03-18-2008 07:10 PM
03-18-2008 07:44 PM
I am so happy to have been able to participate in the early reading of your first novel (good for you!) and this discussion. I really enjoyed "The Sister", and I do think I probably would have picked it up under either of the other titles mentioned here (especially the moth one). I tend to read mostly non-fiction, and am trying to incorporate more fiction reading into my diet. That said, I think your book was a great bridge for me between the two. I really liked the moth bits, and have referenced them enthusiastically when recommending this book to friends. I think, because of all the non-fiction reading I do, that cover and title are less important to me than the contents of the book itself.
Your way of description was truly visual. I am a great lover of film (including documentary, which I will be interested to see some of your work as well), and got such a detailed, rich experience reading the book, which was littered with beautifully presented images. Bravo!
I found the last 2 ("Tuesday" and "Today" )chapters to be my favorites, even though they were quite short. The way that Ginny fells about her "departure" from her home, especially the interaction with Michael, and her contented description of her new "home", were so telling. I found myself sympathizing with Ginny quite a bit throughout the book, and I am glad that you were able to introduce such a complex character for our enjoyment.
Lastly, your attention to this book club (reading some of our previously posted discussions, which were quite in depth and lengthy, and taking the time to thoroughly, and thoughtfully, respond to many of our members' questions) is very much appreciated, and wonderful in itself. Time is a commodity that very few people feel they have enough of (I wonder what Ginny would say about that ), and I feel as though I have spent mine wisely with the discussions here, and reading your novel. I wish you much success with the launch of your book, and whatever your current endeavors are..... Thanks, sincerely.
03-18-2008 08:15 PM
03-18-2008 10:09 PM
03-19-2008 01:44 AM
03-19-2008 07:47 AM
I just wanted to say how much I really enjoyed your book. It was so much fun and so interesting to read! Will you be writing another novel anytime soon?
03-19-2008 09:43 AM
03-19-2008 01:18 PM
Carmenere_lady wrote:Greetings Ms. Adams, Thank you for joining us here at First Look and for sharing your debut novel with us.Your story is so rich, I hardly know where to begin, but first let me start with the chapter titles. I thought them to be sort of Beatlesque, kind of Sgt Pepperish "Belinda's Pot, In Rememberance of Pauline Abey Clarke" etc - which seems to fit Ginny's mental state. Did you spend much time creating the titles and why not just choose numbers?Also, it's bothering me why we did not find out who won Bernard's Challenge. But, I think I've just figured out that there was no Challenge, was there. Was it something Clive made up to keep Ginny busy? It seems that when Ginny had a purpose she was focused. After Clive left there was no one to give her more busywork and she slowly lost a reason to do anything at all.Lastly, I really, really liked Ginny's vision as she brought the second dose to Vivien. ".....an image of Vivien's coffin passes me......" It brought to mind Macbeth's vision "Is this a dagger that I see before me?" Was that vision supposed to bring to mind Macbeth?O. K. this is really the last question - This is my third book in recent memory concerning mature adults, all of which were centered around flashbacks. Why would an author choose to write in this form and not just tell the story straight thru as it happened? Hope you know what I mean.Anyway, loved the book even with the moth talk, it was really quite interesting. Good Luck in your future endeavors. It looks like you've got another great career emerging!
03-19-2008 01:24 PM
Fozzie wrote:Poppy, thanks so much for writing the book and being willing to field our questions!My first question has been asked in two different ways by others, but I want to put it forth again in another way. I believe Ginny has a disorder in which she is incapable of interpreting and understanding the emotional aspects and facial expressions of people. I do not know the name of this disorder, and I do believe it is also a characteristic of some people with Asperger's syndrome, as someone suggested, but I believe it is a disorder which stands on its own, so to speak. Could you tell us which disorder you modeled Ginny's behavior after, if any specific one, or was it a combination of several?Secondly, I thought you did an excellent job in conveying Ginny's unique voice. Did you research what the voice and thoughts of someone like Ginny would be like? Was Ginny's voice modeled after a particular person, a group of people, or created uniquely by you?
03-19-2008 01:27 PM - edited 03-19-2008 01:39 PM
Message Edited by Bengel on 03-19-2008 01:39 PM
03-19-2008 01:31 PM
tgem wrote:Ms. Adams,I found your book to be a hard one to put down, and that's a good thing. Some readers have already posted with their questions. I'll repeat just one. Did you intentionally create Ginny as someone with some sort of diagnosed mental illness, or as one reader put it - was she just nuts?I must admit, that although I really enjoyed reading your book and look forward to another - the many unanswered questions left me uneasy. Not is a speculative way, but feeling like I didn't have quite enough information to speculate.Thanks so much for this opportunity to preview and discuss. It's been fascinating.tgem
03-19-2008 01:39 PM
Thank you for your wonderful book. I have similar questions as the other readers, but I will not repeat myself.I have several questions that I would like to know your opinion on:
1.)Is Ginny the only one in the Stone family who is nutty or does Clive, Maud, and
Vivien have some type of mental illness as well?
2.) Is Maud's drinking genetic or was her drinking a causal affair before Vivien left for London? Why did she drink to fill her time while Clive and Ginny were working together instead of doing something else?
3.)Why did Ginny and Vivien call their parents by their first names and not Mom and Dad?
4.) Was Vivien ever pregnant like Ginny saw in the picture?
I look forward to reading your future novels. Thank you for taking your time to answering our questions on your book. Good luck to your future adventures.
03-19-2008 03:30 PM
First, we should all remember that the authors here are our invited guests, and we are lucky to have them. They happily accept our comments (the good and the bad!), but they are not obligated to answer every question. And they have a right to expect that criticism be constructive, and not personal.
Please remember to keep this exchange civil, courteous, and respectful; and to stay within the spirit of our User Guidelines.
Thanks to all for your consideration and cooperation!
03-19-2008 03:41 PM
03-19-2008 04:34 PM
03-19-2008 05:09 PM
03-19-2008 05:31 PM
I am glad you asked this. My reading experience seems to be a bit different than those of others because I did not participate in the individual threads for each chapter, only jumping in at the very end after I had read the entire book on my own. I like to think about the big picture the author is trying to present and have found in the past that too much discussion can detract from my enjoyment of a book. Especially in this book with so many ambiguities, I am glad I held back.
Oldesq wrote:Ms. Adams,First, thank you for your time. I am amazed that you have followed the posts and been kind enough to make yourself available- I think it must be agonizing, especially if I had the type of relationship with Ginny that you have. I guess that goes to my question in that I think I would have had a much different experience with The Sister if I hadn't read it with the level of analysis and dissection (pun intended!) that was necessary to fully participate in these discussions. I think the boards are really fun but wondered if you thought they detracted from your reader's experience and how you would like your book read. Thank you again for your time. Best of luck.Oldesq
Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
03-19-2008 05:40 PM
03-19-2008 06:09 PM
It's a pleasure, Ms. Adams, to have you with us. Thank you for your time.
During my reading of your book, I was reminded of Gilman's "The Yellow Wallpaper" in several parts; especially when Ginny described the plants as "creeping" through her bedroom window (creeping was used in description of other things too, I believe) and her yellow wallpaper in her childhood bedroom. Have you ever read that book? If so, did you receive any inspiration from it?
I also wanted to say that initially I wanted to label Ginny (I definitely think that is because I have a degree in psychology and have always been interested in mental health). But after reading more and more discussion on these boards about what Ginny was likely to have, I questioned whether we should be labeling her at all, and why we want to label her. I too have thought about the subject of sanity vs. insanity, normal vs. abnormal, who is to judge these things, etc. many times. I realized about 1/2 way through the book that this was one of the things that you as an author wanted us to think about.
I think you've done an amazing job of provoking these particular thoughts through Ginny's narrative. The first thing I take notice of in a book is its narrator. I fought through the first chapters because I knew her perspective was unreliable, and I didn't know what to trust from her. But now as I look back to posted answers from you, I realize that was your intention. We all have our own perspective, our own truths, our own individual memories of shared events. I know I'll be thinking about these things for a long time after I've put the book on my shelf.
One more question: before I even read the book (I read in your mini bio that you took science courses in college), I wanted to know if you took any creative writing courses or if writing just comes naturally to you?
Thank you again for being with us,
03-19-2008 06:58 PM
Bonnie824 wrote:I enjoyed your book Ms. Adams, and found the POV especially intriguing because I evaluate and work with people with autism spectrum disorders. Not that I am clear that Ginny was there- you may have a totally different reason for her social/emotional behavior.My question is: When you write do you try and write from many POV very different from yourself, or is this a new direction for you?.