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Poppy_Adams
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



erina wrote:
Poppy,
 
Thank you for the opportunity to read this story.  This was my first time participating in an early reviewers book group and I enjoyed it very much.  I enjoyed the book very much! 
 
What inspired you to incorporate the study of moths in this story?  Is this part of your background? 
 
Thank you,
 
Erin



Hi Erin
My husband was the one who was into moths and I loved the fact that when I met him I discovered so many interesting things about a creature that seemed so dull.  My own background is in pure science, so when I researched for the book, I could easily understand the experimental and biological elements of the story.
Poppy


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Tarri
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Thank you for your response.  I'm glad that Ginny  (probably) didn't kill Maud.  Since you have said that we should make our own analysis, maybe I'll go back to thinking that Maud fell all by herself and Clive just couldn't bear to live in the house without her.  
 
One last thing, you have said that we have brought up many points for discussion that have not been brought up by UK readers.  I wonder if that is because our objective is discussion of the book and we are trying so hard not to be redundant, so we don't take anything at face value.   I know when I usually read a book, I'm not evaluating whether a tree in the background has meaning. 
 
I love a mystery and your book certainly weaves a web of suspense.  I thoroughly enjoyed The Sister, and wish you much success.
 
 

Poppy_Adams wrote:


Tarri wrote:
I think my questions are going to be the ones that you want me to answer for myself, but I would like to hear what you think.
 
* What is wrong with Ginny? 
 
* Why is Vivi home?
 
* What happened to the clocks on the day of Vivi's death/murder?
 
* Did Ginny push Vivi off the bell tower or did she fall?
 
* Who pushed Maud, Ginny or Clive?
 
* Did Ginny stop the research when Clive left?
 
* Did Bernard fondle Ginny, or was it all in her mind?
 
Edited to add:
 
Great book, I really enjoyed the story and the discussion.  Best of luck to you. 


Message Edited by Tarri on 03-14-2008 09:40 AM

Dear Tarri

Yup, you are right about those questions, but I won’t be so mean as to leave it like that.  Here’s my pov on one of your questions:  (Again, everyone’s pov is valid, it does not matter what mine is!): Who pushed Maud, Ginny or Clive?

OK.  I believe that for those of you who want to decipher the most straight-forward plot, I left enough clues for you to believe that Clive pushed Maude down the steps sacrificing her for Ginny’s sake: first of all, lets look at Ginny’s claims to understand her father – “Clive was one-dimensional” – excuse me, who is EVER one-dimensional! “Clive didn’t get involved in anyone else’s business”, “Clive wasn’t the sort to be proud”, “Clive didn’t notice what was ever going on in the house”, “Clive wasn’t interested in the conversation at all, he was just sharpening his pencils”, “Clive was passive”, etc, etc…

Let’s look at what other people say of Clive or what we see him do (disregarding, for the moment, that we are seeing through Ginny’s eyes) -  “Clive could smell a rat in the pantry from that lab” , “Clive told Maud he was letting me go to London, and that was that”, “Clive didn’t tell me he was going to give such a dramatic demonstration”  “I had no idea Clive could be so forceful”, “I would never have guessed Clive would pick up the challenge”, “it didn’t seem like the Clive I knew at all”, “I was completely surprised when Clive… picked out that moth/ didn’t reject the present / didn’t tell me his plans /  was so strong-willed etc. etc.

Do you think Ginny understood her father at all?  Clive, we see, is non-confrontational and has many secret ‘schemes’.  Ginny calls him ‘one-dimensional’ which has to (just by the very definition of a human) be wrong!  If some readers still hadn’t worked out that Clive knew – to some extent anyway – what was going on (his wife’s addition and turn to violence) – I think all of you understood this by the time you got to Clive walking in on Maud beating Ginny – his arrival wasn’t, as Ginny thought, a coincidence, and many of you thought his test tube might not even contain any precious experimentation.

Then, in the next chapter, this man who we now know is secretive, scheming and non-confrontational in the face of problems, takes his ‘problem’ wife, who he’s been ignoring, on a special picnic (that he makes himself although he has no interest in food), to a place by the sea that used to be (when ginny was a child) their favorite picnic spot.  Final farewell?  Later that afternoon, this wife has fallen down the steps in drunkenness, behind a door that’s never normally left open.  Clive gets his daughter to be the first to check if Maud is alive (or has he already checked?) and tells her (fairly woodenly, I feel) “I left the door open by mistake and she must have mistook it…” etc.  Finally this same scheming secretive man has, within hours, sorted out the entire paperwork and financial affairs of the house, written letters to colleagues declaring his retirement AND found a home in which to move into.  Do you think this may have been pre-planned?  Could have been , but I also see many of you saying Clive is very organized about these things…

This is not to say this is the only answer to the mystery of course.  It’s one answer.  But, we can never forget the ambiguity introduced by an unreliable narrator – yes, Ginny could easily have done it and be relating it differently.  It’s all about perceptions.  In that way, yes – you could say you can’t trust anything about the whole story, so what’s the point.  It’s a pointless investment of your time, no absolute answers.  Interesting.  I say that’s a point in itself - we are, all of us, much more unreliable as narrators than we think we are – it’s unavoidable, because of our individual subjectivity.  So perhaps you also can’t trust anything about the way you think of your own lives – and “back-story” – either.  It’s all based on distorted memories, biased perceptions, misplaced nostalgia etc etc. (***this is not my belief, it’s an argument to be made!)

Leading on… Ginny recognizes (chapter 19) that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what the truth of the memories of her life are, it’s her ‘perception’ of the past that counts for her now.  So, one of the reasons for her anger towards Vivien was that before Vivien came home, the memory of her life had been a happy one, “beautiful childhood, loving parents, blossoming career etc”.  To her, it doesn’t matter what the truth is, it’s what she THINKS the truth is.  Vivien came back and changed Ginny’s whole perception of her entire life (and tried to change her perception of herself also, although I’m not sure she succeeded!) 

I hope you’ve followed me, I’m having to write in a hurry!

Poppy





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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



reddoglady wrote:
I truly enjoyed being able to read an ARC -- the book held my attention and I have the same questions as others so I won't repeat -- I did find the moth/butterfly aspect a little boring, but I guess you had your reasons which I hope you will tell us -- thanks for the opportunity and thanks for sharing your time with us --


Thank you for your time in reading it.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

I think you are so right about the nostalgia bringing Vivi home.  When I retired I moved back to the house where I lived as a child.  I never would have imagined that I would want to go home again, but here I sit. 


Poppy_Adams wrote:


Jeanie0522 wrote:
Ms. Adams:  I simply want to thank you for the opportunity to read your novel.  The only question that I couldn't seem to answer myself was why was Vivi back home after all of these years and what was she looking for? 
 
Thanks again!  -Jeanie


Dear Jeanie
It's a good question - why Viv came back.  When I first wrote the book, I intended it to simply be what she put in her letter - that they were both now lonely and retired and should live out the rest of their lives together.  I soon realised that, after all they'd been through it couldn't be the case, but I also knew that she can't return home for one single practical reason like she'd run out of money - so, even though I thought about it, I couldn't write anything like that into the story. That simple diagnostic answer would not suit a story about complex emotions and different perspectives.  So I just try to put myself in her shoes.  She feels like the daughter who didn't get the attention, the one who's left to fend for herself, is always made to entertain and look out for her sister - she leaves home for London desperate to get away from all this.    I think she'd feel slightly ousted to.  Perhaps now she thinks its her right to be back in the house that Ginny has lived all her life (afterall 'it's my house too').  Nostalgia would play a part - as you get older I think you often want to go back to your past.  But also forgiveness and mellowing.  Has she slowly worked out that although she blames Ginny for her mothers death (or for Clive doing it to protect her), that it might not really be Ginny's fault because Ginny might not understand?  Does she want to set the past straight with Ginny?  Or has she worked out that Ginny must have had a disorder (which she'd never fully understood when they were young) and its her duty to go back and look after her. 
It all depends on the readers perspective, which way they will lean.  All I say, is that its going to be a mix of emotion, don't you think?
Hope that helps!
Poppy



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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



nhawkinsII wrote:
Hi, Poppy.
 
The Sister is addictive as well as thought-provoking.  I started reading and could not stop!   
 
1.   Is Ginny a psychopath?  She definitely lacks empathy, feigns emotion and has absolutely no remorse or quilt about her sister's murder.   I also thought she had an elevated opinion of her career as a "renown scientist".  (I don't believe she completed any real work after Clive left the lab.)
 
2.  After Vivi's accident in "The Bell Tower", Maud definitely thought Ginny had a hand in the incident.  Ginny gives us a crisp description of the Viv's toast, the subsequent fall but never indicates that she tried to reach out for her sister nor did I find any evidence that Ginny went for help.  So it must have been Vivi's grasp of the bell and the subsequent ringing that alerted her family...true?
 
3.  In 1948 about the time of Vivi's accident what would Dr. Moyse have been able to tell the family about Ginny?  (Obviously Maud and Clive both were aware of Ginny's "peculiarities" and were looking for answers.)
 
4.  Does the title The Sister actually refer to Ginny?  (Pg. 261, PC Bolt states " 'Are you Miss Virginia Stone?  Right, I didn't realize you were the sister ' ".)
 
5.  What about Vivi?  She certainly must have been concerned about Ginny actions and her own safety since her new friend Eileen contacted the police when Vivi didn't come for tea. 
 
I would really like to read Vivi's story.  Maybe there's not a whole novel, but I would have loved a chapter following Ginny's ending comments written as news or magazine coverage of Vivi's life and death at the hands of her sister.
 
There are so many ideas I would love to discuss...thank you for story I will remember for a long time. 
 
Nancy
 
 


Hi Nancy
Thank you for all your questions and I hope most have already been answered by previous posts.  I will say a couple of things I might not have already covered. 
 
In 1948, doctors were not able to diagnose many of the neurological disorders we know today as they were not yet recognised.  Those sorts were just known to be 'a bit of an odd one' or were called derogatory names. 
 
I agree with you about Ginny having an elevated opinion of her career (nicely put!) and that she probably completed very little, or no, work since Clive left.  But others may think differently and these answers are not the only answers!
 
OK.  The title, The Sister.  I didn't choose it, my American editor, Carole Baron, did.  And thank goodness she did as I'm not sure any of you would have picked up the UK title (The Behaviour of Moths).  But, because I didn't choose it, I have no idea which sister THE SISTER is, you should ask Carole that!  I think she thought that it was simply more intriguing that 'The Sisters' in the pleural, and it also mirrored the ambiguity of the whole book.  I agree, its much more intriguing.  And, about the page ref you quoted - I'll let you in on a secret - I wrote that in myself once Carole had chosen that title, just because I wanted a reference to the title in the book!
 
Take care and best wishes
Poppy
 
 

 


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



grapes wrote:
Dear Poppy Adams,
 
You have wrote a wonderful book. For me, it was a page turner. While writing about Ginny, what were your feelings about her especially after she murdered Vivi?
 
Did you have any specific illness in mind while writing about Ginny?
 
I felt sympathy for both Vivi and Ginny. Which sister engaged your heart the most?
 
Was it more difficult to write about Ginny or about Vivi?


Dear Grapes
The thing is I really felt i 'became' Ginny while I was writing about her, so I understood her even as she was killing her sister.  Sounds awful, doesn't it, lucky I don't have sisters.  That doesn't mean I sympathized with her - not at all - I just understood it.  I don't think I really blamed her too much for it, I mean the woman was very unbalanced at the end.  I know she knew exactly what she was doing but she really couldn't seem to stop herself, could she?  She knew it was wrong, but she convinces herself that ultimately she has no control over her actions, no free will.  I must have still been slightly on her side because I wanted to make sure she was happy at the end, in her new surroundings.  But I felt that Vivien in many ways was more of a victim than Ginny (even before she was murdered I mean!) 
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Mselet wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams,
 
Thank you for writing such an engaging book.  What stood out to me the most besides the character development, was most definitely the mood and tone of the work.  Sometimes I found myself thinking, "I'm not ready to go to moody England just yet," and I'd put off reading for a while.  That's to say from the moment I opened the book, I was immediately engrossed in "that place."
 
My question is in terms of your writing process.  Were there any writing rituals you went through to re-engage in the mood/tone of the novel, or was it a constant hum beneath the surface of your everyday life?
 
Thanks, again, for a wonderful read!
 
 



Hi Mselet
I have to say I think it was a constant hum beneath the surface of my everyday life, that is a good way of putting it.  I lived and breathed the story so I didn't need to re-engage in it every day.  I wish I could do it that way round though, it would be more of a 'job' and less all-encompassing.  Perhaps with more experience, I'll learn to leave it all in my office when I walk out.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



lcnh1 wrote:
Ms. Adams
 
Thank you for allowing us to read your first book.  I did enjoy the book although there were parts that I liked more than others.  I did find the chapters that were more moth-centric to be tougher to read than those that were more character driven.  I liked how there could be different points of view depending on your perspective.
 
I'm curious to know if you were following the online discussions that the group was having the last few weeks and what you thought of some of the theories that readers had (Ginny pushed Vivi vs. Vivi fell; who pushed Maud or did she trip and fall; what was the final straw the pushed Ginny to kill Vivi; Ginny and Vivi could be the same person; etc.)?  I have many unanswered questions as well, some of which have already been asked.  Why did Vivi come home?  At one point I thought she was looking for something in the house so maybe she came back for money or something.  Towards the end, I thought that Ginny might have dementia and Vivi was coming to look after her or get her institutionalized but after being gone for so long I didn't know why Vivi would even care.
 
Thanks.


Yes, yes, I have been following the online discussions with lots of interest, and I loved all the theories posed.  Thank you, everyone, for them all. Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



CylonReader wrote:
Hello Ms. Adams!
 
I wanted to say thank you - for a thoroughly thought-provoking and interesting read! I really enjoyed your book...in particular, the events taking place on "Monday" were totally riveting. I'm already loaning my ARC to my neighbor, who is also an avid reader!
 
I appreciate the opportunity to read your first novel, along with other members of the First Look Book Club. I wish you much success:smileyhappy:
 
Lisa


Thank you Lisa,  I have enjoyed your posts!
Poppy


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LisaMM wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams,

I thoroughly enjoyed your book, The Sister, and thank you for the opportunity to be one of the first to read it. I'm passing it around to my book club and also wrote a review of it on my blog.

Ginny was fascinating, and I spent much of my reading time wondering about her.. the whole nature vs. nurture thing.. it is clear from the time we 'meet' her in her lookout post that all is not right with her- she is definitely a little off- but I wondered how she got that way.

Was she born with some sort of mental problem, or was she a product of her environment and the way she'd been treated throughout her life? There was so much speculation about autism and Asbergurs, but I began to think that she was just a normal kid who was a bit introverted and socially awkward. After being treated differently by her parents, paling in contrast to her more vibrant sister, teased by classmates, used and abused by an alcoholic mother, she became increasingly isolated over time, causing her to go a little nuts. I realize there is no 'right' answer about Ginny, but it made me think about how a child's personality can so easily be shaped and molded by outside sources.

Thanks for making me think!

Hi LisaMM
I appreciate your thorough understanding of the book, and I'm glad you enjoyed it.  You answered your own question brilliantly - you obviously write yourself.  That will always be one of the mysteries of the book, and something that hopefully encourages people to think, was she born like that or a product of her environment?  That nature-nurture question will never be an easy one to answer!  
Thanks for describing the point so beautifully.
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



jmcauliffe wrote:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your book.    The story was well put together.    You leave us to use our own perceptions to explain the story, but did you draw from experiences in your own life to create portions of this story?    
 


Poppy_Adams wrote:
 
Personally, I wouldn't say I have left questions 'unanswered' as some of you have thought (for that implies an unfinished job); I would say I have left you to answer them - and then, perhaps, to look at your answers and question how our society or your own experiences have led you to them (...how your own biology and/or nurture may have contributed).  One goal of mine in writing this book was to make the reader think, to question the singularity of each of our perceptions (and each of the characters), societies role in our understanding (I will come on to how the U.S audience react differently to the UK one)...  
The Sister can be read on many different levels - as a story only, or to understand other aspects of human nature.  I know it doesn't necessarily follow the 'rules' of some stories, in which every plotline, action and thought is tied up and resolved, but life isn't like that and nor are our perceptions of it.  So I don't want to write books like that. 
So I'd like to repeat this - The Sister is purposefully nonprescriptive, and at times ambiguous, and other people's opinions are equally as valid as mine - and more than that, reflect their experience and society's differing values. 


Not really!  Although I'm sure bits and pieces were borrowed.  I also know a fair few scientists and many of you thought that perhaps Clive also had something wrong with him because he was so unemotional and work focused.  Well, there's more than a few like that out there, I promise!
Poppy




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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



vivico1 wrote:

You know, it would not have surprised me, if Vivi had stayed, well alive that is lol, that the way things were going, one day in a heated fit of all the pent up feelings she had about Ginny and Clive and what she may have perceived they both took from her, that things could have been reversed and Vivi could have killed Ginny in a fit of rage. If thats possible, then was Ginny really so off in her thinking that Vivi was a threat she needed to get rid of? Interesting thoughts anyway. Sorry for writing so much. Did you ever think as you were writing those interactions between Ginny and Arthur, of what might happen if you let them get closer? Thanks, (the other viv hehe)

Dear Vivian
All very interesting ideas (although I haven't copied them all to this response).  Just wanted to say that, yes, I DID think about Ginny and Arthur getting together, at one point I was planning on them doing that but in the end I veered away - or rather they did - I don't think it could have sat well with Ginny's personality.  There would have to have been some fundamental changes in her.  As I say, I didn't consciously decide it wouldn't work, it just didn't work - if that makes any sense at all.  I'm glad you picked up a hint of it though, I like the fact that remnants of ideas still manage to get through like the layers of a painting.
Poppy


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Poppy,
I do not mean to take up too much of your time with just my thoughts or questions, so I should probably stop here at some point and not monopolize your time lol. I did want to mention one thing to you that I just remembered made me mad at Maud and wrote more about it on the thread Karen opened up on other topics for discussion. Anyway, you have talked about how Ginny was nurtured by Maud and Clive (tho we would probably agree nurturing it really wasnt), vs free will and I remembered something you wrote, that I don't think has been mentioned yet, if so, forgive the repeat. Maud to me, basically was teaching Ginny to be an introvert,and even anti-social when she was teaching her about that place inside to go when people were saying mean things to you or things that bothered you, where they could not touch you, where you could lock them out and be alone and safe! Where you didn't have to listen to them or deal with them and I thought then, my gosh woman, you are not teaching her how to deal with the world, or be a social individual, but teaching her to go inside herself and she did! She did when Vivi would get upset with her for "leaving" and have to say basically, hello Ginny come back, stop doing that!" her little blackouts, that after the murder even she calls them such. This is a good case for saying a lot of what Ginny was around people, her mother taught her, while her father was teaching her she had no free will, just like the moths. Talk about mess up a kids head! Maud taught her well too, not only did she stay inside her own head way too much, she stayed in that big house alone where she was safe in the very same way. I really was angry at Maud for that.
Vivian
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

hi poppy - thank you so much for sharing your wonderful book with us. i read it the first weekend that it arrived at my house. i didn't particiapte in the online discussions for fear of giving something away. i had so wanted to read this one at the pace of the online club, but i just had to know what happened. i just loved ginny's character. in america we are quick to label someone who doesn't fit exactly into the "normal" mode. my daughter has learning "issues" and i have found it interesting how quickly people want to put an exact label on her. i home school my children so that they can learn at their own pace and not have to fit into the norm. i feel like ginny was what my parents called a "late bloomer", but that she was treated as if she had something so very wrong with her that it actually made a difference in her development. she was never treated as if she would understand the realty of the world. if you are never really exposed to the world, then how can people expect you to understand it??? ginny knew her little world and was happy with her routines. i love the tea making sequence about how this is the way she has always done it. she knows there are new easier ways to make tea, but it is about the ritual of it. ginny is very into the rituals of her life and her sister's arrival shatters her entire daily existence. it can drive you crazy to have an outside influence change what is "safe" for you. my mom says the older you get the more "set in your ways" you get and when you have to make changes it is upsetting. vivi is a big change. the conclusion of ginny killing vivi was a logical one if you are following ginny's logic. i love to see characters written in an honest way to their nature. you didn't have ginny kill her sister for any other reason that it was what ginny would have done. so thank you for being true to the character you created. i think this would make a wonderful film. many films have had the audience "listen in" to what the character is thinking and this would be a perfect way to let us get inside ginny's head. the visuals in the film would be fantastic with all the moth history/experiments as well. i truly hope something can be worked out for a film version. thank you again for this great story.
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Poppy_Adams wrote:


pheath wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams,

Thank you for a captivating read! The more I read, the harder it was to put the book down. One thing I thought was interesting was the amount of backstory that you used. If The Sister were made as a movie, would it be better told sequentially or would it be better to stick to the arrangement in the novel?


Dear Philip
Firstly, thanks for your enthusiasm from the start! As for your question about a film version, and whether it would be better told sequentially, I have absolutely no idea. I've just had an offer for the dramatic rights actually, but I'm not sure yet if I even want to sell them (not that most of them that get sold get made anyway). Personally I can't see it as a good film, but I am told that is because I have no experience in how a brilliant scriptwriter is able to adapt it. I understand that some of the writing and the setting is very visual, but it's the actual plot I'm not so sure about. Most of it happens in her head! Take the motive for murder: on the face of it (if you weren't privy to Ginny's unusual mind) she is looking forward to Vivien coming home, but within a couple of days of Vivien not doing anything out of the ordinary (going to church, meeting villagers, looking round her family home, visiting family graves), she's decided to murder her. Most people watching that film would not think it was a well constructed motive, and they wouldn't believe the character! It's only when you get sucked into the weird journey she's taken herself on in her head, that you can believe the outcome.
Actually this was one of the challenges I first set myself when thinking about the book: A woman who could, during the course of a long weekend, go from loving her sister to hating her enough to kill her - not because her sister did anything particularly wrong during the weekend, but simply because of a change of perception in Ginny's mind. And I wanted it to be utterly believable!
So I'm going to take some convincing of it as a film!
Poppy





I think that it could be done with the use of narration. While I think there would be some work to do in translating it to the big screen, I think it could be done. Now that I think about it this way, I don't think the linear telling would work. You would need something like narration, present day interaction, backstory, narration, present day interaction, etc. Maybe we'll see some day.

Thanks for all of your thoughtful answers! I've never gotten to interact with an author like this before, and it is a real treat.
-Philip
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

Dear Poppy Adams,
 
You have willingly given us of your time. Thank you. I enjoyed reading the answers to our questions. I am looking forward to your next book. Will it also involve nature and science?
 
 
Grapes
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

[ Edited ]
First, thank you Poppy for your response to my questions and thank you for leading me to my next read.  I had purchased  "The God of Small Things" last month for later reading, well, now, later is here!
 
Oh my gosh!  I am so glad you added that sentence said by PC Bolt.  It was at that point that the light bulb lit and found that Ginney was indeed "the sister"  printed in italics none the less just in case we missed it.
 
There was some discussion here about a book entitled "The Secret Life of Bees"  and normally I wouldn't pick up a book with that title however great word of mouth accolades brought me to the book.  In that regard, I think that sometimes the American public is spoken down to as if we just won't get it otherwise.  (Of course, American's themselves don't help matters when you've got 10 pages of sports everyday and 2 pages of book reviews once a week.) Your novel I believe could have stood the test, although the original was a textbook title, it would have enthusiastic word of mouth.
Best of luck in future endeavors...............

Poppy_Adams wrote:


 And, about the page ref you quoted - I'll let you in on a secret - I wrote that in myself once Carole had chosen that title, just because I wanted a reference to the title in the book!
 
Take care and best wishes
Poppy
 
 

 





Message Edited by Carmenere_lady on 03-20-2008 07:10 AM
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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Carmenere_lady
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams

It's funny, I didn't see it as a movie either.  I saw live theatre.  Two great actresses could really pull off the sort of tongue in cheek humor.  And since most of the setting takes place in the house, the stage could play it off quiet easily.

pheath wrote:


Poppy_Adams wrote:


pheath wrote:
Dear Ms. Adams,

Thank you for a captivating read! The more I read, the harder it was to put the book down. One thing I thought was interesting was the amount of backstory that you used. If The Sister were made as a movie, would it be better told sequentially or would it be better to stick to the arrangement in the novel?


Dear Philip
 
Personally I can't see it as a good film, but I am told that is because I have no experience in how a brilliant scriptwriter is able to adapt it. I understand that some of the writing and the setting is very visual, but it's the actual plot I'm not so sure about.
 
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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Poppy_Adams
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Registered: ‎02-25-2008
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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



Frank_n_beans wrote:
Hi Poppy:

Thanks for sharing your lovely novel with us. I really enjoyed reading it...though it did leave me with many questions that I wanted answered! (however, it did encourage me to "think" which, as you mentioned, was one of your goals.) :smileyhappy:

One specific question I had was in regard to your treatment of Ginny's arthritis pain. Did you decide to give her this condition simply to illustrate the fact that she was aging OR...do you have personal experience with chronic pain? I suffer with very severe chronic pain (and I know of one other woman on here who does as well) and I could really relate with the physical pain Ginny felt...even though she's over 40 years older than I!! Regardless of why you chose to incorporate this theme, I felt that you did a nice job representing what it is like to deal with pain on a daily basis.

Thanks again for sharing your book...you are a brave soul to participate in this process!!

Frank & Beans

Dear Frank & Beans
Thank you for all your insightful postings!  No, I didn't decide to give Ginny arthritis to illustrate she was aging - its not always related to age.  My grandmother had this pain from an early age, so yes, from an observers perspective I had experience of it.  I wanted Ginny to have this kind of connection with her mother - she is so different from Maud and they don't seem to find a level, or understand each other at all (until, through Ginny's eyes, the alcholism gives them a special connection). Yet they both had this same pain, and were struck with it fairly young.  I know they didn't experience it at the same time so the connection for Ginny doesn't come until after her mother is dead, but I wanted Ginny to have something like this to sympathise with Maud.  I wanted to write a book where people are complex and sometimes have contradictory feelings - like in life - so whilst Ginny suffers abuse at the hands of her mother, she still loves her, and still finds ways to sympathise with her.  It is also a disease which is physically dibilitating and strongly hereditary so offers a contrast to what might be Ginny's other 'problems'.  I also liked the way I could use it to show a rare, softer side of Clive as he nursed Maud's hands.
There are other reasons too, but these spring to mind.  Physical pain, as I'm sure you'll know better than me, is overbearing and the way Ginny deals with it gives yet more insight into her character.  
I find there are always multiple reasons (and should be) for including something in a book.  If anything is in there only to get one point across then, to me, the book is not rich enough.
Thanks for your question, and I hope you find many ways to alleviate your pain.
Take good care of yourself
Poppy


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Re: Questions for Poppy Adams



ClaudiaLuce wrote:
Poppy, I thoroughly enjoyed your book and want to thank you for allowing us to read it before it goes public.
 
I was intrigued by the deteriation of the house and Ginny's mind at the same time.  Was that suppossed to be analogous?  I am the person who suggested early on that Ginny could possibly be a split personality, a theory which was only put to rest once Eileen came to tea.  I am still very intrigued by many of Ginny's "visions".  Was she already having breaks with reality as a child - or was she just extremely introverted and shy?  I like the fact that you have left this option up to me to figure out.  I can truly claim these characters as mine!!
 
Thank you for a most interesting novel!!


Thank you ClaudiaLuce for your posting. 
As you may know from my other postings, this question of whether Ginny was born with a 'disorder' or if she was just introverted and shy, is one of the major questions I was trying to pose, and discussions I wanted readers to have.  I don't think there's a right answer which makes it interesting to me.  No one has ever been able to fully distinguish nature from nurture, so I didn't want to be so prescriptive in this book.  I don't like those books in which someone ends up doing something later in life, because of one single incident that affected them when they were younger.  Sometimes it works but often it's too neat for me, and unbelievable.
Poppy


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