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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

Alfred is pushing Gram to sell, and Valentine is trying to figure out a way to keep her home and the family business.

 

Getting to know "Mike" - Valentine's mom - Lots of hairspray, lots of wisdom.  She knew what she wanted and never swerved.

 

Dutch turns up with "prostrate" cancer in Chapter 5 - the whole family circles around and you know he has to be fine - it just wouldn't be fair to Mike otherwise.

 

Rhedd Lewis at Bergdorf Goodman!  This will be the saving of the shoe company  - or will it?  Valentine is up against some stiff competition, and she's only an apprentice. 

 

Gram in a romance?

 

and finally, a big blow-out with Alfred.  I'm glad Valentine tells him off, however - the slip about Clickety Click?  Really and truly awful.  I cringed visibly.  But kudos to Pamela, she stands up for herself!  Perhaps this means a better relationship in the future?

 

 

Stephanie
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debbook
Posts: 1,823
Registered: ‎05-03-2008
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

I really like Gram. But I'm not sure how much I like Mike and Dutch. Mostly they are okay, but a little annoying. Like most of us have felt about our parents at one time or another. Maybe it's later that I don't like Valentine's mom, because of how she thinks she needs to be perfect to keep her husband. But I'll get further into that when we get there.

 

I loved that Valentine called Pam "Clickety click" to her face, though accidentally. But I don't think Pam really likes the family. It can be hard to be an outsider in a loud Italian family, especially if you are an introvert. Poor Roman, witnessing all that drama. She's lucky he didn't run.

A room without books is like a body without a soul.~ Cicero...
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Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

I liked Mike and Dutch, however, I know what you mean about parents being annoying- I think Adriana nailed it on that one- we're definitely seeing them through Valentine's eyes and, well, they're her parents!  So we should feel what she feels. 

 

I'm surprised Roman didn't run after witnessing that debacle!  I would have, certainly.  Lucky for me my husband's family is pretty great- his mom especially.  How many women can say they love their mother-in-law?  (Plus, she likes me best. :smileyvery-happy: )

Stephanie
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KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7


Stephanie wrote:

Alfred is pushing Gram to sell, and Valentine is trying to figure out a way to keep her home and the family business.

 

Getting to know "Mike" - Valentine's mom - Lots of hairspray, lots of wisdom.  She knew what she wanted and never swerved.

 

Dutch turns up with "prostrate" cancer in Chapter 5 - the whole family circles around and you know he has to be fine - it just wouldn't be fair to Mike otherwise.

 

Rhedd Lewis at Bergdorf Goodman!  This will be the saving of the shoe company  - or will it?  Valentine is up against some stiff competition, and she's only an apprentice. 

 

Gram in a romance?

 

and finally, a big blow-out with Alfred.  I'm glad Valentine tells him off, however - the slip about Clickety Click?  Really and truly awful.  I cringed visibly.  But kudos to Pamela, she stands up for herself!  Perhaps this means a better relationship in the future?

 

 


 

My brain is mush, tonight.

 

Mike.  Haven't figured out just how I feel about her.   At times she was about the surface look, and at other times she had good things to say, and do/wisdom.  You did see her heart. The kids got along with her, so I guess that's what counts.  She wanted everyone to get along.  She loved her husband, and that's a good thing, too.

 

I hoped  that Dutch would be fine.  But it was Gram, from the first page, that I worried about most.

 

I loved all of the parts, from the time the asst. came running into the shop to get that shoe fixed for the movie.  These little parts gave hope that something or someone would save the day!  Little by little, Valentine shows her strength to everyone.  I like this progress in the story.  Kept me wanting to find out more.

 

I'm glad Valentine told Alfred off, too.  Although, I do hate these moments.  Divisions of family members is not nice to witness, but it happens.  Alfred ended up showing us what he was really like.  He had to be the most  arrogant and mercenary person I'd ever known!  These parts kept overriding his concern for Gram. 

 

As far as Pam.  I cringed, as well.  It's not a good thing to have secret nicknames for people, even though it wasn't really a bad one, but is said something to the fact that living in high heel shoes, does say something about that person.  A little lofty, or above someone...maybe?

 

She was really never included in this family.  It seems she was expected to be, but was never asked, even when she volunteered, she was refused.  I also got the impression she didn't want to cause any more problems between the sisters and their brother, than was necessary, so she backed away from them.  Her husband ruled the roost!

 

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008

Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

I was completely taken by surprise when we find out Dutch has prostate cancer. I didn't see that coming. I love the fact though that the whole family rallied around him, even taking turns showing up at the hospital for all of his appointments. I was also surprised to learn that Dutch had cheated on Mike back in the 80's. Mike seems to me to always have a plan in place, no matter what life throws at her. After she found out Dutch cheated on her, she makes a plan to stay with the kids at Gram's and strategizes how to get her man back. Even when they tell the kids Dutch has cancer, Mike takes charge, filling everyone in on what's happening and what will happen. She says, "we're young and we're gonna beat this thing. And that's that." 

I'm very curious as to who the man is in the photograph with Gram. Why does she keep it hidden in the bottom of her drawer in a velvet pouch? And does it have to do with the long phone calls she gets at night?

Gram's birthday party sounded like so much fun! How special for her to enjoy her eightieth birthday with her entire family and her favorite singer, Keely Smith. I would have loved to be there with June and Gram drinking the night away. What a riot they are!

I dislike Alfred even more now than I did in the beginning. Not only did he throw the fact that he pays for everything in their family (Gram's birthday party and Dutch's medical expenses) in their faces, but then Pam brings up the fact that Alfred never wants her to change from the day he met her. Pam tells Valentine, "Your brother told me that change was nonnegotiable." He makes me so mad! I'm starting to wonder what Pam really thinks of him and hope we get to hear more about this from her point of view.

April
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KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7


aprilh wrote:

I was completely taken by surprise when we find out Dutch has prostate cancer. I didn't see that coming. I love the fact though that the whole family rallied around him, even taking turns showing up at the hospital for all of his appointments. I was also surprised to learn that Dutch had cheated on Mike back in the 80's. Mike seems to me to always have a plan in place, no matter what life throws at her. After she found out Dutch cheated on her, she makes a plan to stay with the kids at Gram's and strategizes how to get her man back. Even when they tell the kids Dutch has cancer, Mike takes charge, filling everyone in on what's happening and what will happen. She says, "we're young and we're gonna beat this thing. And that's that." 

I'm very curious as to who the man is in the photograph with Gram. Why does she keep it hidden in the bottom of her drawer in a velvet pouch? And does it have to do with the long phone calls she gets at night?

Gram's birthday party sounded like so much fun! How special for her to enjoy her eightieth birthday with her entire family and her favorite singer, Keely Smith. I would have loved to be there with June and Gram drinking the night away. What a riot they are!

I dislike Alfred even more now than I did in the beginning. Not only did he throw the fact that he pays for everything in their family (Gram's birthday party and Dutch's medical expenses) in their faces, but then Pam brings up the fact that Alfred never wants her to change from the day he met her. Pam tells Valentine, "Your brother told me that change was nonnegotiable." He makes me so mad! I'm starting to wonder what Pam really thinks of him and hope we get to hear more about this from her point of view.


 

Hi, April!  Thanks for bringing all of these great point out.  My brain has been in fuzz mode!  I went back in the book, and saw something that Dutch told Valentine...when they were outside, sitting together, alone. This was after he told the family about his cancer.

 

I love that he could have this father/daughter talk with her.  It told me of their relationship  P. 115 -

 

He said: "You've got a big heart.  Of all the kids, you're the most like me.  You didn't spring out of the womb knowing all the answers, like Alfred.  You didn't have a master plan, like Tess.  And you never relied on your pretty face, like Jaclyn.  You've worked hard for everything you've ever gotten.  That's why you're funny.  You needed a sense of humor when things didn't work out the way you hoped.  And the same is true for me.  Things didn't always go my way.  But I never gave up. And I don't want you to give up."

 

I was surprised too, to find out about his cheating.  I'm glad it worked back out.  They fell back in love again.  The part where she said she knew he loved her, was when he actually "went to the store and bought the ingredients without asking and then come home and cooked them.".....that's when you know for sure somebody loves you.  They figure out what you need and they give it to you----without you asking."  

I think, for the most part, men have a hard time anticipating a woman's needs.  But when it happens, it's great, and you'd better say thank you!  (this said in hindsight)

 

This does give us some idea of what Valentine is thinking, especially where it comes to Italian men, and marriage.  Can you trust them?  And how Roman feels about marriage, since he had already been married and divorced.  He's not too keen on marriage at this point. 

 

We haven't talked about Brett.  His relationship to Valentine.  I thought it was smart of Valentine to recognize that Brett wasn't right for her, or they weren't right for each other.  And I thought is was great that they, and Gabriel, could stay good friends, even if they hadn't seen each other for a while; she knew she could count on him, and trust him.  I felt comfortable with this relationship, and I felt he wasn't using her. 

 

That was fun, discovering the photo, wasn't it?  A mystery evolves, and I had an inkling it had to do with that phone call!  But not sure at this time.

 

I also loved the birthday party with Keely Smith!  I didn't know she was still alive!  Gads, I'm old enough to remember her and Louis Prima!  I remember those old songs, too!  What great dialogue Keely Smith had with Gram and everyone.  "It's Magic"!

 

Then the note comes from Roman:  Flood in the kitchen.  Can't make it.  So sorry.  Kiss Gram.  Roman.

 

I can feel the tension in Valentine.  The dissappointment in hearing these short sentences.  It comes across to Valentine as, will this be how it's going to be...?  Will he ever make it in her life?  That's the question I asked myself, several times.  I think Valentine is good at figuring out these premonitions of her...that's how I saw them.

 

What do you think of these traditional holiday family dinners?  Do any of you have them? 

 

Up on the roof, again!  This time a disaster, this Christmas dinner was for this family!

 

Kathy

Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

Kathy wrote, regarding Pam:  She was really never included in this family.  It seems she was expected to be, but was never asked, even when she volunteered, she was refused.  I also got the impression she didn't want to cause any more problems between the sisters and their brother, than was necessary, so she backed away from them.  Her husband ruled the roost!

 


 I felt badly for Pam, however, she had to know if she wanted in with that family, she was going to have to get pushy!  I was actually expecting her to have a more superior attitude however, as she's married to the big brother. 

Stephanie
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Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

April,

 

I'm guessing we might get more of Pam later on in the story (although, this is a series, so it might be later than we want). 

 

Alfred has to be one of the characters that changes over the course of this story.  Otherwise, he's going to have to "go away" - I don't think we can go on with him like this!

 

 

Stephanie
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Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

We do have traditional family dinners, but now that we're so spread out over the country, not all the family members are together all at once.   Food is a big deal at a get-together, and I wonder if it's that way for everyone ... certainly this can't just be an Italian thing.  :smileyhappy:
Stephanie
Distinguished Bibliophile
KathyS
Posts: 6,898
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7


Stephanie wrote:

Kathy wrote, regarding Pam:  She was really never included in this family.  It seems she was expected to be, but was never asked, even when she volunteered, she was refused.  I also got the impression she didn't want to cause any more problems between the sisters and their brother, than was necessary, so she backed away from them.  Her husband ruled the roost!

 


 I felt badly for Pam, however, she had to know if she wanted in with that family, she was going to have to get pushy!  I was actually expecting her to have a more superior attitude however, as she's married to the big brother. 


 

I also felt badly for her.  But I expected her to act just as she did. 

If someone is going to use a nickname like that, it should be used to their face.  It showed us she wasn't included.  I think she felt safe, up until that point. 

 

After seventeen years of marriage to Alfred, and being around this family, nothing should have surprised her.  But, being called a "name" behind her back, implies an insult.   For the most part, she'd been ignored by this family.  She came to accept it.  She didn't want to change, as we know Alfred didn't want her too.

 

Our family calls each other goofy names to their face, all the time, but they are taken as "terms of endearment". As Tess wanted to tell Pam, that's what this meant.  We know it wasn't.

 

She really didn't rebel [her "eyes filled with tears"], other than asking why it was used, then leaving the house in humiliation.  I don't think, after all of those years, she could really fight back, or become pushy at that moment.  Either "pushy" is in you from day one, or you have to learn it for self defense.  Up until then, she probably never felt she needed to be assertive.  She'd always been, like I said, under a 'big dumb thumb'...[my words]!

 

In ref. to traditional dinners.  We have less and less of them in my immediate family.  Just my two daughters and two grandkids.  We never know whos house, or what we will fix for that dinner - or who, in addition to us, will be there, until the last minute.   As far as the choices of food.  It seems that either Italian or Jewish families stick to the same traditional choices for these meals. 

 

Yesterday, Easter: 

Julie had to work until 4:30....We BBQd steak, roasted red/new potatoes, green salad and macaroni salad.  And other salad ingredients on the side.  Fresh peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream.  And Karen made a cheese cake! (which I will eat today!)  We burnt the sourdough bread!  I've never had this meal on Easter in my life!  But it was yummy! (even without the bread).  For us, it's just about being together.

 

Kathy

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KathyS
Posts: 6,898
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7


Stephanie wrote:

April,

 

I'm guessing we might get more of Pam later on in the story (although, this is a series, so it might be later than we want). 

 

Alfred has to be one of the characters that changes over the course of this story.  Otherwise, he's going to have to "go away" - I don't think we can go on with him like this!

 

 


Good points!  There is going to have to be an epiphany, before Alfred changes!  I can't wait!  Maybe Pam will feel the need to change, and demand that he change! :smileyhappy:  I like that one.

 

Two more choices:  He's going to remain the needle in everybody's side;  Or two, he just may have to have an accident on the roof top!

 

Kathy

Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

Kathy,

 

I really hope Alfred does not remain the way he is at this point.  I'm hoping for an epiphany, as you said.  Perhaps a quasi-near-death experience, something like Dutch's?  

 

Even better, perhaps Valentine will figure out a way to show him up completely.  I have my heart set on her becoming the hit of fashion footwear.

 

Speaking of Valentine, who here thinks she would make a great friend?  There is something very personable about her but I can't quite put my finger on it. What do you all think?

 

 

 

Stephanie
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KathyS
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

[ Edited ]

Stephanie wrote:

Kathy,

 

I really hope Alfred does not remain the way he is at this point.  I'm hoping for an epiphany, as you said.  Perhaps a quasi-near-death experience, something like Dutch's?  

 

Even better, perhaps Valentine will figure out a way to show him up completely.  I have my heart set on her becoming the hit of fashion footwear.

 

Speaking of Valentine, who here thinks she would make a great friend?  There is something very personable about her but I can't quite put my finger on it. What do you all think?

 


Sorry, I'm watching Bones at the moment, and I'm laughing my head off at the dialogue between these main characters...I digress...back to, what were we talking about?  Oh, yeah, Alfred and Valentine. 

 

No, no "quasi-near-death experience" for this guy. One in the family is enough.... It's all or nothing, but I don't think this author will kill him off...he's much too important to the family.

 

I'm sure Valentine will show him up, she can't help herself!  She's the star!  But you don't want to put him down, too much, he'll have to do that himself.  I'm sure he'll fall off his high horse, eventually.  I'm thinking Pam will be the one to trip him up...and set him straight.

 

Valentine, a great friend?  You can't quite put your finger on it?  Let's see if I can.  She's a young version of me...now, does that make her personable....and might I add, loveable, or what?! :smileyvery-happy: Scratch that....

 

She was a teacher who found another calling in the way of art, in designing shoes.  She had to feel the difference, to want to change. She did. 

Learning is important to her. To teach, she had to share parts of herself with others...she did, but it wasn't enough.  She evolves.  She wants more. Part of a maturing process.

 

She has just enough fight in her personality to get her what she wants and needs to further her career, and just enough caring to know when a relationships works, or doesn't work.  And just enough love to give away.  And just vulnerable enough to hurt.  How many people do we know like that? 

 

Now, back to Bones....I'm starting to feel like I'm talking to myself tonight.

Message Edited by KathyS on 04-15-2009 09:00 PM
Author
AdrianaTrigiani
Posts: 145
Registered: ‎11-13-2006
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Re: Very Valentine: Ch 5-7

Dear Readers,

 

The best part of writing the first book in a series, is that we all get to know the characters- who we like and don't- but more importantly, the characters change (like in life) over the course of the story, and learn things about themselves and others that changes the course of their lives.  I love that you are interested in Pamela- down the line, things happen to her that help you understand where she is coming from- not just through Valentine's lens- and observations.  Adriana