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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19


KxBurns wrote:


fordmg wrote:


Everyman wrote:
Just when we're about to hear Vivi tell Ginny exactly what was her mental problem, Ginny goes into her private place and we don't hear what Vivi says. So now we're sure that there was something wrong all along, but we still have no idea exactly what. I wonder whether we'll ever find out.

Yes, I feel cheated.  There is no closure with this book.
MG


I'm being contrarian here, but is there really anything Vivi could have told us -- a name that she could have put to Ginny's condition -- that would have surprised us? I think we already have it pretty well figured out. Maybe the most illuminating thing is that Ginny drowns her out by retreating to her special place, thereby confirming what we've known all along about her mental state. It's sort of a "show, don't tell" moment, isn't it?





Karen..why be the contrarian..if it was up to everyone to decide what was going on; we may in fact have a variety of interpretations because of all of the unknowns. I think there would have been a lot that Vivian could have told us (maybe things that her mother Maud had told her about Ginny's condition which they kept from Ginny) or even another perspective on events which we could have added to our ever expanding set of variables. Everybody reads a book differently and we all have different tastes. That is the beauty of reading; it can adapt to all of us individually. But in The Sister there were a plethora of variables and not many, if any, constants. I think the most factual part of the book was the major portion devoted to the habits of moths. No layman reading the novel could dispute any of these details. I think because of the overpowering number of variables regarding major characters the novel went a little awry for me. But the novel did give all of us a lot to ponder and analyze and I enjoyed the discussion immensely and loved taking part. I wish Poppy Adams much success with her novel and her future writing endeavors.
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bentley
Posts: 2,509
Registered: ‎01-31-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19



BookSavage wrote:
The biggest problem that I had with these chapters was what I found to be a weakness in Adam's writing.  Let me see if I can get it presented in a way that makes sense.
 
First of all, we know that Ginny is an unreliable narrator.  We know that she presents things to us in a way that she percieves them and not in a way that is necessarily accurate to what actually happened. 
 
Second, when we read the description of Maud's death as told by Ginny, almost all of the people on this board had no doubt that Clive pushed or at least setup Maud's death.  It seemed apparent from Ginny's description of the scene that this was not an accident.
 
Third, when Vivi relates these same facts to Ginny, Ginny is completely taken aback by the accusations.  Therefore, I assume that she really does believe that Maud just fell down the stairs.
 
If all of the above statements are true, then I have a problem with the fact that Adams did not present Maud's death in a way that would match up better with Ginny's perception.  The only other possibility I have is that Ginny knew all along that Clive killed Maud, but that would mean that she was much more perceptive then what Adam's has portrayed her to be.  Either way I feel like this is a weakness in the novel.





I sensed much of what you did. An unreliable narrator and one who has problems with reality certainly helps create a plot/atmosphere which makes the reader feel awkward and unsure. I did think that the last third of the novel was substantially better than the first third and did surprise the reader at the end.
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Jaelin
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

This makes me wonder if Vivi didn't have someone who watched Ginny.  Could Eileen have been that person?.....
 
 
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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Jaelin
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19



grapes wrote:


Everyman wrote:

runnybabbit620 wrote:
I found the story of the bobble hat woman completely hilarious. Now that Vivi is there to (finally) answer the door, she finds out who this woman is more than the leaflets she leaves are able to do.

But the bobble hat woman may be the only person who for years has genuinely cared about how Ginny was doing. Michael doesn't seem to care much other than that he can benefit from using her property. Ditto the guy whose name I forget who apparently cheats her on buying her furniture and even her fireplaces. The bobble hat lady has nothing to benefit from Ginny, but just comes by on her own time because she cares. And Vivi almost violently sends her away, so now nobody is left to care.

I don't see why Vivi is so rude with the woman. She is volunteering her time. The bobble hatted lady knows more about Ginny's living conditions than Vivi. She quickly says that the house isn't centrally heated. She fears that Ginny might have gone without heating during the cold months. I only see deep concern.
 
Grapes


I can in some ways understand why she was so rude to her.  I know that on Sunday afternoons, even today, many people after church spent the afternoon with family and nothing was done except family things.  This could have been was Vivi was eluding to when she asked her if she knew if was Sunday afternoon.....just a thought
Jessee
That is a good book which is opened with expectation and closed in profit.
~ Amos Bronson Alcott ~
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lamorgan
Posts: 62
Registered: ‎01-19-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

It's interesting that suddenly Vivi is so interested in the pregnancy and quizzes Ginny constantly on how it's progressing. She may be preparing herself for questions from others as she intends to pretend this is her own baby. That is why I was totally appalled at Vivi lack of response to the death of the baby! I was also disappointed in Arthur. Granted, he seemed to care, yet he appears to have a lack of backbone similar to what we see in Clive. Vivi has obviously married a man very much like the father she claims to hate.
Ginny's decision not to visit Clive when he leaves is possibly part of her own mental illness. She doesn't like change and she prefers not to leave the comfort of her home. I think she probably has concerns for him on some level, but she's been programmed to be a scientist and often refers to her choices as a response to the scientist in her.
Vivi seems to find Ginny's chosen career almost laughable. She may be exhibiting some form of jealousy for Clive's choice as Ginny as his assistant rather than herself. Did she, all along, want that attention from Clive? Was his decision to bring Ginny into his field turn Vivi's affections to hatred?
Who has been sending social services to check up on Ginny? Was Vivi behind it all along and, if so, why? Vivi may have been thinking about taking over the house. That would explain why she has returned, her reaction to the missing furniture and the constant wandering, as if looking for something. Perhaps she was expecting to have the house, with all its antiques, as a means to support herself in the last year's of her life.
As I read closer to the end of the book, I find more and more reasons to dislike Vivi. Now, she's telling Ginny about the mentally challenged, as a way to explain Ginny's actions and telling her how she thought Ginny had killed their mother.
Ginny is now on the offensive. She is suspicious of Vivi and her motives. It's about time!
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

Vivien's wanting to invite colleagues of Ginnys to lunch seems to me to be making fun of her. Maybe it's to make her own up to the fact that she isn't doing anymore research but it seems she has been  playing cruel games with Ginny  ever since she arrived. Vivien has inserted herself back at Bulburrow and is taking charge of Ginnys whole world. Yvonne
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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

Chapter 17:
Who can't feel bad for Ginny - all knocked up and all alone in that enormous house...
Ginny is always taking the responsibility for other's happiness while ignoring her own....so sad. Why didn't she go back to work? Perhaps with Clive not there to please she had no interest....or maybe without Clive there to direct her - she had no ability?
The flashbacks are done well - and were most of my interest lies - with all of the action and hopefully all of the explanations.
She sees the inequity of life, the immorality of nature - but does not see that in her own life....(p 191).
Interesting way to show that the baby died...makes me sad. And Vi's reaction makes me angry - now perhaps because this is not her baby she has no reaction but she also has no feelings...and could be there for her sister....but she is not. She is a very selfish woman.
Just an interesting thing: I stopped reading on page 195 one night and went to bed and had disturbing dreams of dying babies....specifically of a baby falling from a top bunk and hitting the floor - there was a vivid audio of the head cracking that stayed with me all day...
Vi doesn't seem to deserve a man like Arthur.
And what was the point of those meetings with Dr Moyses? I don't get it. I have a feeling I don't have all the info on Ginny and therefore am not interpreting her family's actions accurately - because based on what I hear from Ginny I really think they are awful people. But then the narrator may be lying or incomplete with her details.
I am hoping to learn more about Ginny and get some of these questions answered by the end of the book. She seems ok - but then she is the narrator.
Is Vi messing her with the invitation of the scientists? She was never interested in science - why now? And what is she up to with the neighbor woman?

Chapter 18
Comments from Vi on page 215 make me wonder now if there is something wrong with Ginny. Intellectually challenged? Still if there is something like that wrong with her - why and how could Vi have left her all those years? And why would Vi have asked her to conceive that baby?
We learn that everyone else knew about what Maud was doing to Ginny - and didn't do anything until Clive pushed her down the stairs - after planning it all. I guess I don't know enough about Clive to even think that would be his personality.
And I am getting very interested in learning all about what is wrong with Ginny - and what the heck is really up there in the attic? And if she wasn't working on moth research all these years, what the heck was she doing?

Chapter 19
I enjoyed the loving memory of her parents on page 224.
I want to know what the heck they were up to with Dr Moyse!
Even though I want to know the truth - it seems to be one more bad thing that Vi does to Ginny - stealing her memories and providing her with the ugly truth about her family - why?
I'm not surprised that Arthur comes back for Clive's funeral and to check on Ginny - and not surprised that he and Vi are no longer together.
Her trip to the attic in the middle of the night is strange....and I think proves that she didn't do anything more up there after Clive left...
Oh my....the last sentence - something that crossed my mind as I was reading her death cocktail discussion but to come out and say it like this is quite ballsy!!

More later...
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19



maude40 wrote:
Vivien's wanting to invite colleagues of Ginnys to lunch seems to me to be making fun of her. Maybe it's to make her own up to the fact that she isn't doing anymore research but it seems she has been  playing cruel games with Ginny  ever since she arrived. Vivien has inserted herself back at Bulburrow and is taking charge of Ginnys whole world. Yvonne


I'm so glad you brought this up, Yvonne. I thought the exchange about inviting the entomologists to lunch was strange. Vivi definitely has some ulterior motive, I just can't decide if I think she's maliciously baiting Ginny or if she truly thinks it would be good for her sister to face the truth? I guess the bigger question I have is, if Vivi's intentions are good, is this a cruel thing to do nonetheless? Or should she remain complicit in Ginny's "innocence"?
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nhawkinsII
Posts: 32
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19



KxBurns wrote:


maude40 wrote:
Vivien's wanting to invite colleagues of Ginnys to lunch seems to me to be making fun of her. Maybe it's to make her own up to the fact that she isn't doing anymore research but it seems she has been  playing cruel games with Ginny  ever since she arrived. Vivien has inserted herself back at Bulburrow and is taking charge of Ginnys whole world. Yvonne


I'm so glad you brought this up, Yvonne. I thought the exchange about inviting the entomologists to lunch was strange. Vivi definitely has some ulterior motive, I just can't decide if I think she's maliciously baiting Ginny or if she truly thinks it would be good for her sister to face the truth? I guess the bigger question I have is, if Vivi's intentions are good, is this a cruel thing to do nonetheless? Or should she remain complicit in Ginny's "innocence"?





I really don't think Vivi was being malicious...I think she just wanted Ginny to realize her research and career had ended long ago. I was truly curious to find out how Vivi meant to handle the lunch or lack thereof when Tuesday arrived. Deep down I think Vivi's faith in her own intuition led her to believe Ginny would never prepare for the arrival of her "colleagues". So this was to be Vivi's "wakeup" (get in touch, Ginny, with life again) call to her sister.
Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

In chapter 18 , I think Vivien put some blame on Ginny for Maud's death because she maybe felt Ginny could have gotten her mother some help for the drinking, if not through Clive then outside the family. Ginny didn't deal with strangers however so that was unlikely, but did Vivien know this antisocial behavior of Ginny's? Yvonne
Wordsmith
maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

Chapter 20 really shatters Ginny's world. Vivien "murders" all Ginny's memories of her childhood and her life up to now. I can't decide what Vivien really hoped to gain by telling her what she believed about Maud's death. It just seemed another cruel act on Vivien's part. Yvonne
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

I loved the scientific aspects of chapter 20. It certainly pointed out to me that Ginny never was more than a good assistant to Clive not an actual scientist. Her knowledge  though will surely help her to kill Vivien if that's what she desires. Yvonne
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maude40
Posts: 357
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19



maude40 wrote:
I loved the scientific aspects of chapter 20. It certainly pointed out to me that Ginny never was more than a good assistant to Clive not an actual scientist. Her knowledge  though will surely help her to kill Vivien if that's what she desires. Yvonne


Sorry I meant to say chapter 19 not 20. Yvonne
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Sunday: Chapters 17 through 19

[ Edited ]


maude40 wrote:
Chapter 20 really shatters Ginny's world. Vivien "murders" all Ginny's memories of her childhood and her life up to now. I can't decide what Vivien really hoped to gain by telling her what she believed about Maud's death. It just seemed another cruel act on Vivien's part. Yvonne


I love your use of the word "murder" here, Yvonne. While I'm still not convinced that Vivi intentionally destroyed this intrinsic part of her sister's identity and world view, that her actions were thoughtlessly cruel is beyond doubt.
 
While the book has brought up many fascinating questions so far, one of my favorites is illustrated by this exchange between Vivi and Ginny: how responsible are we for protecting the illusions of others? Is there more harm in being honest with someone or in encouraging self-deceit?   


Message Edited by KxBurns on 03-29-2008 02:46 PM
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