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SandyS
Posts: 148
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

This part had me very confused.  I never did resolve why (or if) the clocks were all on different times.
 
Did I miss something?
 
 
SandyS

bookhunter wrote:
And why are all the clocks no longer synchronized?  Do you think that in her disjointed state she has zoned out and fiddled with the clocks as a manifestation of her mind?  Her mind is no longer neat and orderly so she unknowingly adjusts the clocks to reflect that?
 
Ann, bookhunter



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LeisaPS
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

[ Edited ]
Hee hee hee!!!!!!! You're funny, LyndaSue!!!!!  :-)
 
 
Hmmmmmm.....But did she even know that she'd been poisoned once???  Perhaps Vivi was already sick and that was the reason that she came "home" ---- to die?????  Hmmmmmm??!!
 

 
Carmenere_lady wrote:  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?
 

NOTE:  I'm new to this and still haven't figured out how to "reply" to a message and put the message that I am replying to in my message..... :-(


Message Edited by LeisaPS on 03-15-2008 11:01 PM

Message Edited by LeisaPS on 03-15-2008 11:02 PM
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kiakar
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



Carmenere_lady wrote:
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?



Maybe that is why she had to second dose her!  The poison was old. The lightbulb was another thing, maybe she always made sure Michael changed it if it didnt work when he came.
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renhair
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

It's as if you were reading my mind!  I couldn't believe it!  My first thought was "well, that solves it!  God forbid you actually go engage in a discussion with her....much easier to just kill her!!"  I think it highly likely that Ginny did push Vivi off the bell tower, but I don't think (like a lot of things in the book) that we're ever really supposed to know. 
 
I enjoyed this story, but it reminds me of an exercise we did in grade school....(I'm sure you've all done something similar) There are two doors.  Behind one is a treasure and behind the other is a tiger.  Write an essay on which door you chose, what was behind it, and what you did.  I never minded writing the essay, but I always wanted to know what the person that created the situation did.....I wanted the answer.  This book reminds me of that....it's based largely on my assumptions, and I never really get the answers.....

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.




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renhair
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I think she always resented Vivian and had masked it.  From Ginny's perspective, Vivi's return to the house was an unwelcome interference in her life.  Top that with the heartlessness she directed towards the baby's grave and you have a murder in the making.  We've known since the beginning that Ginny's people skills are nill.  Fortunately, most people aren't close enough to her for her to have any emotion for them.  Vivi was and I think that Ginny disliked her from the beginning...never really felt secure in the relationship.  There's a phrase in one of these later chapters (I can't find it now) where Ginny says something like...I don't think Vivi every loved me.  If she never loved me and only ever wanted things from me, what does she want from me now?  I think that's where Ginny was when she made her decision (although I don't know that it was a conscious decision.  I think it was driven by an excellaration in her already questionable mental state) to kill Vivi.
 
 

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?


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renhair
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

perhaps Ginny thinks of these as obligations rather than choices?

paula_02912 wrote:
Karen wrote: "What are some of the choices Ginny has made throughout the book? "
Karen, Ginny chose to stay in the profession of lepidoptery with Clive, she chose to hide Maud's secret of being a drunk, she chose to have Vivi's baby, she chose to live in Bulburrow Court by herself, she chose to sell the furniture in the house, she chose to let Michael live in the stables and releasing him from his duties, she chose to silence Vivi, by poisoning her milk; eventually having to murder her by giving her another double dose...these are all the big choices I can think of right now...I am sure that others will come up with something...



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DSaff
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



panicfingers wrote:
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?


I don't think Ginny did ruin the other's lives. That is her perception. Maybe she felt that way because no one is there with her; no one is there to love and help her.

 
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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nfam
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

So Ginny really is the giant cannibal caterpillar. It seems to me that by killing her sister she emerges into what she believes she should be. Frankly I think all along that she's been responsible for the disintegration of her family. I'm reminded of the scene in the graveyard where she uncovers the huge larva making the ants work to feed it before it kills them and moves to a new colony.

All the discussion of moths and free will comes to fruition in this chapter. Ginny believes that she, like the moths, is predetermined to do exactly what she does in this case kill Vivi. I found the equation chilling.

I did have a problem with Eileen getting the police. It had the flavor of a deus ex machina. We wondered what Eileen's role was and apparently it was to summon the police at the end of the story. This highlights my problems with the lack of plot and characterization in this novel. We have no idea what Eileen means in the book until a miracle occurs and she is the one to summon the police. I wish the author had given us more insight into her characters. It would have been a better read.
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Jaelin
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

Chapter 20

 

Ginny seems to be telling us that the time issue is the main focus of her anxiety when I really feel that she is beginning to realize exactly what she has done and she doesn’t want to face it.  She knows that she shouldn’t have done it yet finds that it is something that needed to be done.  She feels that Vivi was the one who tore apart the family not her.

 

Chapter 21

 

It surprised me that she would be more interested in the finding of moths than her sister who was dying in the house.  She then switches her interest back to Vivi and finds her still alive and in doing so never really hesitates and continues on to finish the job.  Even after Vivi asks for her help she decides that she must die and take her views with her.  Ginny becomes more and more disconnected with reality. 

 

When she wonders why Vivi comes home we finally see that Ginny does have emotions. She feels angry that Vivi brought home all this and now that she is dead she feels love for her since she can no longer make her angry or see things that she did not wish to see in the first place.

 

Chapter 22

 

The appointment that Vivi had made with Eileen for tea ends up being the one thing that Ginny didn’t anticipate.  Ginny tries to cover for herself by making PC Bolt go away  after he shows up to check on her and Vivi and in the end gives away the whole thing when she faints and he has to bring in help.  She tries to give the inspector the right answers and ends up giving him the answers that he ends up needing.  I found it fascinating that she tried to cover up even when she knew that they most likely had to know what went on.

 

That they pass Eileen and she won’t make eye contact with Ginny makes me wonder if Vivi didn’t tell her to wonder if anything happened to her to make sure someone knew since Vivi may have suspected more of Ginny then she let on.  It also makes you wonder if Ginny was repressing all the memories of Vivi and Maud and their respective “falls”.

 

Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Tarri
Posts: 457
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



nfam wrote:
(snip)
I did have a problem with Eileen getting the police. It had the flavor of a deus ex machina. We wondered what Eileen's role was and apparently it was to summon the police at the end of the story. This highlights my problems with the lack of plot and characterization in this novel. We have no idea what Eileen means in the book until a miracle occurs and she is the one to summon the police. I wish the author had given us more insight into her characters. It would have been a better read.

I don't have a problem with Eileen calling the police.  When Vivi did not show up or call, Eileen got nervous, especially after having met Ginny and listening to Vivi talking about her. 
Melissa_W
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The end of Chapter 21 - Potassium cyanide

I've been away for a few days and haven't had a chance to read even a fraction of the posts but I feel that I need to comment on a paragraph near the end of Chapter 21.
 
Throughout the book I have enjoyed the many scientific asides Ginny has provided about lepidoptery.  I'm a biologist and epidemiologist by training and the divergence from the narrative reminded me of many colleagues who can get off on a tangent very easily.  However, the paragraph where Ginny describes potassium cyanide as a "synaptic blocker poison" (third to last paragraph) and the subsequent description of cyanide as a neurotoxin made me dig out my biochemistry textbook.
 
The problem is that the description of potassium cyanide as "synaptic blocker poison" is incorrect (neurotoxins only act in the brain and nervous system); cynaide is an inihibitor of cellular respiration which is a completely different pathway and affects every system in the body.  Potassium cyanide is an ionic compound, the important part of which is the cyanide ion (CN-).  In the body the cyanide ion attaches itself to cytochrome oxidase and effectively destroys the process of oxidative phosphorylation.  In short, even though the body continues to take in oxygen the cells cannot use that oxygen to make ATP (energy) because the pathway is broken (think of an assembly line for cars - engines are continually delivered to the facility but the beltway to move the cars down the line to have an engine inserted is broken).  Tissues with the highest oxygen requirements like the heart and brain are most affected and the victim will die from a lack of oxygen.  This is why victims of acute cyanide poisoning are often very ruddy, because of the oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood, but are in fact suffocating.  Death in an adult from ingestion of cyanide salts can occur in minutes due to heart attack or arrythmia.  (please see the entry in eMedicine for more information)
 
This brings me to my point:  the incorrect description of potassium cyanide makes me wonder why it is there.  It could be illustrative - Ginny does not have a formal education and could be making the description up therefore bringing into suspicion all her other descriptions of lepidoptery because it is pretty obvious at this point in the book that Ginny has a mental health problem.  The incorrect description could also be an oversight or a lack of research.  In that case, an error like this causes me to think the work on the book is sloppy.  And I had been enjoying the book very much up until this point.
Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Carmenere_lady
Posts: 529
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Re: The end of Chapter 21 - Potassium cyanide

Wow! Thanks for that little tidbit of info!  I tend to believe though that it demonstrates, as you said, that Ginney did not have a formal education. Any education she had seemed to end when she was what 14, 15 perhaps.  As documentaries are Ms. Adams field of expertise, I would think she does her research and wouldn't let a vital piece of information like that to go unchecked.  Someone, please help me understand
something.  Would the cyanide that Ginney gave her sister block out the pain or knowledge of the convulsions she experienced or would she be aware of them?  If so this story gets sadder and sadder . 

pedsphleb wrote:
The problem is that the description of potassium cyanide as "synaptic blocker poison" is incorrect (neurotoxins only act in the brain and nervous system); cynaide is an inihibitor of cellular respiration which is a completely different pathway and affects every system in the body.  Potassium cyanide is an ionic compound, the important part of which is the cyanide ion (CN-).  In the body the cyanide ion attaches itself to cytochrome oxidase and effectively destroys the process of oxidative phosphorylation.  In short, even though the body continues to take in oxygen the cells cannot use that oxygen to make ATP (energy) because the pathway is broken (think of an assembly line for cars - engines are continually delivered to the facility but the beltway to move the cars down the line to have an engine inserted is broken).  Tissues with the highest oxygen requirements like the heart and brain are most affected and the victim will die from a lack of oxygen.  This is why victims of acute cyanide poisoning are often very ruddy, because of the oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood, but are in fact suffocating.  Death in an adult from ingestion of cyanide salts can occur in minutes due to heart attack or arrythmia.  (please see the entry in eMedicine for more information)
 
This brings me to my point:  the incorrect description of potassium cyanide makes me wonder why it is there.  It could be illustrative - Ginny does not have a formal education and could be making the description up therefore bringing into suspicion all her other descriptions of lepidoptery because it is pretty obvious at this point in the book that Ginny has a mental health problem.  The incorrect description could also be an oversight or a lack of research.  In that case, an error like this causes me to think the work on the book is sloppy.  And I had been enjoying the book very much up until this point.



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


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"Um, maybe."
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Melissa_W
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Re: The end of Chapter 21 - Potassium cyanide

Death by cyanide is pretty painful, especially since it took two doses.  Her first dose was minimal (half teaspoon dissolved in the milk container, and then Vivi only had a tablespoon or two of that) so she probably spent a very breathless night, had a headache, upset stomach, muscle cramps, etc.  The second dose was substantial.  I was trying to work out the dosage - a half teaspoon dissolved in a glass (approx 8 oz) of water is quite a lot of poison.  And would taste pretty bad. 

Carmenere_lady wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that little tidbit of info!  I tend to believe though that it demonstrates, as you said, that Ginney did not have a formal education. Any education she had seemed to end when she was what 14, 15 perhaps.  As documentaries are Ms. Adams field of expertise, I would think she does her research and wouldn't let a vital piece of information like that to go unchecked.  Someone, please help me understand
something.  Would the cyanide that Ginney gave her sister block out the pain or knowledge of the convulsions she experienced or would she be aware of them?  If so this story gets sadder and sadder . 


Melissa W.
I read and knit and dance. Compulsively feel yarn. Consume books. Darn tights. Drink too much caffiene. All that good stuff.
balletbookworm.blogspot.com
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Everyman
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Re: The end of Chapter 21 - Potassium cyanide

But if Ginny didn't know what the real operation of Potassium cyanide was, why would she say anything about its operation? She would know it was a poison. I think this is a question to ask Ms. Adams: did she intend this description to be accurate? And if not, why not?

Carmenere_lady wrote:
Wow! Thanks for that little tidbit of info! I tend to believe though that it demonstrates, as you said, that Ginney did not have a formal education. Any education she had seemed to end when she was what 14, 15 perhaps. As documentaries are Ms. Adams field of expertise, I would think she does her research and wouldn't let a vital piece of information like that to go unchecked. Someone, please help me understand
something. Would the cyanide that Ginney gave her sister block out the pain or knowledge of the convulsions she experienced or would she be aware of them? If so this story gets sadder and sadder .

pedsphleb wrote:
The problem is that the description of potassium cyanide as "synaptic blocker poison" is incorrect (neurotoxins only act in the brain and nervous system); cynaide is an inihibitor of cellular respiration which is a completely different pathway and affects every system in the body. Potassium cyanide is an ionic compound, the important part of which is the cyanide ion (CN-). In the body the cyanide ion attaches itself to cytochrome oxidase and effectively destroys the process of oxidative phosphorylation. In short, even though the body continues to take in oxygen the cells cannot use that oxygen to make ATP (energy) because the pathway is broken (think of an assembly line for cars - engines are continually delivered to the facility but the beltway to move the cars down the line to have an engine inserted is broken). Tissues with the highest oxygen requirements like the heart and brain are most affected and the victim will die from a lack of oxygen. This is why victims of acute cyanide poisoning are often very ruddy, because of the oxygenated hemoglobin in the blood, but are in fact suffocating. Death in an adult from ingestion of cyanide salts can occur in minutes due to heart attack or arrythmia. (please see the entry in eMedicine for more information)
This brings me to my point: the incorrect description of potassium cyanide makes me wonder why it is there. It could be illustrative - Ginny does not have a formal education and could be making the description up therefore bringing into suspicion all her other descriptions of lepidoptery because it is pretty obvious at this point in the book that Ginny has a mental health problem. The incorrect description could also be an oversight or a lack of research. In that case, an error like this causes me to think the work on the book is sloppy. And I had been enjoying the book very much up until this point.






_______________
I think, therefore I drive people nuts.
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SandyS
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



nfam wrote:
 

Frankly I think all along that she's been responsible for the disintegration of her family. I'm reminded of the scene in the graveyard where she uncovers the huge larva making the ants work to feed it before it kills them and moves to a new colony.

As is so true in real life - so often when there is a family member with mental illness or alcohol or drug abuse there seems to be a huge degeneration in the whole family system.
 
SandyS
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Frank_n_beans
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



SandyS wrote:
This part had me very confused.  I never did resolve why (or if) the clocks were all on different times.
 
Did I miss something?
 
 
SandyS

bookhunter wrote:
And why are all the clocks no longer synchronized?  Do you think that in her disjointed state she has zoned out and fiddled with the clocks as a manifestation of her mind?  Her mind is no longer neat and orderly so she unknowingly adjusts the clocks to reflect that?
 
Ann, bookhunter








I was wondering about this as well. Could it be that letting go of the need to keep perfect time on all clocks was just another disruption that Ginny experienced as a result of Vivi coming to live with her? Before Vivi came home, Ginny had plenty of "time" (haha) to focus her energy on such matters but since Vivi moved in, Ginny's energies are focused on Vivi....
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Jennd1
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I think this chapter is written the way it is in part to reflect Ginny's thoughts and the way they are very disconnected and contridictory. I find it hard to believe that she kills Vivi, but I think she is so lost and confused about her past and her present that she just looses her grip on what is the past and what is now. I think Ginny felt responsible for her family and once Vivi is dead she is free to do as she likes and there is no family left for her to take care of. I thought she answered the questions from the inspectors very honestly in part because she is disconnected from things.
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Lildove3
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

It sounds awful, but I am glad Ginny did Vivi in...she was mean throughout Ginny's life...I feel Vivi was
in her way jealous of Ginny.  Vivi always seemed that she had to be treated like a princess, even as an
older woman she still expected this sort of treatment... so therefore Ginny had enough and she wanted
her world back again...so she did exactly what she felt she needed to do and that was to murder her
ungreatful sister. This book was like a rollar coaster, very confussing.
 
 
CAG
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CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22

I agree it seemed like some Hamlet and Macbeth played out in these chapters. I too, was especially reminded of  Poe in Chapter 20 and there were various times in the novel that it reminded me of some of his writing and certainly Hitchcock came to mind too.

Carmenere_lady wrote:
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.






CAG
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grapes
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Re: Monday: Chapters 20 through 22



pigwidgeon wrote:

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..

I love your description of the way Ginny thinks "Ginny's logic." Great!
Grapes
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