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Stephanie
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Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

After the party, Beth has the house to herself, but a mess to clean up.  Aunt Sophie expects her to get writing - what do you think Beth has to write about?

 

Cecily, ghosts, good-looking men working in restaurants- looks like an exciting summer!  Beth lands not one but two jobs, and now I'm wondering if she's going to have time to have any fun or write.

 

Then she meets Max.  What do you think of him?  His "multipurpose rental space"? do you think Beth will crucify him in her article? 

 

This thread is suitable for those who have read through Chapter 7. 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 - Ch 4-7

At this point, concerning Beth and her writing, I didn't know what would be the outcome for her.  She's been so busy just cleaning up after everyone....

 

She confessed to Ms. Farlie, the owner of the paper, she's not a freelance writer, but she was hired on the spot, without an effort to explain way she thought she could do the job.  I wondered what would become of her novel writing....or if she would ever start to write it.  But then, I thought...she needs a little more life-experience under her belt...I'm thinking out loud, here.

 

I didn't know, even after getting that job, what she would write about in her article.  She fell into this story, as well as her jobs, hearing people talk about the island, and progress.....

 

That must have given her some idea that there are opinions out there, about what was happening to her island.  I guess she did feel connected to this island, in personal ways, whether she liked it or not.  The owner of the paper saw something of Beth's passion for it when Beth told her a little about what she might write about.  Was Beth spurned with passion by what these old guys were talking about?  Was change something lying dormant in Beth?

 

I wasn't sure if Beth, a 22 year old, would see this tearing down of the old as a bad thing....was she against progress/change?  Or just showing the passion of the people who lived on the island? 

 

I was thinking Beth would just be playing the field for the summer, with all of these good looking guys she would find herself surrouned by....but, never underestimate the power of "love", at 22!  Love at first sight....was she nearsighted, or blinded by the island's sun?  I don't expect Beth to crucify Max.  That would be like blowing up her own highway to love.   Or is that burning one's bridges?  :smileyhappy:


Stephanie wrote:

After the party, Beth has the house to herself, but a mess to clean up.  Aunt Sophie expects her to get writing - what do you think Beth has to write about?

 

Cecily, ghosts, good-looking men working in restaurants- looks like an exciting summer!  Beth lands not one but two jobs, and now I'm wondering if she's going to have time to have any fun or write.

 

Then she meets Max.  What do you think of him?  His "multipurpose rental space"? do you think Beth will crucify him in her article? 

 

This thread is suitable for those who have read through Chapter 7. Please be mindful of spoilers for events that occur in later chapters.


 

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KathyS
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Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 7 - Goose Bumps

[ Edited ]

I love the emails, again between Maggie and Susan...how clueless, Maggie telling Susan how "mature" her son, Mike, was...Ha!  Susan set her straight. 

 

The priest coming over to the house to rid, or expel the place of ghosts....or make them friendly, or whatever they do, to the rooms.  That was a nice visit between Beth and Monsignor Ben Michaels....like an old family friend.  I wish he'd stick around, check up on Beth from time to time.

 

Well Beth has her doo redone, and contacts inserted....although, that doesn't change what's between her ears.  We get to meet more old family friends....from books past.  I was thinking, one day Dot will have all of her characters meet up in ONE book....Old Friends Meet on Sullivans Island For A Rip-Roaring Barbecue On The Fourth Of July! 

 

Now, back to Beth...and Max.  Oops, Max shows up at the restaurant, not knowing Beth worked there.... and Beth is surprised to see him with some "old dame well north of forty". :smileyhappy:  Dot does wonders with her descriptions!  Can't be a love interest, right?  Naw, must be business....right?  Monkey business is what I'm thinking.  "Max had been a jerk[to her]"...but Beth, the ever-loving, wanting to please, youngest, wanted to continue to impress him, even though "she felt like a complete and utter fool."

Message Edited by KathyS on 07-12-2009 03:36 PM
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Purpyl
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

My first impression of Max is that he's too old for Beth. And he's rude. And he's committment-phobic. But hey! Who says she has to settle for HIM??!! (But we already assume she will. ~ sigh ~)

 

I still like the idea of ghosts in the house, priest or no priest.

 

I must be jealous of Beth. Young, pretty, smart (except when it comes to Max, but like I said, she's young. We all dreamed of happily ever after at her age, right?), able to live in a great house in a fabulous spot. I'd like to try it...

 

 

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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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Max!  And the woman he was out with?  I'm thinking they're probably the same age... that's his long-time girlfriend, and he cheats with young 20-somethings.   I really dislike him. He's lucky I'm not in this story. 

 

Stephanie
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Purpyl
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

LOL!

 

Cathy

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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Max is kind of the quintessential jerk for all times.  Beth, althought she thinks she knows it all, has really lousy judgment when it comes to men.  DIdn't we all go through a phase of bad boys and trying to save them?


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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Dot,

 

I don't know if I was trying to save the "bad boys" of my youth, but I did think they were cool and exciting.  Maybe we should teach our young daughters that the real princes are the ones we use as doormats ... and they're smart enough to know we'll grow up and appreciate them after we realize that life's not a fairy tale.

 

 

Stephanie
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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7


Stephanie wrote:

Dot,

 

I don't know if I was trying to save the "bad boys" of my youth, but I did think they were cool and exciting.  Maybe we should teach our young daughters that the real princes are the ones we use as doormats ... and they're smart enough to know we'll grow up and appreciate them after we realize that life's not a fairy tale.

 

 


 

Stephanie, I tried to teach my daughter that lesson but I think it's one they have to learn from life experience.  But I sure did love those bad boys.


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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Dot,

 

Of course you're right, we probably wouldn't have listened to our moms either.  Beth was a professional at convincing herself that Max was okay, and it didn't help that Max also charmed Woody - hard to think evil of such a nice guy. 

 

 

Stephanie
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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

The message we should be begining to hear in this part of the book is  this: 23 does not make an adult and when Susan and Maggie so assuredly left Beth with the house, it was a dangerous thing to do, even in a place as safe and provincial as Sullivans Island.  Once you are a parent, is there ever a time when you can take your eye off your children?  Especially given Beth's experience in the relationship department?


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KathyS
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7 - spoiler whole book


dotfrank wrote:
The message we should be begining to hear in this part of the book is  this: 23 does not make an adult and when Susan and Maggie so assuredly left Beth with the house, it was a dangerous thing to do, even in a place as safe and provincial as Sullivans Island.  Once you are a parent, is there ever a time when you can take your eye off your children?  Especially given Beth's experience in the relationship department?

 

Dot, there was an incredible amount of feelings of 'aloneness' I felt from the character, Beth, from this story, as a whole.  It wasn't just from Susan and Maggie's not being there, next to Beth, I felt it in all of her relationships.  There were hints of need from Beth. Some more obvious than others.  Maybe it was just me that felt it, but she was holding onto something that not even the close proximity of people could help. 

 

The major issue with Beth, as I think I've already mentioned, is the need for her father, and the need for the people that she loved, to see her needs, and to accept him as she did, just as he was; just as she was - someone who loved and wanted to be loved in return. They did fall short in meeting Beth's needs, all of them.  There were too many lies, both obvious, and hidden, that Beth kept seeing, ignoring, and perpetuating, as they all did. 

 

All of this, I should be saying at the end of the book. 

 

Beth avoided the real reasons for her being there, on Sullivans Island, and the real reasons for her "ghosts" showing up, who wanted to tell her something she couldn't see for herself.

 

We do want to think that our children, at the age of 23, have been instilled with enough values, common sense, and whever else we thump into their sometimes thick skulls, to become an adult when they leave home.  But, in Beth's case, there were unresolved issues, that neither she, nor her family members were able to see. 

 

Our past does come pack to haunt us, if it isn't taken care of in the present.  We go back to the Island with Beth; this is her real childhood;  Beth becomes that child, again.....before she can become that adult. 

 

As parents, it's not always easy.  I walked away, physically, from my youngest, when she was 21.  I knew she'd be looked after by her 26 year old sister.  I was Susan, in a way. But, I told her, I've spent those years showing, and telling you things I thought you should know, so to be able to stand on your own two feet.  I had to let go, otherwise she would have never become the beautiful adult of 33 she is now.  And believe me, my daughters and I have talked all of this through.  We've never been closer than we are today.  They, themselves, have a father who left them.  Even though he's still living, he doesn't include them in his life.  I feel that hurt from my daughters, so we very seldom bring his name up.  We can't change a thing.  Discussion about these issues is always necessary, but you reach a point were it's best to try to forgive and forget.

 

Kathy

 

 

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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7 - spoiler whole book

Kathy,

 

Well put - I think the family took for granted that Beth was "okay" and that she'd do a fine job watching the house, etc.  I think when our kids are "successful" through college, we tend to think, Well, got that done right!  And there is so much more to growing up than just getting our education and moving out into the world, isn't there?  We moms and dads focus on that for so many years though, that the grand relief when it's done can fool us into thinking our kids are finished growing up.

 

 

Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7 - spoiler whole book


Stephanie wrote:

Kathy,

 

Well put - I think the family took for granted that Beth was "okay" and that she'd do a fine job watching the house, etc.  I think when our kids are "successful" through college, we tend to think, Well, got that done right!  And there is so much more to growing up than just getting our education and moving out into the world, isn't there?  We moms and dads focus on that for so many years though, that the grand relief when it's done can fool us into thinking our kids are finished growing up.

 

 


 

Yes, so much more.  College guarantees nothing, where it comes to relationships and life's lessons.  There is more than one kind of educaton.  The thing is, we reach a point in our lives, where we can make fairly good decisions, or think our kids can, but we never stop growing...it may not be up...just sideways at times...Have I stopped growing?  At my age, how do you see me?  How do you see yourself?  Once we think we have nothing more to learn about life, or give to life, that's when it comes back and bites you in the butt!  You want to see my butt!  No, I didn't think so! :smileyhappy:
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dhaupt
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

I think that Sophie wants Beth to write about the Lowcountry and her family, but Beth doesn't have the slightest idea right now.

 

My first impression of Max was the I was leery of him, I don't know why but my slime meter went way up. I don't know how she will treat him in her article yet. 

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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

This part of the story lives to illustrate the "LAUNCH PAD OF LIFE."  Here's Beth, brainiac, accomplished student, lovely young woman and way way naive.  You're right!  She wants to write but about what?  Her experiences are not all that unusual.  And Max?  Has a good looking guy ever flirted with her?  Definitely not.  So she is easily carried away.  I got reviewed by the City Paper in Charleston SC by a young woman who so obviously shares all of Beth's foibles.  Maybe she hated the book because she saw herself in it.  I wanted mothers everywhere to remember what 23 looks and acts and thinks like.  It's a dangerous time.


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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Dot,

 

In thinking about your young reviewer, I tried to figure out how I would have reacted to this story at 23 (of course, that's a few decades ago!) and I think I would have liked it just as much then as I do now.  At 23 I was very much all about ME - I might admit to being a little mean to some of the men I dated then - a time or two, anyway!

Stephanie
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dotfrank
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7


Stephanie wrote:

Dot,

 

In thinking about your young reviewer, I tried to figure out how I would have reacted to this story at 23 (of course, that's a few decades ago!) and I think I would have liked it just as much then as I do now.  At 23 I was very much all about ME - I might admit to being a little mean to some of the men I dated then - a time or two, anyway!


 

Girl?  I'll bet you lunch that you started breaking hearts way before 23!


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Stephanie
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Re: Return to Sullivan's Island - Ch 4-7

Dot - I'll take that bet!  At my HS reunion one of the guys told me that they would have asked me out, but they were too intimidated!  Now, you know me... so I ask you... am I intimidating?  :smileywink:
Stephanie