Since 1997, you’ve been coming to BarnesandNoble.com to discuss everything from Stephen King to writing to Harry Potter. You’ve made our site more than a place to discover your next book: you’ve made it a community. But like all things internet, BN.com is growing and changing. We've said goodbye to our community message boards—but that doesn’t mean we won’t still be a place for adventurous readers to connect and discover.

Now, you can explore the most exciting new titles (and remember the classics) at the Barnes & Noble Book Blog. Check out conversations with authors like Jeff VanderMeer and Gary Shteyngart at the B&N Review, and browse write-ups of the best in literary fiction. Come to our Facebook page to weigh in on what it means to be a book nerd. Browse digital deals on the NOOK blog, tweet about books with us,or self-publish your latest novella with NOOK Press. And for those of you looking for support for your NOOK, the NOOK Support Forums will still be here.

We will continue to provide you with books that make you turn pages well past midnight, discover new worlds, and reunite with old friends. And we hope that you’ll continue to tell us how you’re doing, what you’re reading, and what books mean to you.

Reply
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship  

Well the long wait is over let the March read begin.

Please use this as a guide to the discussion but please also add thoughts and comments that you wish to say.

 

 

Week One
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

 

1. The novel opens in the belly of a skydiving plane where Kate Jansen is supposed to jump out of.
How did you like this opening.

 

2. We’ve met the major players in our novel tell us what you think of each of them
Kate
Sarah
Jo

 

3. Jo inherits the most unlikely of gifts from Rachel, her daughter Gracie
Where you surprised that Rachel’s family gave up Gracie so quickly

 

4. After Jo’s trip to the hospital she decides to handle motherhood as all other things in her life with organization and planning and delegation
How well do you think that’s going to work out

 

5. The novel is based on deathbed requests made by the missing friend Rachel and in this first part we read the one to Kate
Seeing how Paul reacted to Kate’s solo jump and Kate’s reaction to his reaction, do you think that Rachel knew what she was doing

 

6. We end week one with Kate and Sarah arriving in India, the introduction of Sam, Kate’s obvious reaction to so many immunizations at once and finally ending with Colin and Sarah meeting and “reconnecting”


7. Tell us how you like the novel so far, be honest, did you stop at week one or did the author entice you to continue.

Inspired Wordsmith
whiteginger
Posts: 914
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

 

 

Week One
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

 

 

I really like the opening in the skydiving plane.  Because Kate is in such emotional turmoil about the jump, I was drawn into her character immediately. The cast of characters in that little plane was a riot--Bubba, a Franciscan monk, Kate, and a photographer to record it all!  Bubba and the monk--I still think that's funny.  I was a bit surprised that Bubba, the jump leader, "bullied" her, however.  I suppose I was comparing the scene to the experience of a friend of mine who did chicken out and never made a jump.

 

Jo's "gift" of Rachel's daughter Gracie was a surprise in many ways, and at this point, still confusing.  The fact that Rachel seemed to have given her daughter away years earlier (Rachel had already given her own parents, Gracie's grandparents, the responsibility of rearing Gracie) seemed odd to me. Why? Then, the family supposedly "welcomes" the adoption(?) because of their "situation"--except Rachel's cousin, Jessie.  And the whole adoption is like a business transaction, like buying a piece of "open box" electronic equipment:  you pick it up "as is,"  sign the receipt, and walk out with it, no original box or instruction booklet.  I felt sorry for Gracie. There is no indication that Gracie even likes her "Aunt Jo."  Doesn't anyone really love and care about this little girl?  Did Rachel know her own daughter?

 

Right now, I don't understand why Rachel would ask Jo to take Gracie.  I know Rachel's requests are meant to help her friends grow and be the best they can be, but what about her own daughter, Gracie?  Is this best for Gracie or was Rachel simply thinking of Jo?

 

When Kate makes her third(?) jump and has Paul waiting for her, I was somewhat prepared for his reaction--it is a reiteration of the same thoughts Kate had before her first jump. I thought the staging of the confrontation--with the fence between them, and Kate constantly thinking that she had to get to the gate and get to him to explain--was extremely well crafted.  I also like that Kate and Paul's argument is suddenly dropped when Sarah needs Kate's help, and then we find that Paul has pail for a nice hotel for Sarah and Kate in India.  I anticipate the later chapters when we learn how Kate and Paul work this out.

 

I  like the Sam character; he seems strong, reliable.  There's something of the James Bond, or maybe Indiana Jones, about him.  I want to know more about him.  My picture of Colin is still mostly the "fantasy" that Sarah has described to me.  Great little section ending detail about Colin being engaged to be married soon.  How convenient that he didn't bring along the fiance.

 

When I reached the end of this first reading section, I did not want to stop--but I did simply becauseI don't like getting ahead in these discussions.  I really like Lisa's writing style, the fact that what is unsaid seems as important as what is said and I'm always aware that there is more.  All the character's seem relatively complex, and I like that, too. As with Kate in Joy for Beginners, I was not sure what to think about Rachel, the mysterious orchestrator of the events in this novel.  Learning from Jessie that Rachel has sent out MANY letters to people was a bit of a shock and I have decided that I need to learn more about Rachel. The daughter situation bothers me, though. 

 


 

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

whiteginger thanks for your comments, I wanted to comment on these in particular

 

I was very much scrathing my head over Rachel's giving Gracie over to her parents and then wham to Jo and i agree with your comments.

 

I loved the opening scene I can still picture Bubba, even later on when he's struting over to Kate while Paul is watching from the fence.

 

And finally I loved your reference to James Bond talking about Sam, :smileyhappy:

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

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship  

Well the long wait is over let the March read begin.

Please use this as a guide to the discussion but please also add thoughts and comments that you wish to say.

 

 

Week One
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

 

1. The novel opens in the belly of a skydiving plane where Kate Jansen is supposed to jump out of.
How did you like this opening.

 

I climbed into that jumpsuit with her and my stomach dropped out from under me, too.  It's a good thing Rachel wasn't around to get a good piece of MY mind.  Of all the cruel things to do to your best friend.  As a person who suffers from vertigo so bad that I get sick to my stomach when they show a ledge jumper looking down from the roof on TV, you couldn't have got me near that door.  And jump?  Are you kidding?  But boy would I love to do it.  I would love the thrill of the jump and the flying through the air, even with that huge "hunk" hangin on my back. :smileywink:  But it sure wasn't fair the way he shamed Kate into jumping.  That was worse than a triple dog dare, and you can't back away from those.  But once she did it, she was hooked.  Instant adrenaline junky, for sure.  All of a sudden she remembered her days of "no fear" and spontaneity.  

I was hooked for the book. :-)

 

2. We’ve met the major players in our novel tell us what you think of each of them
Kate

Kate has done what was expected of her and focused on her family sense she got married.  Every one and Everything had a place and time in her schedule and woe be unto he/she who deviated from it.  She had her whirling world balanced and everything ran smooth.  She even set an appointment for "the deed" twice a week. I got a laugh out of that one.  Even though she was the spontaneous one in college, now that she had settled and had a family, she was set and rigid in her routine and life.

Sarah

Sarah was the one that went into the peace corp and was the nurse.  She never recovered from her "first love".  When she was told to go find him, it was the newly reborn-spontaneous Kate who volunteered to go with her to India to find him.  This sounds like fun. :-)  It's always scary looking up the old bo'.  I talked about doing that forever,  not to re-ignite, but to find closure.  Thanks to FB, we actually ran into each other again about 3 years ago and visited off and on for about 3 weeks.  We were surprised how parallel our lives had run over the last 35 years, even to what we were doing now.  After a big laugh, and fond farewell (of sorts) we have gone on our ways.  I am not sorry for the prince I have now.  He is far more charming.
Jo

Jo was the success of the group.  Not too much on her yet.  More to come later.

 

 

3. Jo inherits the most unlikely of gifts from Rachel, her daughter Gracie
Where you surprised that Rachel’s family gave up Gracie so quickly

People react abnormally during crisis.  The say things, do things, and react to situations in ways they would never dream of under normal circumstances when they are in severe crisis or in shock.  I think Rachel's family had reached a crisis point that they could no longer cope with what was happening with their life.  

They trusted Jo, Jo was Rachel's best friend, they knew that she was financially more equipped to take care of Gracie than they every could.  So for them, Gracie going to Jo was a major sense of relief and one less worry.  Any future ramifications of Jo taking Gracie has not dawned on them.  At first I thought, "how crass and uncaring" they were, especially seeing as the grandparents had basically raised Gracie to this point.   But I remember that people are just not thinking clear when life is falling in on them from all sides.  I have a feeling this may come back to haunt them.

 

4. After Jo’s trip to the hospital she decides to handle motherhood as all other things in her life with organization and planning and delegation
How well do you think that’s going to work out

roll  nuff said

 

5. The novel is based on deathbed requests made by the missing friend Rachel and in this first part we read the one to Kate

Seeing how Paul reacted to Kate’s solo jump and Kate’s reaction to his reaction, do you think that Rachel knew what she was doing

At this point I wonder, especially when Kate packed her bags and trotted off to India with Sarah.  I cannot see myself ever doing that.....Oh wait a minute.... Mine was almost that bad.  We hired a nanny and I left home for 4 weeks to go back to school for a mini-semester to finish a degree.  During that four weeks, I took 9 hours of classes, read 9 books (including Anna Karina), wrote twelve papers (one 36 pages long) and came away for a 4.0 for the courses.  I wouldn't do it again, I was insane., but I finished the hours I needed to get my degree before they discontinued the degree plan.  This was going back to school after 12 years.  I hope Kate's house survived better than mine did. LOL   

 

6. We end week one with Kate and Sarah arriving in India, the introduction of Sam, Kate’s obvious reaction to so many immunizations at once and finally ending with Coin and Sarah meeting and “reconnecting”

Did I hear harp music and see fireworks going off in the background as the whole world came to a total stand still when Colin looked up to see Sarah standing there? OMG  I had to re-read that bit several times.  flutter flutter my heart -  defib time.heart



7. Tell us how you like the novel so far, be honest,

 

I was really surprised, and thought OH NO, when I first started the book and saw that it had the same premise as our January read.  But 10 pages in, I realized that this book was a totally different read than the other.  I love the girls in Proper Care!  Unlike the other novel, which I did enjoy very much,  I have already found that I am identifying myself with the characters.  I can see a lot of who I am in Kate....but I will totally deny scheduling Tuesday and Saturday "sessions" with the hubby.  lol   Even though we haven't got to section 2 yet, I can see the romantic dreamer of Sarah in me.  Don't we all hold that flame for our first love?  Maybe not as tight as she does, but maybe more than we should.  Jo....we will hold out for more info. 

 

did you stop at week one or did the author entice you to continue.

 

Can I fabricate and answer?  Or do I have to tell the truth?  

 

This is going to be GOOOOOOOOD!  I'm going back for a quick re-read tonight, Gotta be ready for snappy, spicy discussions this week.

 

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

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


whiteginger wrote:

 

 

Week One
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

 

 

I really like the opening in the skydiving plane.  Because Kate is in such emotional turmoil about the jump, I was drawn into her character immediately. The cast of characters in that little plane was a riot--Bubba, a Franciscan monk, Kate, and a photographer to record it all!  Bubba and the monk--I still think that's funny.  I was a bit surprised that Bubba, the jump leader, "bullied" her, however.  I suppose I was comparing the scene to the experience of a friend of mine who did chicken out and never made a jump.

 

I loved Bubba!  What a name, especially for a jump master.  It doesn't exactly inspire confidence, does it?  Lol  But it does explain the bullying bit.  

 

Jo's "gift" of Rachel's daughter Gracie was a surprise in many ways, and at this point, still confusing.  The fact that Rachel seemed to have given her daughter away years earlier (Rachel had already given her own parents, Gracie's grandparents, the responsibility of rearing Gracie) seemed odd to me. Why? Then, the family supposedly "welcomes" the adoption(?) because of their "situation"--except Rachel's cousin, Jessie.  And the whole adoption is like a business transaction, like buying a piece of "open box" electronic equipment:  you pick it up "as is,"  sign the receipt, and walk out with it, no original box or instruction booklet.  I felt sorry for Gracie. There is no indication that Gracie even likes her "Aunt Jo."  Doesn't anyone really love and care about this little girl?  Did Rachel know her own daughter?

 

I felt Gracie was a case of "the walking wounded".   She had just lost mom, grandpa was really sick and grandma just wasn't coping.  I kinda felt sorry for the young cousin who was trying to hold things together till Jo could get there and take "problem no. 1" off her hands, so she could focus on the ill grandparents.

 

Right now, I don't understand why Rachel would ask Jo to take Gracie.  I know Rachel's requests are meant to help her friends grow and be the best they can be, but what about her own daughter, Gracie?  Is this best for Gracie or was Rachel simply thinking of Jo?

 

I got the idea that Rachel was rather intuitive and knew her family fairly well.  She knew that her good hearted mother's health was going down hill and that her parents were getting to the point that could no longer take adequate care of Gracie.  She also knew (for unknow reasons at the point) that Jo was her best choice....

 

When Kate makes her third(?) jump and has Paul waiting for her, I was somewhat prepared for his reaction--it is a reiteration of the same thoughts Kate had before her first jump. I thought the staging of the confrontation--with the fence between them, and Kate constantly thinking that she had to get to the gate and get to him to explain--was extremely well crafted.  I also like that Kate and Paul's argument is suddenly dropped when Sarah needs Kate's help, and then we find that Paul has pail for a nice hotel for Sarah and Kate in India.  I anticipate the later chapters when we learn how Kate and Paul work this out.

 

I felt for Kate after that third jump.  Here she had this wonderful, sexy, exciting, surprise for Paul to put a little juice in their relationship and HE freaked out.  Some one needs to give him a copy of "Who Moved the Cheese" to read.  Lol  But then, due to Fred's job expecting the unexpected was a daily occurence.  (Not any more, we're reitred).  But I do believe he OVER reacted just a tad bit.

 

I  like the Sam character; he seems strong, reliable.  There's something of the James Bond, or maybe Indiana Jones, about him.  I want to know more about him.  My picture of Colin is still mostly the "fantasy" that Sarah has described to me.  Great little section ending detail about Colin being engaged to be married soon.  How convenient that he didn't bring along the fiance.

 

I love Sam, he's the perfect, irratating side kick.  Always there when you want him least and need him most.

 

 

When I reached the end of this first reading section, I did not want to stop--but I did simply becauseI don't like getting ahead in these discussions.  I really like Lisa's writing style, the fact that what is unsaid seems as important as what is said and I'm always aware that there is more.  All the character's seem relatively complex, and I like that, too. As with Kate in Joy for Beginners, I was not sure what to think about Rachel, the mysterious orchestrator of the events in this novel.  Learning from Jessie that Rachel has sent out MANY letters to people was a bit of a shock and I have decided that I need to learn more about Rachel. The daughter situation bothers me, though. 

 

They are same in the premsis, but totally different in presentation, aren't they?  Ginger, I  am looking forward to this week.  Later

 

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.
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

Mountain_Muse wrote:

dhaupt wrote:

The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship  

Well the long wait is over let the March read begin.

Please use this as a guide to the discussion but please also add thoughts and comments that you wish to say.

 

 

Week One
The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

 

1. The novel opens in the belly of a skydiving plane where Kate Jansen is supposed to jump out of.
How did you like this opening.

 

I climbed into that jumpsuit with her and my stomach dropped out from under me, too.  It's a good thing Rachel wasn't around to get a good piece of MY mind.  Of all the cruel things to do to your best friend.  As a person who suffers from vertigo so bad that I get sick to my stomach when they show a ledge jumper looking down from the roof on TV, you couldn't have got me near that door.  And jump?  Are you kidding?  But boy would I love to do it.  I would love the thrill of the jump and the flying through the air, even with that huge "hunk" hangin on my back. :smileywink:  But it sure wasn't fair the way he shamed Kate into jumping.  That was worse than a triple dog dare, and you can't back away from those.  But once she did it, she was hooked.  Instant adrenaline junky, for sure.  All of a sudden she remembered her days of "no fear" and spontaneity.  

I was hooked for the book. :-)

 

2. We’ve met the major players in our novel tell us what you think of each of them
Kate

Kate has done what was expected of her and focused on her family sense she got married.  Every one and Everything had a place and time in her schedule and woe be unto he/she who deviated from it.  She had her whirling world balanced and everything ran smooth.  She even set an appointment for "the deed" twice a week. I got a laugh out of that one.  Even though she was the spontaneous one in college, now that she had settled and had a family, she was set and rigid in her routine and life.

Sarah

Sarah was the one that went into the peace corp and was the nurse.  She never recovered from her "first love".  When she was told to go find him, it was the newly reborn-spontaneous Kate who volunteered to go with her to India to find him.  This sounds like fun. :-)  It's always scary looking up the old bo'.  I talked about doing that forever,  not to re-ignite, but to find closure.  Thanks to FB, we actually ran into each other again about 3 years ago and visited off and on for about 3 weeks.  We were surprised how parallel our lives had run over the last 35 years, even to what we were doing now.  After a big laugh, and fond farewell (of sorts) we have gone on our ways.  I am not sorry for the prince I have now.  He is far more charming.
Jo

Jo was the success of the group.  Not too much on her yet.  More to come later.

 

 

3. Jo inherits the most unlikely of gifts from Rachel, her daughter Gracie
Where you surprised that Rachel’s family gave up Gracie so quickly

People react abnormally during crisis.  The say things, do things, and react to situations in ways they would never dream of under normal circumstances when they are in severe crisis or in shock.  I think Rachel's family had reached a crisis point that they could no longer cope with what was happening with their life.  

They trusted Jo, Jo was Rachel's best friend, they knew that she was financially more equipped to take care of Gracie than they every could.  So for them, Gracie going to Jo was a major sense of relief and one less worry.  Any future ramifications of Jo taking Gracie has not dawned on them.  At first I thought, "how crass and uncaring" they were, especially seeing as the grandparents had basically raised Gracie to this point.   But I remember that people are just not thinking clear when life is falling in on them from all sides.  I have a feeling this may come back to haunt them.

 

4. After Jo’s trip to the hospital she decides to handle motherhood as all other things in her life with organization and planning and delegation
How well do you think that’s going to work out

roll  nuff said

 

5. The novel is based on deathbed requests made by the missing friend Rachel and in this first part we read the one to Kate

Seeing how Paul reacted to Kate’s solo jump and Kate’s reaction to his reaction, do you think that Rachel knew what she was doing

At this point I wonder, especially when Kate packed her bags and trotted off to India with Sarah.  I cannot see myself ever doing that.....Oh wait a minute.... Mine was almost that bad.  We hired a nanny and I left home for 4 weeks to go back to school for a mini-semester to finish a degree.  During that four weeks, I took 9 hours of classes, read 9 books (including Anna Karina), wrote twelve papers (one 36 pages long) and came away for a 4.0 for the courses.  I wouldn't do it again, I was insane., but I finished the hours I needed to get my degree before they discontinued the degree plan.  This was going back to school after 12 years.  I hope Kate's house survived better than mine did. LOL   

 

6. We end week one with Kate and Sarah arriving in India, the introduction of Sam, Kate’s obvious reaction to so many immunizations at once and finally ending with Coin and Sarah meeting and “reconnecting”

Did I hear harp music and see fireworks going off in the background as the whole world came to a total stand still when Colin looked up to see Sarah standing there? OMG  I had to re-read that bit several times.  flutter flutter my heart -  defib time.heart



7. Tell us how you like the novel so far, be honest,

 

I was really surprised, and thought OH NO, when I first started the book and saw that it had the same premise as our January read.  But 10 pages in, I realized that this book was a totally different read than the other.  I love the girls in Proper Care!  Unlike the other novel, which I did enjoy very much,  I have already found that I am identifying myself with the characters.  I can see a lot of who I am in Kate....but I will totally deny scheduling Tuesday and Saturday "sessions" with the hubby.  lol   Even though we haven't got to section 2 yet, I can see the romantic dreamer of Sarah in me.  Don't we all hold that flame for our first love?  Maybe not as tight as she does, but maybe more than we should.  Jo....we will hold out for more info. 

 

did you stop at week one or did the author entice you to continue.

 

Can I fabricate and answer?  Or do I have to tell the truth?  

 

This is going to be GOOOOOOOOD!  I'm going back for a quick re-read tonight, Gotta be ready for snappy, spicy discussions this week.

 

Muse



 



 


Muse, thanks for our comic relief.

 

You mentioned the correllation between this and Joy for Beginners, and I also wondered about the sameness, but there really isn't any sameness is there.

 

re:Jo at the hospital, I'm reading the er scene where Jo goes outside and is Dixie-slinging to Jessie and I'm almost laughing out loud and would have loved to be right there while the cop looked on I wanted to see the tips of his ears turn red.

 

Thanks Muse for your comments

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
whiteginger
Posts: 914
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

Muse and Deb -- Yes, the premise of the two books is similar,but I do agree that they are really very different. 

 

I am soo intrigued by the fact that Rachel, the task master of TPCMF, sent letters to MANY people--people we may/will not meet in the novel, that Rachel, herself, seems to have led some sort of romantic, mysteriously adventurous life.  Jo, Sarah, and Kate may have been her best friends in one segment of her life, but there may have been others "best friends" in Rachel's "other lives."  Jo (isn't she the one who discovers this?) doesn't seem surprised or jealous of this fact.  Rachel's friends--and I, a reader--feel Rachel's presence in this novel.  I am pretty sure I would have really liked her, in spite of the situation with her daughter.  Muse, I agree that she must have had good instinctual reasons for her decision to make Jo the legal guardian/parent(?).  I guess it's really the having left her daughter with aging parents in the first place that I haven't figured out.   I am already beginning to speculate on how the title fits into the whole scheme of things.

 

And Muse, why you don't understand that Sam is so much more interesting than Colin is simply beyond me!  :smileylol:

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

And Muse, why you don't understand that Sam is so much more interesting than Colin is simply beyond me!  :smileylol:

 

ladies, no fighting over the men please :smileyhappy:

Author
lisavergehiggins
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎02-11-2012

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

You've hit the nail on the head with the issue about Jo and Gracie!  It seems to be the part of the book that is discussed most in book club groups.  All I can say now is . . . keep reading!

Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


whiteginger wrote:

Muse and Deb -- Yes, the premise of the two books is similar,but I do agree that they are really very different. 

 

And Muse, why you don't understand that Sam is so much more interesting than Colin is simply beyond me!  :smileylol:


Ohhhhh Ginger, I never said he wasn't more interesting....:smileylol:.  Besides, If I remember right, I said he was the steady pain in the butt sidekick, who is always there when you want him around the least.  AKA  guardian angel, or BFOTOS (best friend of the opposite sex, which by the way make the best husbands, at least mine did)  Right now, it appears she wishes she had a one way ticket to mars to give him and a plane headed there to put him on.

 

Muse

 

PS   I like the PCMF abbreviation for the month.....will definitely make it a bunch easier.  And for Joy for Beginners, we can just say JB :-)

 

 

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.
Author
lisavergehiggins
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎02-11-2012

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

Hello, ladies, it's Lisa Verge Higgins here, thoroughly enjoying these comments on The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship!  I hope you'll bear with me while I become accustomed to the format.  I'll do my best to keep up.

 

First of all, PHEW!  You guys really dug deep!  Already I'm seeing the start of what should be a lively conversation as we get deeper into the book--about why Rachel sent these letters, and particularly why Rachel chose Jo to raise Grace. All I'll say is . . . keep reading.:smileywink:

 

Just a little background:  Many years ago, a good friend of mine died quite young, after a long illness.  His death proved to be the catalyst for a reunion of all our mutual friends.  It got me thinking about how far we (the group of friends) had drifted apart, as marriage and mortgages and motherhood (and geographical diversity) overwhelmed our friendship.  In fact, it took a death to bring us back together. . . . and that's what's sparked the idea for The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship.

 

 

Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


lisavergehiggins wrote:

You've hit the nail on the head with the issue about Jo and Gracie!  It seems to be the part of the book that is discussed most in book club groups.  All I can say now is . . . keep reading!



Lisa,

 

I have seen the very type of situation all too often and WISHed I could swoop in, like Jo, and just walk out the door with the child/ren and take them home with me to where they could be cared for and fed and clothed.  But alas,  it is not always so.  The alternate that more often happens, is that mom/dad leave no written instructions and they become wards of the state.  Heaven help us, when this happens.  At least there was a "plan of action" for Gracie, even if we are questioning mom's reasoning.

 

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.
Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


lisavergehiggins wrote:

Hello, ladies, it's Lisa Verge Higgins here, thoroughly enjoying these comments on The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship!  I hope you'll bear with me while I become accustomed to the format.  I'll do my best to keep up.

 

First of all, PHEW!  You guys really dug deep!  Already I'm seeing the start of what should be a lively conversation as we get deeper into the book--about why Rachel sent these letters, and particularly why Rachel chose Jo to raise Grace. All I'll say is . . . keep reading.:smileywink:

 

Just a little background:  Many years ago, a good friend of mine died quite young, after a long illness.  His death proved to be the catalyst for a reunion of all our mutual friends.  It got me thinking about how far we (the group of friends) had drifted apart, as marriage and mortgages and motherhood (and geographical diversity) overwhelmed our friendship.  In fact, it took a death to bring us back together. . . . and that's what's sparked the idea for The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship.

 

 


Lisa, 

\

Knowing this background to the story explains why the story has rung so "real" to me and not just "another work of fiction".  To date, I have laughed, cried, gasped, read passages to my husband (who joined me in the aforementioned)...and finally gave in to putting a box of Kleenex next to my chair.  I have a deep suspicion that there is a tiny piece of the spirit of your dear friends in each of these wonderful characters that you have introduced to us and that we will be getting to know this month.  I am looking forward to the camaraderie and welcome you to our circle of friendship as we share in the joy of your story in the coming days. I say story, for I feel this is far more than just a novel or book, but a story of the heart.

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

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

[ Edited ]

I loved how the book opened. Jumping out of an airplane seemed so exciting, I was instantly pulled into the book. When Kate tried to back out of jumping, I was encouraging her to just go ahead and jump. I don't think Bubba's way of getting Kate to jump was the right way to go about it, but it seemed to do the trick!

 

Kate seems like an excellent mother. She seems to run her house efficiently and with little help from her husband. She is a hands-on mom and talks of scheduling everything for the kids any time she has to be away (from what I understand for only one night when Rachel died and again for her trip with Sarah) around Paul's schedule so he isn't inconvenienced. I think Rachel's request of having Kate sky-dive was the right right choice. She needed something just for herself, to give her a sense of clarity and make her feel more alive.

 

Jo is a hard worker. Her days are mapped out to get the most efficiency from them. She works hard and I think most of her identity comes from how well she does at her job. We see a glimpse of what her childhood was like: she was poor, only had three changes of clothes and her mother was asked if she was sure she could take care of her. I think that experience has made her work harder so she never has to be put into a position where she doesn't have money. After the experience at the hospital, Jo thinks that there wasn't a problem in the world that couldn't be solved with money. I wonder if Rachel has given Jo guardianship of Gracie because she sees Jo needs something else in her life besides work. She needs someone to love and take care of.

 

Sarah has spent her life working as a nurse in impoverished countries. I think the other girls feel guilty complaining about the problems in their lives when Sarah is around because of everything Sarah has seen in other countries. They think, it could be worse. Rachel having Sarah to find Colin is an interesting task, one that forces Sarah to think of her love life for once.

 

I was very surprised by how quickly Rachel's family gave up custody of Gracie. In fact, Rachel's cousin, Jessie, was the one to pack Gracie up and send her off with Jo. Gracie was just thrust into Jo's care without a second thought. At the hospital, Jo realizes she has no birth certificate or insurance card or any documentation whatsoever of her being Gracie's legal guardian. I also felt for poor Gracie. When she was released from the hospital and Jo said they were going home, she asked if they were going to Nana's house. I was confused as to why there no transitioning period? Gracie barely seemed to know Jo. I kept thinking, where are her grandparents? I'm sure it might have been hard for them to see her leave after all that has happened, but after having taken care of her for so long didn't they at least want to tell her goodbye? Also, Jo says at the hospital that Gracie's father was a sperm donor. Meaning Rachel had planned on having her, so I'm very curious why she had Gracie living with her parents in the first place.

 

Jo has a rude awakening coming. Taking care of Gracie she will realize not everything can be planned to the last detail and she will have to learn to be more flexible. I did give her some credit though, when Gracie came home from being stitched up at the hospital, Gracie wanted to sleep on the couch and watch cartoons. Jo says, "You can sleep here, on my white couch, if you really want to." I could feel her world being turned upside down, but she she let Gracie sleep there anyway.

 

Rachel wanted Kate to get some clarity in her life. I think her friend had seen her change so much since the kids were born and she wanted Kate to get a little of herself back. Getting just a little time to herself, doing something just for her would make her a happier person in the long run.

 

Before Colin made his appearance, I thought maybe Sam and Sarah would get together. Even though she was annoyed by him being there, she had a brief thought of a trip the two took to deliver a vaccine that turned out uneventful except for a kiss by the lake. As I read the end of chapter 6, I gasped aloud realizing Sarah knew Colin was about to be married in three months and that she went after him anyway. I had expected Colin to either be single or already married and if it were the latter, I thought Sarah would leave it at that. After all, it had taken her fourteen years to even look him up. I can't wait to see where this goes.

 

I wanted to keep reading to see what happens next, but I stopped myself so I wouldn't get too far ahead of schedule. But today's the beginning of a new week!:smileyvery-happy:

April
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

aprilh, thanks for your comments.

I know what you mean about continuing, but last month your moderator got into trouble by reading ahead remember, so I'm refraining, besides it'll make the read last this way.

 

Well so far it looks like it's unanimous that you all thought Bubba was a wee bit pushy is his bid to get Kate out of the plane.

I'm going to be the evil twin here and say, I totally saw what he did, I don't know I've never jumped (GOD fobid) out of a plane (and NEVER will, thank you very much), But here's hunk a hunk a burning Bubba and in his wisdom as a Jump master sees that she really wants to jump, this is what a case of no means yes really means.

Well that's how I see it anyway.

Okay flay me :smileyhappy:

Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


lisavergehiggins wrote:

Hello, ladies, it's Lisa Verge Higgins here, thoroughly enjoying these comments on The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship!  I hope you'll bear with me while I become accustomed to the format.  I'll do my best to keep up.

 

First of all, PHEW!  You guys really dug deep!  Already I'm seeing the start of what should be a lively conversation as we get deeper into the book--about why Rachel sent these letters, and particularly why Rachel chose Jo to raise Grace. All I'll say is . . . keep reading.:smileywink:

 

Just a little background:  Many years ago, a good friend of mine died quite young, after a long illness.  His death proved to be the catalyst for a reunion of all our mutual friends.  It got me thinking about how far we (the group of friends) had drifted apart, as marriage and mortgages and motherhood (and geographical diversity) overwhelmed our friendship.  In fact, it took a death to bring us back together. . . . and that's what's sparked the idea for The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship.

 

 


Lisa Hi, Happy Monday and it's so nice to have you join us.

Thanks for sharing about your friend, how sad and how hard that must have been.

And as far as learning the ropes you seem like a pro already.

We are all looking forward to your invaluable insight this month and I'm sure many of the visitors here will be picking your brain, me too.

 

Scribe
Mountain_Muse
Posts: 1,104
Registered: ‎06-09-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

April,

Before Colin made his appearance, I thought maybe Sam and Sarah would get together. Even though she was annoyed by him being there, she had a brief thought of a trip the two took to deliver a vaccine that turned out uneventful except for a kiss by the lake. As I read the end of chapter 6, I gasped aloud realizing Sarah knew Colin was about to be married in three months and that she went after him anyway. I had expected Colin to either be single or already married and if it were the latter, I thought Sarah would leave it at that. After all, it had taken her fourteen years to even look him up. I can't wait to see where this goes.

 

I love your observations.  Why did you think Sam and Sarah would get together before Colin came into the picture? My big question was: how on earth did Sam know to suddenly show up in India the same time and same place as Sarah and Kate?  I've run into people I knew in the oddest of places (like my son's 8th grade history teacher on the street in front of the White House, when we are both from way out west), but WOW, Sarah was coming from the US on the spur of the moment and Sam mysteriously showed up in India at the same time?  His excuse sounded awful lame to me.
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.
Inspired Wordsmith
whiteginger
Posts: 914
Registered: ‎08-30-2010

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship

April, Muse, I still hope Sam and Sarah will get together :smileywink:.  Doesn't Sarah say something about telling her boss about going to the conference and Sam finds out that way?  I can't remember after that . . . Does Sam take vacation time to go to meet Sarah or does the Sarah's boss send/encourage him to go make sure Sarah is OK?

 

Back to Jo and Gracie . . . I loved the part where Jo says something to amuse Gracie and tries to make her laugh; her attempt is met by stony silence.  Then the elevator operator, or was it the doorman(?), says the exact same thing and is rewarded with a big smile.  No kids of my own, but as a teacher, I've seen this happen so many times with a kid and his new step-parent.  How old is Gracie?  Here, at least, she's a precocious little thing, isn't she?  I remember Jessie saying that she would have taken Gracie but Rachel left specific instructions that Jo take Gracie.  Then Jessie adds something about how getting Gracie is a special honor--and, of course, being trusted with someone's child is a special honor--but I also wondered if there was something else "special" about Gracie that we don't know yet.

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

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


Mountain_Muse wrote:
April,

Before Colin made his appearance, I thought maybe Sam and Sarah would get together. Even though she was annoyed by him being there, she had a brief thought of a trip the two took to deliver a vaccine that turned out uneventful except for a kiss by the lake. As I read the end of chapter 6, I gasped aloud realizing Sarah knew Colin was about to be married in three months and that she went after him anyway. I had expected Colin to either be single or already married and if it were the latter, I thought Sarah would leave it at that. After all, it had taken her fourteen years to even look him up. I can't wait to see where this goes.

 

I love your observations.  Why did you think Sam and Sarah would get together before Colin came into the picture? My big question was: how on earth did Sam know to suddenly show up in India the same time and same place as Sarah and Kate?  I've run into people I knew in the oddest of places (like my son's 8th grade history teacher on the street in front of the White House, when we are both from way out west), but WOW, Sarah was coming from the US on the spur of the moment and Sam mysteriously showed up in India at the same time?  His excuse sounded awful lame to me.
Muse

 


Good morning, Muse. Whiteginger is right, Sam found out where Sarah was going through Dr. Mwami. It seems that Sarah had told her boss where she was going, but not the reason why. In the scene where Sam is driving Sarah and Kate in the cab, she looks over at him and asks if Dr. Mwami told him why she was coming to Bangalore. The look he gives her makes her realize he knows why she has come, but is confused as to how he knows. I am also wondering how he knew she came to Bangalore to see Colin. It was very interesting to learn that Sam, Sarah and Colin all knew each other. I thought if Sarah couldn't find Colin, if he was married or if she just chickened out, that her and Sam might get together since they seem to have some sort of romantic past. At least, the kiss at the lake she briefly mentions. I think Sam went to Bangalore just to be with Sarah. He says he's there to save her from the big city, but I think he wants there to be something more between them.

April
Distinguished Wordsmith
aprilh
Posts: 424
Registered: ‎09-25-2008
0 Kudos

Re: Week one The Proper Care and Maintenance of Friendship


whiteginger wrote:

April, Muse, I still hope Sam and Sarah will get together :smileywink:.  Doesn't Sarah say something about telling her boss about going to the conference and Sam finds out that way?  I can't remember after that . . . Does Sam take vacation time to go to meet Sarah or does the Sarah's boss send/encourage him to go make sure Sarah is OK?

 

Back to Jo and Gracie . . . I loved the part where Jo says something to amuse Gracie and tries to make her laugh; her attempt is met by stony silence.  Then the elevator operator, or was it the doorman(?), says the exact same thing and is rewarded with a big smile.  No kids of my own, but as a teacher, I've seen this happen so many times with a kid and his new step-parent.  How old is Gracie?  Here, at least, she's a precocious little thing, isn't she?  I remember Jessie saying that she would have taken Gracie but Rachel left specific instructions that Jo take Gracie.  Then Jessie adds something about how getting Gracie is a special honor--and, of course, being trusted with someone's child is a special honor--but I also wondered if there was something else "special" about Gracie that we don't know yet.

 


Whiteginger, I totally agree with you. I'm rooting for Sam and Sarah to get together. I like your observation on Gracie. After you mentioned it, I remembered Jessie saying it was a special honor for Jo to take care of Gracie, but I hadn't really thought much about it. Now you have me wondering if there is more to what Jessie said and if there is something about Gracie that we're not aware of.

April