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vivico1
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Re: Questions for the Editor


bookhunter wrote:

Ms. Adams wrote:

The thing I found most interesting is that I did not get the same, immediate, response from an equally intelligent UK audience. I may be wrong, but this is what I have decided: the English love their eccentrics, they ‘willed’ her to just be eccentric and didn’t want to find anything officially wrong with her. Perhaps they are also more used to the idea of an eccentric living in a big country house because there are still so many of them here! Do you think it’s because the English find eccentrics more endearing and American’s like their labels? I also found it interesting that once the UK audience did realise she was a little more 'off' than eccentric (inherent or created), they suddenly found her habits less ‘endearing’. Although she was no different, their perception of her had drastically changed. ...

Ms. Adams,

I loved your response here, and your discussion about the differences between the UK audience and us. It sounds to me like you think "eccentric" is not a label!

You are right that we Americans want to "fix" things, and that seems easier when we have identified what needs fixing. But I think these labels have become over used in our everyday life "Oh, I am sooo OCD--I have to make SURE I turned of the oven before I leave the house") and also expanded in their actual medical definitions that we use them as a synonym for eccentric.

I love the aspect of your book that questions how much of Who We Are is determined by our biology and how much by our environment. Your question in a previous post about free wil being an illusion made for interesting dinner discussion at our house! The family dog wishes to argue against humans and apes being the only self aware creatures on the planet. (I won't even TELL you what the cat says!)

Is that a theme that you plan to explore further in future novels? If so, I would challenge or request you to examine the spiritual aspect of the question as well. There are hints of a spiritual life in The Sister: We see Vivi going to church, and we read that Ginny (and Clive) does not believe in God. I think self awareness may be fine and dandy, but awareness of something beyond this world is what really sets humans apart.

I am enjoying your thoughtful responses to our questions as much as I did the novel!

Ann, bookhunter

PS I like The Time of Emergence




Ann, I hope you don't mind me piggy backing your question here but I have to agree with you. I thought about that myself, when Ms Adams, you said, when we put our hand in a fire and jerk it back, we used to think it was free will until science proved it was reflex. Well let me quote you there, cause man, you got me scared now about possibly taking you out of context when I am not trying to. "Jerking your hand away from a scolding pot is not a conscious action. It’s a reflex. But until we knew that – scientifically - we had thought it was our own choice, our own free will."
I didn't get this proposition. When did anyone really think that reflex was free will? I don't think we ever needed science to tell us, thats just a survival instinct! Free will is much more than that. And as Ann, as you say here, I would say, you have to look to the spiritual side of things, to really understand free will. Animals may or may not make choices, do i want this food or that, should I eat that person or just let them walk by. Is that person a threat or not. Maybe these are choices, but thats very different than the free will of a human to choice between right and wrong, those are moral issues and that what makes us different than the animals, they dont operate on morals or need to. So that puts a different spin on the free will issue.

I also think there is a difference in the UK readers and the American ones, in that we felt something was off about Ginny in the beginning and they didn't. That's why I didn't trust what Ginny was saying, even from the first, it wasn't just from her behavior but also from how she told her story, how she said things happened. Something didnt sound right, so she was an unreliable narrator to me, but then thats what makes her interesting to me. It made me keep reading to see what was real and what wasn't. I wasn't sure about the bell tower incident from how she was telling it early on, I thought then, what do the her parents know that she isnt saying and how she says it, was she involved. Then yes later, when Maud "fell down the stairs" and she killed vivi and Clive was all to happy to get the heck out of there, then I thought my initial curiosity about was she involved in the bell tower, was strengthened. I think you asked us Ms Adams, what made us think that. Thats why for me.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Ms. Adams...thanks for your detailed response here...when I started the book, I was a little confused as to why Maud would think that Ginny had anything to do with Vivi's fall and I pushed that idea out of my head...it seemed plausible that Vivi slipped and was desperately trying to save a piece of toast as she was falling...however, as I neared the end of the book, I started to rethink the idea of Ginny being involved in Vivi's fall...I also thought about how she could have been involved in Maud's fall as well...I was surprised at some of the answers I found, but it wasn't until the last five chapters of the book that I felt that Ginny did indeed push Vivi off the bell tower...maybe it is because she murdered her, as well as her own involvement in the coverup of what happened to Maud...I didn't attribute this reading to her being an introvert though...what you wrote in your explanation is plausible and now I have to rethink what I thought about Ginny and Vivi's fall...this book was a great read because of the sheer fact that it can be interpreted in so many different ways by so many different people...we had some interesting discussions here and the perspectives of many of the readers here were very unique...this is only my second foray into the online Bookclub world with B&N and I am enjoying it...what I like the most is that a person thinks they know what is going on, but as you discuss someone posits something that makes you look at what you thought and try to figure out why their perspective was different from yours...thanks again for visiting with us...
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: Questions for Poppy Adams

Ms. Adams wrote: "I don't even know if I've answered any of your questions!"
 
Yes, you did...thank you for the lengthy reponses to them...your response also caused me to ask myself more questions as well as try to answer the questions that you posed it them...
 
I agree with the fact that perception is everything when reading, especially in this book...everyone doesn't read and infer exactly the same, which is what makes this book so delectable...there are so many different ways to interpret what is really going on...
 
I like the fact that everything in the book was used for a specific purpose, even if they were not overtly explained...everything definitely ties together...
 
Oh sometimes I ask questions of the authors because I want to see if there responses would be anything like what I thought they should be...thanks again...
Peace and love,
Paula R.

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

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HannibalCat
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Hi Poppy,
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved the comparison of the life of moths with the life of humans, in particular this group of rather peculiar humans. I found the Maculinea larva scene in the churchyard profoundly indicative of what went on within Ginny (after I had finished the book)- so much so that I went back and reread the pages. The reference to her emergence as she found herself at peace in the hospital/prison after wreaking such havoc on her sister, and the life of the larva as moving on with no knowledge or burden of guilt was brilliant. What a way to tie it all together!

I look forward to reading more of your books.
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



mwinasu wrote:
I loved this book and heaven help me ,I truly identified with Ginny.  I am wondering if you were just telling a story or if you intended for there to be a deeper meaning or symbolism to the story.  It looks like it to me,  but I have read to much to assume anything.  Oh,  and what happened to the dog?  I know he isn't real but what was he supposed the represent.



Dear mwinasu
Thanks for your comments and I'm thrilled you liked the book.  I 'became' Ginny for a while when i was writing it and had no idea that from an observer's perspective she may have become a little creepy.  It wasn't until readers started to say it!  Yes, I was intending for deeper symbolism to the story, but equally wanted it to work as a story on it's own.  As Ginny didn't care one bit about the dog or what happened to him, it seemed unnecessary to understand what happened to him.
Best Wishes
Poppy
 


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



BookSavage wrote:
Ms. Adams,
   Thank you for allowing us this first look opportunity and for coming on here and being an active part of the discussion.  I must admit that for the first 50 or so pages I found your book to be very unenjoyable, but I found that the last fifty pages are the complete opposite and the pages in between make a nice bridge between the two sections.  I have several questions, some of which relate to other questions already posted.
 
  • I fimly believe from the signs you give in the book that Ginny has Asperger's syndrom.  Based of of that I have several questions.
    • Did you intend for Ginny to have Asperger's Syndrom?
    • If not, would you consider making that your official position?
    • Would you consider adding in specific information about support groups that can help parents of children with autism.  This is such a problem for our children today, and so many parents are unaware of the resources out there.  I think this book could shed light on what is available.
  • I really enjoyed the way you created Ginny's character, and I felt that she was really believeable throughout most of the book.  But I do wonder why you seemed to make her so much more socially capable during the time that Vivien was bringing author home to visit.  I felt at this point in the novel that there was a real disconnect, and I wondering if it was intentional?

Thanks again for this opportunity to participate and read your book.



Dear Booksavage
I understand that this will be frustrating, but for me it was very important that I did not, and do not, label Ginny's conditions.  Perhaps even more so that everyone wants me to.
As for Ginny's character, I was so 'in' character myself that I know her very initimately.  Her "condition" was mild to non-existent to start with, remember, and then she slowly becomes more affected by it as she ages.  Obviously the weekend that Viv comes home tips it right over the edge.  I think that you may have felt the way you did because of the mixed time frames.  You knew how she had become later in life, but she wasn't that bad at the time of Arthur etc. 
Thanks for the questions
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



bookhunter wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
Thanks so much for the opportunity to read your book--it was a real treat.  I enjoyed getting inside Ginny's head and viewing the world through her eyes.  You have created a very unique character!
 
I was wondering about your transition from documentary producer to novelist. 
 
What were the subjects of your documentaries?  Was it difficult to go from such a visual medium to a novel?  From non-fiction to fiction?
 
I look forward to getting to "know" you during your visit to this group.
 
Ann, bookhunter


Hi again, Ann (I'm cutting down on my answer lengths now!)
I made scientific and medical documentaries.  My last series was on Breast Cancer for the Discovery Channel, all filmed in the US.  I met many amazing women.
I think I 'see' scenes in pictures all the time, and I think it comes through in my writing.  The mediums are obviously totally different, so yes, big jump, but a story is a story whether it's non-fiction or fiction.  I much prefer writing now and I am much better at it than making films!
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Thayer wrote:
Ms. Adams,
 
I was wondering while reading your intriguing novel: what was your motivation for the character of Ginny? I am very curious as to where her personality and possible disorder/dysfunction generated in your mind.
 
I really enjoyed the book, and am really glad to be a part of this ARC club as this is a genre that I perhaps wouldn't normally sample. I generally read historical fiction, biographys and the like. It has opened new doors! Yours is a book that I will recommend to my many "bookie" friends. Thank you for your time and for fielding our questions.   Dawn


Dear Thayer
I'm glad you liked the book.  I read accounts of people who feel in some way ostracized by society.  I liked the idea of creating someone who gets to the end of their life and realises (or is forced to consider anyway) that she may have got her life completely wrong.  I am also generally interested with the way we may percieve ourselves differently to how others see us.  And I also like the idea that we all have a little madness in us.  In that way, Ginny mainly came out of my own mind, imagining having some of these neurological symtoms and living with them for abit. 
Thanks for recommending the book.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Dear Ms. Adams:
 
Thank you so much for allowing us to have an early read of your book.  
 
I don't generally like movies that have been made of books that I have read, especially when I really like the book.  I usually feel that my imagination was much better than the filmmaker's.  Knowing that you are a documentary filmmaker, do you have the opposite reaction?  In other words, when you are used to looking at things visually, is it hard to put that vision down in written form?  If it is, you did a good job! 
 
 
 
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



runnybabbit620 wrote:
This was quite a spellbinding first book for you!  I feel privileged to be among the first to read it.  :smileyhappy:
 
Do you plan to write another book, if so, is there a specific storyline or subject you are looking to focus on?
 
Are you thinking of selling the rights to make a movie of The Sister?  It would make for a great, keep-you-guessing, plotline.  It would certainly have viewers asking all these questions and then some!  :smileysurprised:
 
Best of luck to you in your future endeavors!



Dear runnybabbit (like the name!)
I am writing another book, totally different ( no moths though!).  And, like my first, I won't say what its about until its finished! sorry.  I already have an offer on the rights for the film of The Sister, but I'm going to take that decision slowly.
Best Wishes
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



kiakar wrote:
Miss Adams, were you already familiar with the material you used on the moths and butterflies you embraced your story with. Or was it just research? What made you decide to use this much information on the moth and butterfly history? I loved the book, by the way, hope you will write another one.  Linda



Hi Linda
Thanks for your questions, but I think I've now answered them extensively on a previous post.  Hope you don't mind if I just direct you there!  There are lots of reasons I used so much moth information - I'm inside her head for one, but there are many other ideas in there that are meant to get you thinking.  Interestingly, I've had so many comments from people in the UK saying that the moth stuff was their best bit!! Can't please you all!
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



kbbg42 wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams;
Thank you so much for giving us the opportunity to read "The Sister". How long did it take you to write the story?



It took me about three years, but very on-and-off (I had a couple of children too!)
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

[ Edited ]
Ms. Adams,
 
Thank you for your kind words!  I definitely felt a connection to Ginny as I was reading, and (as I think I said in one of the discussion threads) was really enjoying her unique perspective on her life--right up until she picked up that bottle of poison!  I felt bad for "liking" Ginny at that point and really had to back up and think through her motivations, reminding myself to look at it from HER perspective.  (Perhaps an arguement that we do have free will is the fact that there is not more violence in the world than there is because we do not just react to changes in our environment the way Ginny does...)
 
Your question about our own odd habits made me laugh--while I don't have odd habits, I am DRIVEN CRAZY by the sounds of people eating.  My husband and kids give me a hard time about it all the time, and I just try to cope by making sure the conversation keeps going during any meal!  I LOVED the scene in the book where Ginny finally goes up into the attic and we see the decay but also read of its 'heyday.'  I thought to myself that it was no wonder Ginny was a little off after listening to thousands of moths munch their ways out of cocoons--I sure would be!
 
Thanks,
Ann, bookhunter
 
 


Message Edited by bookhunter on 03-18-2008 02:07 PM
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



vivico1 wrote:
Ms. Adams,
First may I say that I loved the book. I think it is the best first look book we have done in here to date. You kept me intrigued and guessing all the way though. It was eerie, creepy at times and the ending was great! I think the moth aspect of the story was important, to see the parallels between them and Ginny's behavior most of all, but the others too. However, as has been hinting at, sometimes the technical information about moths got a bit in the way of the story,it sometimes went on so long, to those who are loving the story but are a bit put off by too much technical stuff in a novel. Did you ever have any apprehension on how much of the scientific information to use in getting the meaning across of how it plays out in the telling of the story? I did find myself skimming parts to get to the rest of the story, not everything about the moths mind you, the comparisons were important. Great chilling book and ending tho.

Also, why do the women seem so old for their late 60s? I know Ginny has been house bound for a good twenty years, but I have too actually do too illness and live alone and am 51 so have had an extremely limited social life, but I felt I was reading about women approaching 80. I know you will get asked about this more than once probably, maybe both these questions, since they were two of our biggest questions among each other, so pardon me if I am repeating the same things already asked.

I did like your book very much and will be looking forward to future books from you. Good luck with your work and thank you for spending time with us to talk about this one.:smileyhappy:

OH, had to tell you too, was a bit disconcerting, reading all the club's posts about someone with my name, and also very weird to read about her, especially getting killed! hehe. Is Vivien a British spelling of the name? I have only seen it spelled that way once here, you dont run into many Vivians and the one Vivien was a man. Thanks.

Message Edited by vivico1 on 03-15-2008 12:33 PM

Dear Vivian (your spelling!)
I want to say how much I've enjoyed following your posts, and I appreciate the way you understood the book.  You may have already seen my answer to the age question (someone else asked me earlier).  If not, I hope yuo don't mind me directly you back to have a look so I don't have to repeat it.  Let me know what you think? 
I'm genuinely surprised that so many of you thought there was too much moths.  It's difficult for me because I think some readers didn't understand the reason for having them at all, whereas other readers had more of an idea but just thought it was overplayed.  I was very much inside Ginny's head while writing it and she's obviously heavily fixated on them, so it was a tricky one to judge.  My surprise stems from a very different reaction in the UK, where the readers loved the whole moth thing!  Many said it was their favorite bit.  (Could it be the book title differences and the whole different way this book is being marketed in the UK (quirky little moth book in UK vs. sister suspense in the US)??  I know that some of it will be skimmed but then I do think that is up to the reader and is the case for other information-packed books like Suskind's 'Perfume'. 
I can understand how odd it felt to read about a Vivien, and getting murdered!  Vivien is the English girls spelling (it was my grandmother's name and I love it) whereas Vivian is the man's spelling.  Its seems that in the US that is reversed.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, take care
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



BookWoman718 wrote:
First let me join the other readers in thanking you for making an ARC of your book available to us.   It has been quite an experience on many levels, as you can see from the discussions.  I, too, think I would have liked more closure on some of the situations that were left deliberately ambiguous (who pushed whom, etc) but the question I would most like resolved goes to the credibility of a key piece of the plot.  Why would someone as self-centered as Vivi ask her obviously 'odd' (if not mentally incompetent), socially inept, and physically unattractive (protruding lower lip, etc.) sister to be a surrogate?   Surely Vivi would not be dreaming of a little girl with Ginny's characteristics.  Nor would she have wanted the intricate lifelong entanglements that such a surrogacy would entail - the possibility of birth defects, the possible conflicting emotions of the two sisters as the child grew, the need for secrecy and the fear of revelation, etc.  It just seemed unbelievable to me.  Or is it that Vivi's request of her sister was meant to show that Ginny was NOT as odd as so many of her own words and her actions led us to believe?   That her oddity, as so many other things, lived mainly in her imagination, at least at that point in her life? 
 
Thank you SO much for taking part in this discussion!


Good question, and I knew it would come up!
I don't think Vivien knew when she was growing up that her older sister had a condition.  She thought she had her oddities but at that time, but these very 'mild' symptoms were not picked up in the 50's, and oddities were more acceptable. no one jumped to the conclusion of a genetic condition that may be passed down.  Ginny's case was mild enough for no one to be sure of anything wrong, and to have her parents try to put her through a normal school, and want to normalise her generally in society.  I think when you grow up (esp as a younger sibling) you just see your  whole family life as normal, and only question it later.  So the question is, when did Vivi really become aware (or realise on reflection) that there was something seriously wrong with her sister?  Or did she ever?  In one of their arguments she even says 'I think they were wrong about you,  I think you can handle a bit of truth', and she's certainly not as concerned for her safety living there, as the neighbours or the social worker might be.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



mwinasu wrote:
 Thank you for writing a story about alcoholism that does not make you feel all warm and fuzzy.I forgot to ask if you are the adult child of an alcoholic.  I know this is personal, but you must have some first hand knowledge to be able to  define the dynamics so well.



Dear mwinasu
I have heard alot of people talk about their experiences of abuse during alcholism, but luckily I have no first hand knowledge.  It seems a complicated mix of love and guilt and protection and, interestingly, one thing that came from my research is the amount of alcholics who during an attack accuse their children of 'ruining their life'.  I think in my book Maud saying this could either be seen as the classic thing they say, or she may well have other reasons to believe Ginny ruined her life.
Thanks for the question, take care
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams


Dear Vivian (your spelling!)
I want to say how much I've enjoyed following your posts, and I appreciate the way you understood the book. You may have already seen my answer to the age question (someone else asked me earlier). If not, I hope yuo don't mind me directly you back to have a look so I don't have to repeat it. Let me know what you think?
I'm genuinely surprised that so many of you thought there was too much moths. It's difficult for me because I think some readers didn't understand the reason for having them at all, whereas other readers had more of an idea but just thought it was overplayed. I was very much inside Ginny's head while writing it and she's obviously heavily fixated on them, so it was a tricky one to judge. My surprise stems from a very different reaction in the UK, where the readers loved the whole moth thing! Many said it was their favorite bit. (Could it be the book title differences and the whole different way this book is being marketed in the UK (quirky little moth book in UK vs. sister suspense in the US)?? I know that some of it will be skimmed but then I do think that is up to the reader and is the case for other information-packed books like Suskind's 'Perfume'.
I can understand how odd it felt to read about a Vivien, and getting murdered! Vivien is the English girls spelling (it was my grandmother's name and I love it) whereas Vivian is the man's spelling. Its seems that in the US that is reversed.
I'm glad you enjoyed it, take care
Poppy



Ms. Adams,
I do think the differences maybe in how Americans saw this book, as a Sister Suspense story, rather than the UK seeing it as a quirky little moth book, probably is what makes the difference in why for many of us, the moth information, and I am not saying all of it, just the technical things, seemed too much for us,or a bit in the way. As I said before, I could see the comparisons and they really were a big part of the story, so I really do believe that your probably right about that. I think in marketing to the two groups, probably here, a little less would have been a little more, know what I mean? Also on the question about putting Moth in the title here, I see several people have told you they probably would not have picked it up then. I doubt I would have either, or I might have at least read the jacket first and then read the story, but possibly when it started to get into the science of the moth very very much,and with Moth in the title,I may not have stuck with the book, and that would have been a shame because I knew something eerie was going on here and it was a great ending! Many things that people are wanting answered, I understand them wanting all ends tied up neatly but I don't particularly need that. Some are interesting little tidbits to know from the author of course but not really necessary to know for me about for the story to work.

I did read your post about the ages, thank you.

I do have a question tho, or comment, about something you have mentioned in a couple of your posts now. You have said, that Ginny's condition was mild, or almost non existent in her early years,that it was 50 years later and looking back that we see some things but I don't think thats really true. If it were something mild, or non existent, then why was Dr. Morse called in when she was little. Why the cards game, which I know of a card game used to test sociopaths and psychopaths, to see if they can determine the correct emotion for the faces, which was done with her at an early age. I thought that was very telling and for that decade too! My field is psychology, so when I read the same test being given her in a simpler way, I thought oh my gosh, they are already doing psychological tests on her to check her affect and see if there is something wrong with her along the lines of a sociopath, as to why she doesn't seem to react to things, like her sisters fall. And why does Maud say when she was a little girl, that she wanted a normal family, they can't with her? Also something very interesting to me, was the incident at school, that was a bit later in her childhood, when they are taken home, because they were both booted out basically, Maud told her "they are just prejudice". That line struck me big time because it was not followed up, but prejudice about what? Why that word? I can't see at that time that it was a money thing, or a race thing, so yes, early on in the book, or early on in Ginny's life there seemed to be something everyone was aware of BUT Ginny. So for me, it was not something mild or almost non existent in her early life but something very telling about why she is the way she is now. Thanks, Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Ms. Adams,
I do think the differences maybe in how Americans saw this book, as a Sister Suspense story, rather than the UK seeing it as a quirky little moth book, probably is what makes the difference in why for many of us, the moth information, and I am not saying all of it, just the technical things, seemed too much for us,or a bit in the way. As I said before, I could see the comparisons and they really were a big part of the story, so I really do believe that your probably right about that. I think in marketing to the two groups, probably here, a little less would have been a little more, know what I mean? Also on the question about putting Moth in the title here, I see several people have told you they probably would not have picked it up then. I doubt I would have either, or I might have at least read the jacket first and then read the story, but possibly when it started to get into the science of the moth very very much,and with Moth in the title,I may not have stuck with the book, and that would have been a shame because I knew something eerie was going on here and it was a great ending! Many things that people are wanting answered, I understand them wanting all ends tied up neatly but I don't particularly need that. Some are interesting little tidbits to know from the author of course but not really necessary to know for me about for the story to work.

I did read your post about the ages, thank you.

I do have a question tho, or comment, about something you have mentioned in a couple of your posts now. You have said, that Ginny's condition was mild, or almost non existent in her early years,that it was 50 years later and looking back that we see some things but I don't think thats really true. If it were something mild, or non existent, then why was Dr. Morse called in when she was little. Why the cards game, which I know of a card game used to test sociopaths and psychopaths, to see if they can determine the correct emotion for the faces, which was done with her at an early age. I thought that was very telling and for that decade too! My field is psychology, so when I read the same test being given her in a simpler way, I thought oh my gosh, they are already doing psychological tests on her to check her affect and see if there is something wrong with her along the lines of a sociopath, as to why she doesn't seem to react to things, like her sisters fall. And why does Maud say when she was a little girl, that she wanted a normal family, they can't with her? Also something very interesting to me, was the incident at school, that was a bit later in her childhood, when they are taken home, because they were both booted out basically, Maud told her "they are just prejudice". That line struck me big time because it was not followed up, but prejudice about what? Why that word? I can't see at that time that it was a money thing, or a race thing, so yes, early on in the book, or early on in Ginny's life there seemed to be something everyone was aware of BUT Ginny. So for me, it was not something mild or almost non existent in her early life but something very telling about why she is the way she is now. Thanks, Vivian

Dear Vivian
you are right about all of this - the doctor and the school.  (By the way I see the doctor as a 'family' doctor, a GP - in 1950s rural England he was often a family friend too as he would be the family's doctor for his entire career - but I see him as someone who's decided to 'take on Ginny and her behaviour' and dabble in some psychiatry with these cards.  He never refers her to a proper specialist.   it seems that Maud believes everything he says... 
 
The point with Ginny is that at the start she definitely has 'oddities' when compared to the 'norm' of society (or so the doctor and her mother assume).  But, the bit that is ambiguious is this:
did she just have very introvert non-communicative traits as a child that her mother (and the doctor) did not understand and therefore assumed must be psychological 'faults'.  Then, because of the way she was treated (imagine a basically 'normal' but introvert and ununusual child being treated the way she was treated - sheltered, feared, blamed, fed with moth information and killing, led to believe that animals are unconscious and perhaps humans have no choice in their actions etc etc). perhaps they created who she became (reclusive, OCD and other psychiatric symptoms, and then someone with potential to murder)
OR
was she born with this 'condition' from the outset.  
 
Poppy


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vivico1
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams


Poppy_Adams wrote:


Ms. Adams,
I do think the differences maybe in how Americans saw this book, as a Sister Suspense story, rather than the UK seeing it as a quirky little moth book, probably is what makes the difference in why for many of us, the moth information, and I am not saying all of it, just the technical things, seemed too much for us,or a bit in the way. As I said before, I could see the comparisons and they really were a big part of the story, so I really do believe that your probably right about that. I think in marketing to the two groups, probably here, a little less would have been a little more, know what I mean? Also on the question about putting Moth in the title here, I see several people have told you they probably would not have picked it up then. I doubt I would have either, or I might have at least read the jacket first and then read the story, but possibly when it started to get into the science of the moth very very much,and with Moth in the title,I may not have stuck with the book, and that would have been a shame because I knew something eerie was going on here and it was a great ending! Many things that people are wanting answered, I understand them wanting all ends tied up neatly but I don't particularly need that. Some are interesting little tidbits to know from the author of course but not really necessary to know for me about for the story to work.

I did read your post about the ages, thank you.

I do have a question tho, or comment, about something you have mentioned in a couple of your posts now. You have said, that Ginny's condition was mild, or almost non existent in her early years,that it was 50 years later and looking back that we see some things but I don't think thats really true. If it were something mild, or non existent, then why was Dr. Morse called in when she was little. Why the cards game, which I know of a card game used to test sociopaths and psychopaths, to see if they can determine the correct emotion for the faces, which was done with her at an early age. I thought that was very telling and for that decade too! My field is psychology, so when I read the same test being given her in a simpler way, I thought oh my gosh, they are already doing psychological tests on her to check her affect and see if there is something wrong with her along the lines of a sociopath, as to why she doesn't seem to react to things, like her sisters fall. And why does Maud say when she was a little girl, that she wanted a normal family, they can't with her? Also something very interesting to me, was the incident at school, that was a bit later in her childhood, when they are taken home, because they were both booted out basically, Maud told her "they are just prejudice". That line struck me big time because it was not followed up, but prejudice about what? Why that word? I can't see at that time that it was a money thing, or a race thing, so yes, early on in the book, or early on in Ginny's life there seemed to be something everyone was aware of BUT Ginny. So for me, it was not something mild or almost non existent in her early life but something very telling about why she is the way she is now. Thanks, Vivian

Dear Vivian
you are right about all of this - the doctor and the school. (By the way I see the doctor as a 'family' doctor, a GP - in 1950s rural England he was often a family friend too as he would be the family's doctor for his entire career - but I see him as someone who's decided to 'take on Ginny and her behaviour' and dabble in some psychiatry with these cards. He never refers her to a proper specialist. it seems that Maud believes everything he says...
The point with Ginny is that at the start she definitely has 'oddities' when compared to the 'norm' of society (or so the doctor and her mother assume). But, the bit that is ambiguious is this:
did she just have very introvert non-communicative traits as a child that her mother (and the doctor) did not understand and therefore assumed must be psychological 'faults'. Then, because of the way she was treated (imagine a basically 'normal' but introvert and ununusual child being treated the way she was treated - sheltered, feared, blamed, fed with moth information and killing, led to believe that animals are unconscious and perhaps humans have no choice in their actions etc etc). perhaps they created who she became (reclusive, OCD and other psychiatric symptoms, and then someone with potential to murder)
OR
was she born with this 'condition' from the outset.
Poppy



OK, I see what you are saying. It's basically a cause and effect question. Was she a quirky kid, maybe shy too, with a overly protective, possessive mother who by the way she treated Ginny and had others treat her, caused her to become, "emerge" into this woman we meet on this weekend? Or was Ginny in fact suffering from something as a child. Its a good question and one that all of us need to think about when we are raising kids. I have just read another book, I won't mention the name here, this is about your book, about a teenager who kills a lot of kids in his school, as we unfortunately see too often these days. But the same kinds of questions apply, Why would a seemingly good, shy kid do such a thing and what roll do the parents and others in his life play in this. Cause and effect. I see what you are saying about that part now. Thank you for clarifying your point. Vivian
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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vivico1
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Oh by the way, I just wanted to say, I really didn't want Ginny labeled, as autistic or this or that, OCD thats ok, we all know someone and no one would contribute killing with no "appropriate" emotions with OCD. But for me, I just wanted to think of her as one eerie, creepy older woman who for whatever reasons, can kill her sister so matter of factly. THAT's what made it creepy and really good. I don't go to movie thrillers and try to diagnose the scary killer, I just want to be creeped out and enjoy it LOL. I worried a lot about the autism talk and am glad that was not really in your mind when you wrote this, or in your answers here because of the problems with labeling people who can be killers or do horrible things. Even if Ginny had some form of autism, which I never thought she did, to say so, well, a lot of people who don't know enough about it, could think other autistic people are capable of this, or when they can not gage emotions or show them appropriately, some could think ohoh, are they capable of this? And that would be such a horrible thing to lay on that highly misunderstood group of people. We are so easily prejudiced by what we don't know, and scared by them (well isn't that the cause of prejudice anyway, fear of what you don't know?) that this could have changed some people's viewpoint about the autistic, or just this book in general. The reason this book works for me in the end, and I really liked it, is because it does have that OH MY GOSH ending, of her doing this and you told it so well in a matter of fact way, like she would think it out, that thats what ended it as a good creepy thriller to me. I loved that. And I do mean creepy in the most interestingly fun way, just having a good scare!:smileywink: Maybe thats why some of the other questions, didn't bother me or need answering. I just enjoyed the ride with this bizarre old woman, and from her point of view. It was a bit chilling walking away from her.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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