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Stephanie
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Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

The beginning of the story brings us back to Sullivan's Island with Beth, a recent college graduate tasked with spending a year housesitting for her mother and aunt.  She is a reluctant helper, and one reason may be that the house, the Island Gamble , is somewhat haunted.  At the same time, Beth thinks of the house as a safe haven- even grandmotherly. 

 

What do you make of this? 

 

How do you feel about the big family reunion / meal and the fallout with Allison?

 

Cecily?  Friend or foe?

 

This thread is suitable for those who have read through Chapter 3. Please be mindful of spoilers for events that occur in later chapters.

 

 

Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Hello, Characters!


Stephanie wrote:

The beginning of the story brings us back to Sullivan's Island with Beth, a recent college graduate tasked with spending a year housesitting for her mother and aunt.  She is a reluctant helper, and one reason may be that the house, the Island Gamble , is somewhat haunted.  At the same time, Beth thinks of the house as a safe haven- even grandmotherly. 

 

What do you make of this? 

 

How do you feel about the big family reunion / meal and the fallout with Allison?

 

Cecily?  Friend or foe?

 

This thread is suitable for those who have read through Chapter 3. Please be mindful of spoilers for events that occur in later chapters.

 

 


It's party time at the Island Gamble!

Beth:

 

First, I'd like to say....Yes, Beth is a "reluctant helper".  As we pointed out, she's a kid at 22, more or less on the verge of adulthood.  I can say that, because I'm a full blown adult, and she's got a lot of growing up to do in this book.  She starts out with giving me the impression she wants to work with the family, in that she wants to fit in, but just enough that she isn't "taken in", with all of the family, sitting around talking about everything and everybody that ever existed in that family, and shucking the shrimp in the process.  She gives me the impression that she wants her own "tongue", as Dot put it - a character that knows her mind.....until something changes it.  Always, something is bound to change that character.

 

Cecily:

 

Beth meets Cecily, the granddaughter of Livvie Singleton (who is dead, and has taken up recidency in a mirror!!!.   (See Sullivans Island).... Cecily, who comes to the house, a few days a week, to be Beth's helper in managing the house.  It's her business.  Beth takes a little step back.  I'm sure I would, if I were Beth, with everyone wondering if I could be trusted to manage a house such as Island Gamble.  But, is relieved to find that Cecily is a helpmate, and a take charge kind of person...It's what Beth needs, whether she had first realized it, or not.  They get along famously, as I knew they would, because how could they not:  "She (Beth) is taking orders from Cecily the same way her mother said she took them from Livvie!  History repeats itself, she thought."

 

They joke, they have fun working side by side.  The jokes on Beth, though, at one point, where Cecily has Beth thinking the sandwiches for the party were made by Livvie.  It does give them a compatability....the fun stuff.  It gave me the chills, at first....believing it really was Livvie.  But, I HAVE read Sullivan's Island, and I HAVE read Dot's little pearl of a book, The Christmas Pearl, so how can I not believe in what she tells me?  But, in the reality of this story, there are no jokes, where it comes to these ghosts.

 

Ghosts:

 

There really are ghosts in this story, in this house, and it would scare the living crap out of me, if I didn't know who they were.....they did, I must admit, make the hair on my arms stand up, at times!  We do know who these ghost are, and what their purpose is....Livvie, and Grandma....one loveable, and one not so loveable!  We find out why they have their say in this story.  Some people came into this house, feeling the friendliness, the closeness that this family felt.  Others had adverse feelings about their stay.  There is a seriousness in this, but it's kept light, and mostly fun, until the explanations start to unwined the real stories to these past-on characters, and how they affect the living.

 

Uncles and Aunts, and some children:

 

I had a hard time keeping them all straight at the party, wondering what roll they were going to play in this "house party". 

 

We meet Maggie, the sister of Susan. A rather excentric white glove kind of gal...always in charge. Always the caretaker over this house.  The matriarch.   We meet Susan, her sister, the loving mother of Beth..with a dream of going to France...and what happens to most of our dreams?

 

And we meet the idental twin sisters, aunts to Beth:

Sophie and Allison.  Two opposites, and in business together.  I loved Sophie, and I felt sorry for Allison.  The outcome to these characters, I hated.

 

Grant and Simon:

 

Grant, the husband of Maggie

Simon, the husband of Susan

Both Doctors, and friends, and off in their own worlds...mostly detached characters.

 

Henry the financial genius, and Timmy, the shrink, brothers of Susan and Maggie...Sophie and Allison.

 

Cousin Mike, son of Grant....can't say much about him....he played his part, but passed me in the night, along with his airhead girlfriend.  Grandma played havoc with her!!!   Bucky, his brother, really had no part, except to show off his stupidity in these first chapter.  I pretty much scratched them both off my list of people Beth could really count on.

 

Thinking the house is a "safe haven, even grandmotherly".  I would have to pass on this thought, as well.  This house is so full of past memories, I wonder if they will ever be sorted out.  But, I do have hopes that they will.

 

Beth just seems to shrug it all off.  But as we know, all things can change in our feelings, when we least expect it.  No matter how old you are.

 

I always give Dot credit, she can bring a ghost into her stories, and darn if they don't turn out to be friendly.  You may scratch your head over thinking about them, but in the end you may just want to sit down to dinner with them!  Or is that supper?

 

The next chapters will bring new characters, with new experiences, and new situations, and new dilemmas with new problems....some really funny, some really thoughtful, and thought provoking...some sad and some tragic.

 

Moving forward....

 

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Purpyl
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

I love the idea of the house being haunted. I think I'd enjoy that very much, as long as they ghosts were harmless.

 

As KathyS wrote, I had a hard time keeping track of the various members of the family. I almost got out a piece of paper to make a family tree (more of my anal personality coming out). Kathy obviously has read further than Chapter 3 & gave hints of things to come, so I stopped reading her post.

 

At this point in the book, I feel that Beth is pretty spoiled & has no idea how good she has it. But then, she's young.

 

On to Chapter 4...

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KathyS
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

[ Edited ]

Purpyl wrote:

I love the idea of the house being haunted. I think I'd enjoy that very much, as long as they ghosts were harmless.

 

As KathyS wrote, I had a hard time keeping track of the various members of the family. I almost got out a piece of paper to make a family tree (more of my anal personality coming out). Kathy obviously has read further than Chapter 3 & gave hints of things to come, so I stopped reading her post.

 

At this point in the book, I feel that Beth is pretty spoiled & has no idea how good she has it. But then, she's young.

 

On to Chapter 4...


 

Cathy,

 

I apologize if I've given more away to you than these three chapters.  I hate that when it happens to me.... I do try to stay within the guidelines and chapters, but when writing about the characters, it was hard to describe them without telling more about them.  A lot of what I write can be just speculation.  Don't feel you need to read my posts.  I hope in the next chapters I haven't said more than I should.  I'll be off the board for a while. :smileyhappy:

 

Later, gator!

 

Kathy

Message Edited by KathyS on 07-12-2009 09:20 PM
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Purpyl
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

Kathy - Don't worry! I'm catching up to you!

 

Why will you be off the boards? Going on a nice vacation, I hope...?

 

 

Cathy

 

So many books...

 

CR: Return to Sullivans Island, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Golden Compass

RR: Through the Looking Glass, Finger Lickin' Fifteen, Revolutionary Road

TBR: River Cross My Heart, House of Sand & Fog, and then ...who knows!

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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

[ Edited ]

Beth is a knucklehead but it would be chapter 20 if she didn't have any growing to do, wouldn't it?  And I love the ghosts because i love the concept that love never dies.

 

Also, for what this is worth in terms of structure, I crowded the first four chapters with all the family so you could feel their numbers an play catch up from the first book if you wanted to. 

 

 In Chapter Five, you will see that Beth is suddenly almost alone (if you don't count the ghosts) to stir the pot. 

Message Edited by dotfrank on 07-13-2009 02:40 PM


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Purpyl
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

I'm so glad you did that. I feel mostly caught up now! :smileyhappy: Just starting Chapter 5.

 

Cathy So many books…

 

CR: Return to Sullivans Island, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, The Golden Compass

RR: Through the Looking Glass, Finger Lickin’ Fifteen, Revolutionary Road

TBR: River Cross My Heart, House of Sand & Fog, and then …who knows!


dotfrank wrote:

 

Also, for what this is worth in terms of structure, I crowded the first four chapters with all the family so you could feel their numbers an play catch up from the first book if you wanted to. 

 

Message Edited by dotfrank on 07-13-2009 02:40 PM


 

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dhaupt
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

The house kind of gave me the creeps but it didn't scare me. I'm of the mind that old buildings and homes that have seen the lives and deaths of it's many inhabitants retains some memory or essence of those who have been there before. And Beth grew up in and around this home so she's familiar with all the voodoo involved there.

 

The family reunion reminds me of my large and boisterous bunch when we all get together with the exception of Allison we don't have one of those to spoil the good times, and speaking of her I thought she should have just stayed away, but I wondered if the attitude had anything to do with the "vitamins" she's been taking.

 

I think Cecily at this point is definitely friend.

 

 

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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3

Debbie,

 

Aha -  I hadn't thought about Allison's rudeness being attributed to the pills she was taking. I just figured every family's got one - at least one!   Those health nuts are a little hard to take too, aren't they?  :smileyvery-happy:

 

 

Stephanie
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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3


Stephanie wrote:

Debbie,

 

Aha -  I hadn't thought about Allison's rudeness being attributed to the pills she was taking. I just figured every family's got one - at least one!   Those health nuts are a little hard to take too, aren't they?  :smileyvery-happy:

 

 


 

Allison, as we will learn, is a bona fide nut job.


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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 1-3


dotfrank wrote:
Allison, as we will learn, is a bona fide nut job.

Dot - I have to say, you never fail to make me laugh!  Yep... I would say she's a few cards short of a deck.  

Stephanie