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Oldesq
Posts: 373
Registered: ‎10-07-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Of course, of course, it all makes sense now.  Ginny is the cannibal and her problem wasn't FASD or Aspergers or a mental disability- she had the look and everyone knew as soon as they saw her in her cocoon in that snowstorm of her birth:
"He's a cannibal," said Clive, almost proudly, a parent blind to his offspring's antisocial habit."
 
"All of them eat their shells (Bulborrow Court-even the marble fireplace) once they've hatched, but some carry on eating through all their siblings."
 
"You can usually just guess-instantly-which ones will be cannibals."
 
"Well, their the only ones left, silly," Vivi replied cheekily.
 
"No, before they've eaten the others," [Arthur] said.
 
"Oh, that," [Vivi] said, affecting mystery.  "They've just got a look about them," and Arthur and [Ginny], we started laughing.
 
(pp. 119-120).
 
When Arthur demands to know the family secret about cannibal caterpillars, Ginny replies, "'Oh, that,' I said relieved, and I had to think for a moment how to put something I'd only ever known by instinct into words. 'Well, they're usually a lot less hairy than their brothers, and sort of  . . .' 'Twitchy,' I decided finally." (p.164).
 
Other members of the house have had "the look" - the young assistant holding killing fluid like a trophy (p. 10).  
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maryfrancesa
Posts: 57
Registered: ‎10-29-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 SPOILER

I agree that everyone had no know something about the family and Ginny. I found that these chapters were confusing and thought that we would get some answers.  I think that Ginny is lacking in social graces just look at her family, Clive was into his research and moth's, maud was into her social (could have been an excuse to drink) and not sure what Vivi was into.  I know that Ginny never had any choices everything seemed to be decided for her, was she slow/retarded ( ahrd to believe if she was into researchafter Clive)
or trained to do whatevere her parents say.
I cannot help but think that why did Vivi come back, what was she looking for.  i think that she was always aware of what was going on in the old home and keeping taps on her sister after the fact. Could be Michael or her friend who she saw.  Could the social service people contacted her about Ginny.  Why were people worried about her.
 
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Jeanie0522
Posts: 43
Registered: ‎12-24-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 SPOILER

I'm sorry to say that the ending did not satisfy any of the questions that started from the beginning of the novel. 
 
-Why was Vivi back after all of these years???
 
-What exactly was wrong with Ginny?
 
-Was Ginny really a researcher?  Or did she imagine she was?  Everything in the lab seemed very old.
 
-What was the relationship with Michael?  He was brought in, but never developed.
 
I think there was a very good story line here, but it just could not bring it home.  I would rate this novel a 3 on the barnes and noble scale.  I liked it, but there was so much more that could have been done.  Poppy Adams is a wonderful writer, in my opinion, she needs a better editor and publisher. 
 
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nmccarthy
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎12-29-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Do you think Ginny perceives Vivien as having emerged as the Maculinea butterfly?
 
In Chapter 19, page 227, Ginny states, "Could our entire sisterhood have been a farce, years of complicated deception, of endless assurances of love, charm and manipulation, all so that one day she could take what she wanted? To ensure she could have the use of my body, and tear from it the one thing she couldn't have without me: a child?"
 
When Vivien emerges from the church, where Ginny is spying on her, Ginny notices a maculinea larva. The ants around it seem to almost be out of control. "They've lost their sense of order." (pg. 190) The ants have been tricked by the larva. "It's taken command of the nest, tapping into the ants' chemical signaling system, instructing them to fatten it up for summer while it rests of up lazily. They tend the great white larva without realizing it and, in a few weeks, not satisfied with a vegetarian diet, it will also help itself to the ants' own neglected larvae.
 
On page 195, Ginny again talks of the maculinea larva as she covers it with dirt to hide it from the birds. She states, "It might seem a hideous and ruthless creature now, but in time it will emerge transformed into a stunning iridescent blue butterfly, one of our rarest and most beautiful, and will be greatly admired as it shimmers in the sun with no knowledge or burden of guilt for its obscene past.
 
I guess Ginny could also see herself in this butterfly, but I still agree with Paula that she metamorphosed into the Puss Moth, her favorite moth. On page 251 she describes the Puss caterpillar has having a soft coat, zig-zagged in green and brown. "When it gets angry it hisses and waves the two hairlike protrusions on its tail and, if it's in a real temper, it'll spit at you." I also noticed that her the stone on her son's grave had been carved in a zig-zag pattern by Arthur.
 
I could be reading too much into this, but it sure is fun.
Nancy
 
 
Distinguished Wordsmith
Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I think you've really got ahold of something there.

Oldesq wrote:
Of course, of course, it all makes sense now. Ginny is the cannibal and her problem wasn't FASD or Aspergers or a mental disability- she had the look and everyone knew as soon as they saw her in her cocoon in that snowstorm of her birth:
"He's a cannibal," said Clive, almost proudly, a parent blind to his offspring's antisocial habit."
"All of them eat their shells (Bulborrow Court-even the marble fireplace) once they've hatched, but some carry on eating through all their siblings."
"You can usually just guess-instantly-which ones will be cannibals."
"Well, their the only ones left, silly," Vivi replied cheekily.
"No, before they've eaten the others," [Arthur] said.
"Oh, that," [Vivi] said, affecting mystery. "They've just got a look about them," and Arthur and [Ginny], we started laughing.
(pp. 119-120).
When Arthur demands to know the family secret about cannibal caterpillars, Ginny replies, "'Oh, that,' I said relieved, and I had to think for a moment how to put something I'd only ever known by instinct into words. 'Well, they're usually a lot less hairy than their brothers, and sort of . . .' 'Twitchy,' I decided finally." (p.164).
Other members of the house have had "the look" - the young assistant holding killing fluid like a trophy (p. 10).



_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



DreamAngel052986 wrote:
 
i agree with Ginny's characterization of herself on page 253 (last paragraph), continuing onto p. 254. because she did sacrifice her life to become what she was forced to be a lepidopterapist. and she she sacrficed to take care of her mom and hide that she was a drunk instead of living her own life
 
Caitlin


But did she really become a lepidopterist? I think her perception of herself is based on lies that she tells herself and has come to believe. I also wonder if she truly sacrificed her own will for the benefit of others around her (it certainly did not benefit them in the end, but whether or not that's her fault is up for debate) or did she do it as a way to opt out of responsibility for her own life? A family martyr, as someone put it on an earlier thread... I'm not sure yet. What do you think?
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



krb2g wrote:
I think the clocks' displays of different times are related to the narrative structure. Ginny, as a narrator, is all about time: in the very first sentence of the book, she informs the reader both the time (1:50) and the amount of time she's been waiting for her sister (since 1:30, or 20 minutes). She reflects: "When you live by yourself in a house that you very rarely leave and is even more rarely visited, it's essential that you don't lose track of time" (4). This need to control time appears urgently in the structure of Ginny's narration. As she chooses to reveal increasing chunks of the family backstory in conjunction with telling of Vivi's visit, she's forcing her reader to experience her past on her terms only. The loss of control of time, in my experience, surfaces two ways in the narrative: first, in the way that the clocks show different times during Sunday night/Monday morning, and second (and more importantly, in my mind) in the way that the reader comes to realize that Ginny is an unreliable narrator, and that the reader has to reconstruct the story instead of simply trusting Ginny's account.



This is a terrific assessment. In the end, perhaps whether or not the clocks were really out of sync or Ginny just perceived them that way is not as important as the fact that they represent her complete loss of her already loose grip on reality.
 
Or maybe, as Tarri suggests in her post, it was Vivi who changed the clocks. Why would she do such a thing? Maybe to ensure that Ginny would be unable to present a composed facade in the face of whatever questioning surrounded the discovery of Vivi's body? Surely at some point Vivi suspects that her sickness is Ginny's doing?
 
What does everyone think? Is the clock discrepancy real or not? Does it matter? If so, was it Vivi? 
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jmcauliffe
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎12-17-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 SPOILER



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I'm sorry to say that the ending did not satisfy any of the questions that started from the beginning of the novel. 
 
-Why was Vivi back after all of these years???
 
-What exactly was wrong with Ginny?
 
-Was Ginny really a researcher?  Or did she imagine she was?  Everything in the lab seemed very old.
 
-What was the relationship with Michael?  He was brought in, but never developed.
 

I don't think it was so important to the story that these questions were answered.  Leaving the questions unanswered adds to the intrigue of the story.    You spend the whole book waiting for answers to the questions, only to find out the book ends in a way that you would not have suspected from the beginning.   From the beginning Ginny seemed excited about Vivien coming, and by the end of the book, we see that Ginny really could not handle Vivien being there, upsetting everything Ginny had fought to orchestrate.
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bookhunter
Posts: 322
Registered: ‎06-09-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 SPOILER



Jeanie0522 wrote:
I'm sorry to say that the ending did not satisfy any of the questions that started from the beginning of the novel. 
 
...
-What was the relationship with Michael?  He was brought in, but never developed.
 
...

Jeanie, I think your question is an accurate analysis of Michael himself--he was there, a possibility, but "never developed" into any kind of relationship because Ginny was incapable of that.  He kind of represents the world at large in the book--Ginny has no contact with that world.
 
I agree that there are a lot of unanswered questions.  But to me, that added to my reading pleasure!  Ginny doesn't know why Vivi is there, so we don't get to know either.  Ginny doesn't know exactly how Maud died, so we don't get to know.
 
Ann, bookhunter
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Everyman
Posts: 9,216
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 SPOILER

>

jmcauliffe wrote:
I don't think it was so important to the story that these questions were answered. Leaving the questions unanswered adds to the intrigue of the story.


That's an interesting issue I hope Ms. Adams will address. I agree that no author can tie up every single loose end in a novel. But how much ambiguity is intriguing and how much is just frustrating? How well is the extent of ambiguity in a story related to the author's intent in writing that story? I have read stories where a main element of the story was deliberately unresolved and the reader required to create their own truth. That can work quite effectively on an occasional scale.

My problem here is that there are so many elements unresolved that we are left in our own pupae soup, and may feel infected with parasites that will destroy us before we can emerge. The questions have become well known by now, and I don't need to repeat them here. But IMO, the number and centrality of the unresolved issues, and the unfulfilled teasers that Adams throws out to muddy the waters, in the end overwhelm the story and make it ultimately an unsatisfactory read.

JMHO.
_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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pigwidgeon
Posts: 293
Registered: ‎01-28-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22 The Moment Ginny decided.



Everyman wrote:
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.



Thanks Everyman! That makes perfect sense.
Reader 2
phylbo
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Karen, by this time I have finished this book.  My thoughts are myriad.   I would like to know what the author expected me to to learn from this book.  I, too, am an author.  I find so many gaps in this book that I am struggling to find a point.  I am married to a very wonderful and well thought of psychologist.  We share thoughts and feelings often with books that we read.  I just do not find any threads being tied up at the end of this book..  In comparing it to one of Follet's books, there is no comparison.  If I compare it to Victor Frankl's writing, there's no comparison.  If this book is intended to be a psychological novel, then why are  there so many gaps in it?  If I compare it to "I Never Promised You a Rose Garden,"  which also delves deeply into the  psychic realm, there's no comparison. Rational, the reader never knows and really never finds out what is going on--the gaps again. Who represented the author in this book?   That would tell me a great deal about both the book and the writer.  It is a book that I have pondered over greatly.  However, it is also a book that I would never recommend below the graduate level.  I have no doubt that the writer is very knoweledgeable, but maybe I haven't passed  my mind-reading test yet.
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panicfingers
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-25-2008
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I am in the same boat.  I finished the book and had so many unanswered questions.  I wish we had been slightly more enlighted about the mental problems Ginny had.  I agree that authors have the literary license to leave strings hanging, but in this instance there were too many.  If she is so mentally "off" why did Clive run off and leave her, why did Vivi.  Why did Vivi feel the need to return after so many years, what was her story?  I absolutely loved the book, but did feel let down at the end when so many things were left undone and unanswered.
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panicfingers
Posts: 8
Registered: ‎01-25-2008
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

OMG, that is such a brilliant analysis.  I too was suspecting Aspergers and just couldn't quite put my finger on it.  Her Obsessive Compulsive issues were one thing and the inability to properly connect to other humans was another.  But what I couldn't totally resolve was why Vivi would ask Ginny to be a surogate with all the mental issues being alluded to.  On the one hand, she would never properly bond with the husband, making Vivi safe but on the other is this a good genetic recipe.  One last thing, how did Ginny ruin everyone's life?  Does anyone know the answer?
Reader 4
pa1822
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎10-08-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I never read of any proof that Ginny was a famous (or even well-known) lepidopterist, except for her saying it of herself.  I think her sister offering to have the entomologists to lunch was a way of poking fun at her sister, and possibly testing to see how far gone in delusion she was.
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



Everyman wrote:
I found echoes of both Hamlet and Macbeth in these chapters.

Hamlet in "the time is out of joint:" surely her time has become out of joint (Why do we think all the clocks and watches suddenly went off? Something supernatural? Or she is just reading them all wrong? This wasn't explained at all, and doesn't make sense to me.)

And Macbeth in the knocking at the gate, an interruption in the horror of murder for an almost casually ordinary episode.


Yes, Everyman!  I thought that too.  In fact I posed that question in Poppy's thread before I came over here to see it was intentional.  See, it does pay to read and reread occasionally :smileywink:
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
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

All I can come away with Ann is "and the truth will set you free" or how 'bout this "Can you handle the truth"?
First of all Ginny apparently can not handle Vivi's revelations of the previous day however knowing the truth sets Ginney the moth personified  free from its chrysaliss - whatever the thing is called :smileyhappy:

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



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
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

A couple a questions I walked away with.  First, would the lightbulb in the attic still be functional after all those years, second - would poison loose its potency, doesn't that have a shelf life?  Any thoughts or knowledge of this?
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
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I am the only one or are there others that were hoping Viv would take hold of the 2nd dose and throw it in Ginny's face and say "Ahah!  I've caught you you wascally wabbit!" or something like that?
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
Distinguished Wordsmith
Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I would also add Hitchcock.  I can just imagine all the ticking clocks growing louder and louder and close ups of the clocks one after another.

KxBurns wrote:


Everyman wrote:
I found echoes of both Hamlet and Macbeth in these chapters.

Hamlet in "the time is out of joint:" surely her time has become out of joint (Why do we think all the clocks and watches suddenly went off? Something supernatural? Or she is just reading them all wrong? This wasn't explained at all, and doesn't make sense to me.)

And Macbeth in the knocking at the gate, an interruption in the horror of murder for an almost casually ordinary episode.

Nice comparison. I also saw parallels with Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart," particularly in Chapter 20.



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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