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dhaupt
Posts: 11,843
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"

We've discovered in bits and pieces what happened the night TJ and Maddie's mom died although there are still some questions.

What are your thoughts about how differently the siblings reacted to the event and how they're still handling it?

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Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010

Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"


dhaupt wrote:

We've discovered in bits and pieces what happened the night TJ and Maddie's mom died although there are still some questions.

What are your thoughts about how differently the siblings reacted to the event and how they're still handling it?


TJ responded with anger, self destruction and hyper control of his sister.  He blamed his father and turned his back on him for killing his mother.  (I feel there is some of the deep seeded Mother/Son bond issue here).  TJ feels that he alone can save the family and must make sure life continues on as it was and things do not change for him or for his sister.

Maddie is her daddy's little girl.  Even though she loved her mother, she dearly misses her daddy and deeply needs him back again.  She cannot bear to lose both parents.  She knows that her music has always been the deep bond between her and her father, so she continues to concentrate and focus on reaching those goals and using that music to reach out to her father to drawl him back to the land of the living.  

It will be interesting to see where the dynamics between Maddie and TJ, the dynamics of the war and her loss of her dream of a musical future will play out and how Maddie will continue to reach out to father in her grief and need.  Will this depth of her dispair draw him back where nothing else has been able to reach him?  

Will TJ ever get past his anger to come to peace with the family he has left?

 

Muse

A really good book is much like an artichoke. As you peel back each page of the of the book, you get closer and closer to the succulent heart of the story.
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Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"

I agree with what Muse regarding how TJ and Maddie reacted.

 

I can understand TJ’s reaction in the short term, but I don’t know how he can sustain the feelings of rage for so long.  Clearly, the accident claimed the life of his father too.  It seems that the father felt and continues to feel so guilty that he became incapable of functioning, sinking into a catatonic, deep depression.  Is TJ’s father not suffering enough that TJ feels he must punish him further?  I don’t think he can be punished further.

 

I admire Maddie for being hopeful and for visiting her father.  Based on feedback from people who have been in comas and said they could hear everything and not respond, I feel like at least some of what Maddie is saying and playing must be getting through, but will it ultimately make a difference?

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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elaine_hf
Posts: 389
Registered: ‎01-05-2010

Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"


Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

We've discovered in bits and pieces what happened the night TJ and Maddie's mom died although there are still some questions.

What are your thoughts about how differently the siblings reacted to the event and how they're still handling it?


TJ responded with anger, self destruction and hyper control of his sister.  He blamed his father and turned his back on him for killing his mother.  (I feel there is some of the deep seeded Mother/Son bond issue here).  TJ feels that he alone can save the family and must make sure life continues on as it was and things do not change for him or for his sister.

Maddie is her daddy's little girl.  ...

Muse


I very much agree with you, Muse. And I think a lot of the problems that lie between TJ and Maddie stem from that very basic set of facts - TJ was very attached to their mother, Maddie was clearly daddy's little girl. So they've taken two very opposite stands, and I think that affects the way they relate to each other. TJ, trying to hold onto a ghost, and Maddie opening herself to possibilities and love. But I think what unites them is their deep sadness at the loss of their parents. And, of course TJ is the older brother and he's going to feel very responsible for Maddie's well being. So sad when children have to assume adult roles in life.

 

TJ is definitely the pragmatist, but he's taken his role so seriously that there's not a lot left for open mindedness. And I'm sure that fuels those anger flames. Maddie is the wiser of the two, perhaps, but maybe doesn't fully understand the weight of the responsibility on TJ's shoulders?? It will definitely be interesting to see how this all plays out.

‎"Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God." -Bokonon
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aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008

Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"

TJ still holds anger and resentment toward his father for the part he played in the death of his mother. I don't think TJ quite knows how to deal with his feelings of losing his mother and needs someone to blame for her death, so his father is the obvious choice. TJ took it upon himself to take over the father role in their family, vowing to watch over Maddie, but in the process he became too overprotective of her. I feel if he's not careful he could end up losing everyone he ever loved.

 

Maddie has chosen to devote herself to her father, trying to find a way to bring him back into the world of the living. Unlike TJ, she prefers to focus her attention on the one parent she has left. She visits her father regularly and practices his favorite pieces on her violin, hoping he will recognize one and come back to her. She refuses to lose her only living parent and my heart breaks for her when her father isn't able to acknowledge her after her repeated tries. My hope for Maddie is that one day her effort at bringing her father back will be rewarded.

 

I feel badly for both siblings. Although they have chosen different paths of dealing with their losses, they are both still stuck in the night their mother died. It's heartbreaking to watch them deal with this situation alone. If they could find a way to support each other I think it would bring them both comfort.

April
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,843
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Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"


elaine_hf wrote:

Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

We've discovered in bits and pieces what happened the night TJ and Maddie's mom died although there are still some questions.

What are your thoughts about how differently the siblings reacted to the event and how they're still handling it?


TJ responded with anger, self destruction and hyper control of his sister.  He blamed his father and turned his back on him for killing his mother.  (I feel there is some of the deep seeded Mother/Son bond issue here).  TJ feels that he alone can save the family and must make sure life continues on as it was and things do not change for him or for his sister.

Maddie is her daddy's little girl.  ...

Muse


I very much agree with you, Muse. And I think a lot of the problems that lie between TJ and Maddie stem from that very basic set of facts - TJ was very attached to their mother, Maddie was clearly daddy's little girl. So they've taken two very opposite stands, and I think that affects the way they relate to each other. TJ, trying to hold onto a ghost, and Maddie opening herself to possibilities and love. But I think what unites them is their deep sadness at the loss of their parents. And, of course TJ is the older brother and he's going to feel very responsible for Maddie's well being. So sad when children have to assume adult roles in life.

 

TJ is definitely the pragmatist, but he's taken his role so seriously that there's not a lot left for open mindedness. And I'm sure that fuels those anger flames. Maddie is the wiser of the two, perhaps, but maybe doesn't fully understand the weight of the responsibility on TJ's shoulders?? It will definitely be interesting to see how this all plays out.


Elaine, thanks for your comments.

You mentioned that you think Maddie is the "wiser" of the two. I have to admit I never really looked at her that way before you brought it up. But now that I have I definitely agree with you.

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dhaupt
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Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"


aprilh wrote:

TJ still holds anger and resentment toward his father for the part he played in the death of his mother. I don't think TJ quite knows how to deal with his feelings of losing his mother and needs someone to blame for her death, so his father is the obvious choice. TJ took it upon himself to take over the father role in their family, vowing to watch over Maddie, but in the process he became too overprotective of her. I feel if he's not careful he could end up losing everyone he ever loved.

 

Maddie has chosen to devote herself to her father, trying to find a way to bring him back into the world of the living. Unlike TJ, she prefers to focus her attention on the one parent she has left. She visits her father regularly and practices his favorite pieces on her violin, hoping he will recognize one and come back to her. She refuses to lose her only living parent and my heart breaks for her when her father isn't able to acknowledge her after her repeated tries. My hope for Maddie is that one day her effort at bringing her father back will be rewarded.

 

I feel badly for both siblings. Although they have chosen different paths of dealing with their losses, they are both still stuck in the night their mother died. It's heartbreaking to watch them deal with this situation alone. If they could find a way to support each other I think it would bring them both comfort.


Thanks April, you bring up a situation that is so true, how both Maddie and TJ are still stuck on the night they lost really both parents. I wonder if we'll ever learn the real truth about that night.

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Kristina_McMorris
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Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"

Wow, I love reading all of your thoughts on Maddie and TJ, and the subject of loss in particular! I've personally witnessed, as I'm sure many of you have sadly, people handle grief in a wide varitey of ways. Not always in what seems the most logical (or healthy) manner -- but then, so much about the unexpected loss of a loved one isn't logical. Right? 

 

I heartily agree with April, about TJ not knowing how to deal with his feelings and wanting desperately to blame someone. His father definitely makes an easy target. I also think there's a part of TJ that unconsciously believes holding onto his anger means not fully letting his mother go...

 

I look forward to hearing what you all think of how those feelings develop. :smileyhappy:

 

 


aprilh wrote:

TJ still holds anger and resentment toward his father for the part he played in the death of his mother. I don't think TJ quite knows how to deal with his feelings of losing his mother and needs someone to blame for her death, so his father is the obvious choice. TJ took it upon himself to take over the father role in their family, vowing to watch over Maddie, but in the process he became too overprotective of her. I feel if he's not careful he could end up losing everyone he ever loved.

 

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Bridge of Scarlet Leaves week one- "The Accident"


Kristina_McMorris wrote:

Wow, I love reading all of your thoughts on Maddie and TJ, and the subject of loss in particular! I've personally witnessed, as I'm sure many of you have sadly, people handle grief in a wide varitey of ways. Not always in what seems the most logical (or healthy) manner -- but then, so much about the unexpected loss of a loved one isn't logical. Right? 

 

I heartily agree with April, about TJ not knowing how to deal with his feelings and wanting desperately to blame someone. His father definitely makes an easy target. I also think there's a part of TJ that unconsciously believes holding onto his anger means not fully letting his mother go...

 

I look forward to hearing what you all think of how those feelings develop. :smileyhappy:

 

 


aprilh wrote:

TJ still holds anger and resentment toward his father for the part he played in the death of his mother. I don't think TJ quite knows how to deal with his feelings of losing his mother and needs someone to blame for her death, so his father is the obvious choice. TJ took it upon himself to take over the father role in their family, vowing to watch over Maddie, but in the process he became too overprotective of her. I feel if he's not careful he could end up losing everyone he ever loved.

 

 


Kristina, I'm sure I feel like the others here who are saying WOW, the author likes my thoughts.

It means so much to me and the other members too, to have your participation in this discussion.

Thanks :smileyhappy:

 

Now you made me think of something as I was reading your repsonse here.

Did you characters lead you on a merry chase through this novel, or did you pretty much know their outcomes all along?

 

I hope you're all ready for week two, I'm just know putting the finishing touches on the questions and re-reading the section.

 

Happy Sunday everyone!