time and once they broke down, it was like the house fell down too, exposing Ginny for who she is...and she was happier with the person she "saw"...she was almost child-like in her glee and very emotional about what she had done...where is the Ginny that seemed so out of it...did the breakdown of the timepieces, release her from some "force" that held her back...was it the death of her baby? Who knows...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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paula_02912
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Ann Wrote: "
I really want to understand WHY Ginny kills Vivi.  Ginny has her own "ginny logic" about everything, so I think she must have a "reason" for killing Vivi.
 
She is thrown off kilter by Vivi's seemingly ignoring the baby's grave.  In Ginny's mind, Vivi is SUPPOSED to mourn the baby because it was HER baby.
 
She is further thrown off by Vivi saying that Clive killed Maud.  This upsets Ginny's memory of what happened.  Further, Vivi suggests that Ginny had some fault in Maud's death by not telling the police what she had seen.
 
Because Ginny requires a strict order and structure in her thoughts and actions, she rids her life of anything that interferes with that.  She has shut off rooms, sold all the "clutter" in the house.
 
So killing Vivi is ridding herself of something that upsets her orderly life.  And like in the quote that Thayer pointed out, as a scientist she rises above instinct and emotion.
 
Does that make sense to you all (in "ginny logic", at least!)"
 
 
Ann, I love the comments you made here...you make a lot of sense...she did get rid of things that did adhere to a strict order, and once Vivi crossed the line by telling her about Clive's role in Maud's death...she put it so nicely when she said that "I resent Vivien for shattering my illusions, not only of my parents and my life but of her, for making me question her, her love, her loyalty, everythin she has ever told me." (p. 227)...Vivi's confession forced Ginny to look at herself and see more than she wanted to see...is this why she didn't want to look at herself in the mirror at the beginning of the book? Did she feel guilty about her role in Maud's death and hated looking at the person she was, a murderer, so she covered the mirror?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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paula_02912
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

pigwidgeon, did you also notice that Ginny felt love for Vivi again? She said "Now that she is dead, I can already feel the love overriding the hatred once more?" (p. 258) I thought it was interesting that once the "problem" has been dealt with, so to speak, Ginny goes back to caring about her sister...
 
Did anyone else notice how Ginny "saw" Vivi being taken away in a coffin and had to move out the way on the staircase? The way she talked about it made it seem like it was really happening...maybe it was happening in her mind, but Vivi is still alive now...could it be that Ginny's memory isn't reliable? Her thought process seemed to go from past to present...this made me question everything she said about Vivi throughout the whole book...was her recollection of Vivi and her descriptions of Vivi really accurate? Did she reverse the characteristics of her character and Vivi, very much like how she accused Vivi of doing in the book?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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Oldesq
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



bentley wrote:


Everyman wrote:
I had trouble in these chapters with Ginny's ability to function quite deliberately and intentionally with her increasing disconnect from reality.

Oh -- and does anybody understand why she felt that she had to kill Vivian?




Not any that hold any water. I keep drifting through one chapter after another looking for answers and I have now come to the end of the book empty handed.

The only one that I conjured up was that Ginny was afraid that Vivian was trying to usurp her from the only home that she knew by having her taken away or institutionalized (so that she could take over the home with no hassle) and/or sell it right from under her. She knew that possibly Vivian was already turning folks against her (Eileen, the church reading out her name). I think she viewed Vivian as dangerous to her well-being.

I am still trying to work it out in my mind but I think Ginny is trying to rebalance the universe- the yin and yang as it were.  It seems that the sisters are often mirrors of each other, the parent they love, the city girl versus the hermit, the sensible versus the emotional (p. 4), the giver and the taker (alternating). Ginny as overly protected child, then parent to Maud.  "It was a childhood in perfect balance, so I am wondering what it was that came along and changed everything." (p.5).  Balance is a recurring theme "[l]ots of people are on the edge,  We can't be in perfect balance all the time." (p.214).   It seems that Ginny makes up here mind to kill Vivi when Samuel becomes real to her.  Is Ginny eliminating a competing claim to Samuel's mother? 
 
Many posts have considered the idea that Vivi cannot be a guest in her childhood- so for her to return cannot be an upset to the order of things.  But Ginny addresses this issue on page 115 when she notes that when people move out of the house its "as if they've swapped teams"- "the allegiances of the people within the house, however unstable, far outweighed all external bonds of love and friendship."
 
I sincerely wish that the title of Chapter 21 wasn't Pranksters and a Second Dose as it clearly gives away the fact that Vivi is alive and well. 
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paula_02912
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

nmccarthy wrote: "
Ginny has completed her metamorphosis; she has emerged from her chrysalis "It's the first warm day of spring. The early light, which has just begun to pour through the window, is bright and hopeful". pg. 241-242
 
As for the significance of the physical metamorphosis, "My feet and ankles are set solid as if, today, they have been carved together from a single block of wood." I love the description of knuckles on her crippled, clenched hands loosening up with the heat of the water and the toes of her hoof-like, single-toed goat separating as the paper is inserted between them. She is unfolding.
 
Very clever. But what kind of moth did she emerge as?"
 
nmccarthy, great catch here...I didn't even think to link her "change" with that of the metamorphosis as a moth...all along I was saying Ginny=moth and Vivi=butterfly and I missed it...I did notice the parallel between her and the caterpillar that was making the ants "work" to feed it...isn't the caterpillar she was talking about was a Puss Moth? She did say that it would spit at you if it got really angry (paraphrase p. 250)...this was the way she reacted with Vivi when she told her she didn't remember the events correctly...she got into a real temper, to the point where she ran and hid herself in that place that Maud told her about...she spat at Vivi by killing her...I would hate to tick her off...I think it also got to a similar point with Maud and she killed her too...what do you think?
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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bentley
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



Oldesq wrote:


bentley wrote:


Everyman wrote:
I had trouble in these chapters with Ginny's ability to function quite deliberately and intentionally with her increasing disconnect from reality.

Oh -- and does anybody understand why she felt that she had to kill Vivian?




Not any that hold any water. I keep drifting through one chapter after another looking for answers and I have now come to the end of the book empty handed.

The only one that I conjured up was that Ginny was afraid that Vivian was trying to usurp her from the only home that she knew by having her taken away or institutionalized (so that she could take over the home with no hassle) and/or sell it right from under her. She knew that possibly Vivian was already turning folks against her (Eileen, the church reading out her name). I think she viewed Vivian as dangerous to her well-being.

I am still trying to work it out in my mind but I think Ginny is trying to rebalance the universe- the yin and yang as it were.  It seems that the sisters are often mirrors of each other, the parent they love, the city girl versus the hermit, the sensible versus the emotional (p. 4), the giver and the taker (alternating). Ginny as overly protected child, then parent to Maud.  "It was a childhood in perfect balance, so I am wondering what it was that came along and changed everything." (p.5).  Balance is a recurring theme "[l]ots of people are on the edge,  We can't be in perfect balance all the time." (p.214).   It seems that Ginny makes up here mind to kill Vivi when Samuel becomes real to her.  Is Ginny eliminating a competing claim to Samuel's mother? 
 
Many posts have considered the idea that Vivi cannot be a guest in her childhood- so for her to return cannot be an upset to the order of things.  But Ginny addresses this issue on page 115 when she notes that when people move out of the house its "as if they've swapped teams"- "the allegiances of the people within the house, however unstable, far outweighed all external bonds of love and friendship."
 
I sincerely wish that the title of Chapter 21 wasn't Pranksters and a Second Dose as it clearly gives away the fact that Vivi is alive and well. 





I quite agree. I think when Vivian moved out; it would seem to Ginny that she has swapped teams; it was then Maud, Clive, Ginny against Vivian. In fact, Arthur who came to visit for purposing of breeding became more a part of the home team than Vivian.
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bentley
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



paula_02912 wrote:
nmccarthy wrote: "
Ginny has completed her metamorphosis; she has emerged from her chrysalis "It's the first warm day of spring. The early light, which has just begun to pour through the window, is bright and hopeful". pg. 241-242
 
As for the significance of the physical metamorphosis, "My feet and ankles are set solid as if, today, they have been carved together from a single block of wood." I love the description of knuckles on her crippled, clenched hands loosening up with the heat of the water and the toes of her hoof-like, single-toed goat separating as the paper is inserted between them. She is unfolding.
 
Very clever. But what kind of moth did she emerge as?"
 
nmccarthy, great catch here...I didn't even think to link her "change" with that of the metamorphosis as a moth...all along I was saying Ginny=moth and Vivi=butterfly and I missed it...I did notice the parallel between her and the caterpillar that was making the ants "work" to feed it...isn't the caterpillar she was talking about was a Puss Moth? She did say that it would spit at you if it got really angry (paraphrase p. 250)...this was the way she reacted with Vivi when she told her she didn't remember the events correctly...she got into a real temper, to the point where she ran and hid herself in that place that Maud told her about...she spat at Vivi by killing her...I would hate to tick her off...I think it also got to a similar point with Maud and she killed her too...what do you think?





My vote is that Clive killed Maud.
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readmoreino8
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

The whole Ginny/Vivi split personality idea is fascinating.  That would truly be a twist. 
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Everyman
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 The Moment Ginny decided.

pigwidgeon wrote: Why is Ginny "relieved" to hear Simon in the kitchen? Maybe I missed the point, but I don't get it?

I thought it was because it explained the noises she was hearing downstairs that she was afraid was Vivi not adequately poisoned and going about her day. But it wasn't Vivi, it was just the dog. What a relief.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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readmoreino8
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

After finishing the book last night, I really wanted more.  I finished with the feeling that not only did Ginny kill Vivi, but she probably did push her from the tower when they were children.  Also Ginny probably did kill Maud.  Several references are made to the doctor who treated Ginny rather "delicately" which to me lets the reader know that Ginny has always had mental issues which everyone besides Ginny are aware of.  Vivi even says that the doctor convinced the police to not ask Ginny questions after Maud died.  I really wanted to hear from some of the other characters perspective in order to possibly tie up the loose ends.   I loved the book though.   It is one of those books that when you finish you just say "Wow."
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Everyman
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

pigwidgeon wrote: I found it incredibly sad that killing Vivi was, what Ginny considered to be, the first choice she had ever made in her life. She constantly referenced, throughout the book, that she was merely riding along fate, and the predetermined.

Which takes us back to the presentation by her father when he talked about how perhaps even we, like moths, didn't really have any self-determination but were just products of instinct.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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bentley
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20

A line that amazes me is when Ginny has to go check to see if Vivien is dead enough yet:

Ginny: "I can't think why it hadn't occurred to me before- that I'd have to actually go and check on her. I can't possibly do that. It's not within my boundary. I've not been in that part of the house for over forty-seven years. I wouldn't feel safe."

I guess you have to ask yourself what a murderer feels like when she says, "I don't feel any different. I don't feel like a murderer. After all, I only put it in her milk. I didn't pour it down her throat. Then it was out of my hands. It's almost as if I did it to get something off my chest, like writing a scathing letter in the temper of the night, only to burn it in the temperance of morning."

What troubled me further about these chapters was the weird preoccupation of time and the amount of pages this takes up as the reader is wondering about Vivien dying or not.
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bentley
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20

Ginny says on page 255: "It is the consequence of my lifetime experiences on the character that I was given. From that viewpoint, it cannot be called premeditated. It is as strictly governed as a mathematical equation. It is the result of

me+Vivi falling off the bell tower+ taunting at school + Maud's sherry drinking + the existence of poison in the house.

I feel like the caterpillar that we think is making a choice when he eats or pupates but, in actual fact, is not. He's completely ruled by molecular forms of influence acting on the base components of a moth. Likewise, perhaps I have become a killer through circumstances acting on my biological makeup. Which means, of course, that none of this is my fault and that it's all out of my hands. I like to think that, for once, I am in control of my actions, but I also like to know that I am not."

The above is the closest that I have come to why she did it. However, I think she felt threatened and feared Vivian much as she feared her mother.
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pheath
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



kmensing wrote:

Ch 20

Two words for ya--Holy Crap! Ginny did it. I had to put the book down at this point and go make popcorn.

Ginny hasn’t actually seen the body yet, so is Vivi dead? And the clocks all out of alignment, how odd is that.

So if Ginny did kill Vivi, did she push her off the bell tower and did she push Maud down the steps?

So far, this is my favorite chapter.

Ch 21

The children leaving a pile of moths on the steps--I found that humorous.

Vivi’s not dead in the beginning of the chapter, but she is in the end. I’m stunned at Ginny’s ability to poison her a second time.

And why are the police there?

Ch 22

The tone of this book has taken quite an unexpected turn. The police are left thinking that Vivi committed suicide. And don’t they think it odd, that the only question out of Ginny is “what time is it” repeatedly.






I'm really starting to lean toward yes and yes on the bell tower incident and Maud.

If you think about it from Ginny's point of view of playing out the string of predetermined events, the second poisoning is not that shocking. She is just fully submitting to the driving forces of her life. Again this is just based on Ginny's (warped) view of the world.

I think that Ginny had an arranged to meet with Eileen that day, and perhaps Vivi knew that she might initiate the catastrophic moment. Perhaps she told Eileen something to the effect of, "If I don't meet you tomorrow, something horrible will have happened to me." This would explain why she showed up in addition to the police.

Another possibility is that Vivi called Eileen for help between the poisonings using her mobile, but I don't think this theory as much.
-Philip
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pheath
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



Everyman wrote:
Oh -- and does anybody understand why she felt that she had to kill Vivian?




In Ginny's mind this was the only way to return her world to order. It was literally a case of "killing the messenger".
-Philip
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pheath
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



bookhunter wrote:
I really want to understand WHY Ginny kills Vivi. Ginny has her own "ginny logic" about everything, so I think she must have a "reason" for killing Vivi.
She is thrown off kilter by Vivi's seemingly ignoring the baby's grave. In Ginny's mind, Vivi is SUPPOSED to mourn the baby because it was HER baby.
She is further thrown off by Vivi saying that Clive killed Maud. This upsets Ginny's memory of what happened. Further, Vivi suggests that Ginny had some fault in Maud's death by not telling the police what she had seen.
Because Ginny requires a strict order and structure in her thoughts and actions, she rids her life of anything that interferes with that. She has shut off rooms, sold all the "clutter" in the house.
So killing Vivi is ridding herself of something that upsets her orderly life. And like in the quote that Thayer pointed out, as a scientist she rises above instinct and emotion.
Does that make sense to you all (in "ginny logic", at least!)"
Ann, bookhunter





I think this is a good assessment.
-Philip
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