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Inspired Contributor
mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

When the book started, I sensed tension between Beth and Dave (because of the way their relationship ended). I also sensed tension between the other women and Sadie. Beth seems like a character who is not at ease with herself. I think the sex scene with Will also shows that. Finally, I sense an obvious tenison between Sadie and her mother Rose.
Inspired Contributor
mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I also found it a bit much and was surprised that she was so worried about Will calling her again. It was uncomfortable to read at times.
Inspired Contributor
mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I agree that if Beth were a more confident character she may not have let herself do that with Will. Part of me also thinks that she needed to be with someone, anyone after seeing Dave again. She needed to feel like someone else thought of her as attractive.

 

I am a teacher and I have seen some of my friends make mistakes with their transcripts and have to take last minute courses to catch up. One friend in particular lost her summer job and almost did not have enough money to come back to school. I know how hard it can be to keep up with transcripts, especially when some colleges are constantly changing the standards.

Inspired Contributor
mattzay
Posts: 65
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I don't think that Tuck's personality change was a surprise. It appeared that Lil rushed into the wedding and did not seem to really know him. Also, the fact that her friends did not really seem impressed with him gave me a clue.
Inspired Wordsmith
eadieburke
Posts: 1,925
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Linda:

 

Maeve Binchy's new book "Heart and Soul" comes out in February. Even though "Circle of Friends" is from a different time era, I believe that when you get any group of people together, young or old, they are all always struggling in order to make their relationships work. It's like the old saying, "There is a lid out there for every pot - it's just finding the lid that fits the best" in regards to relationships. When you find a good one - it's great but when it doesn't just fit right, then it's time to move on.

Eadie - A day out-of-doors, someone I loved to talk with, a good book and some simple food and music -- that would be rest. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Inspired Scribe
IBIS
Posts: 1,735
Registered: ‎11-22-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

While reading "A Fortunate Age" I had the unmoored feelings I get whenever I visit a foreign country... 

 

Everything that was so vital to the main characters felt alien to me. Their conversations, their anxieties, their worries... it was like watching Jane Goodall studying the chimps in Africa. Or watching children play games with rules I don't know.

 

The irony is that I live in Boston, a mere 4-hour drive to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Yet the characters' mindsets and concerns couldn't be farther from my own... 

 

Although I like some of the characters, I feel emotionally distant from them...  

New York City at the turn of the 20th Century in this book felt as if it could have taken place on another planet.

 

IBIS

"I am a part of everything that I have read."
Contributor
nikkid
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

[ Edited ]

Finally, I just finished chaper 5...

 

I am still trying to decide if I like the book or not.  I am enjoying the characters but not the author's style of writing.  The sentences are a bit long for me and some of the endless details I find exausting. 

 

I do not live in New York so the constant references and street names mean nothing to me.  I find it fustrating, as if I am not understanding the point the author is trying to make (although I am sure it is great if you are familiar with the area).

 

The first chaper was just endless and somewhat boring and then all of a sudden....BAM....here comes chapter 2!  Eventhough the sex scene was startling I was finally interested in some of the characters.  I can't wait to find out more about Beth and Will and how their relationship has progressed to engagement.  I do believe that Beth is still in love with Dave (eventhough I think that he hasn't given her a second thought) but is drawn to Will for many reasons including the need to be wanted and loved. 

 

After completing chapter 5, I now find Lil and Tuck's wedding to be more interesting and filled with pertinent information.  In retrospect, it really did set the stage for the novel.  It seems as if Lil and Tuck's wedding was a new beginning for an old group of friends...if only I could bring myself to reread it! LOL

 

Message Edited by nikkid on 01-07-2009 04:51 AM
Inspired Contributor
mapleann
Posts: 44
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Writing Style


detailmuse wrote:

bonereader wrote:

Some of the sentence constructs were too complicated. I reference one entire paragraph on page 3 that consists of only one sentence! HOWEVER, I became happily surprised as I read on. The author seemed to settle into a more comfortable style, and I really started to connect withthe characters and become invested in them.


hoo boy, yes, it's a distinctive writing style, sentences branching off and back in so many curlicue phrases. But like you, I felt that either the author settled in (or I acclimated!) pretty quickly, and the reading became more enjoyable. And there's actually a lot of good material in those asides.

 

It's a long novel -- only 400 pages but every one is dense with solid blocks of text. I estimated the word count at 200,000, that's more than twice the length of a "typical" novel. I want to ask the author/editor about that in today's market.

 

All the "like" in the dialogue is bumping me out of the story. Verbal stumbles like that (or um, uh, etc) don't generally get into published dialogue, so the inclusion here is certainly intended as characterization. It's as annoying here as in real life! ... a la the fuss about Caroline Kennedy's "you know."


Uh, it's kinda like, you know, I, um, didn't even notice it until you pointed it out. Whew, that says something about me!

Contributor
ccshealy
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎11-24-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I kind of saw Lil's wedding as marking the transition of "the group" into mature adulthood.  It seems like Lil's wedding too acts as a catalyst for the rest of the group members to begin making that same transition - Sadie & Tal, Beth & Will, etc.  It seems like they are changing from people who are just getting by to people who are setting goals for themselves, such as marriage and professional jobs.

 

As far as Chapter 2, it was a bit much for me - it seemed a bit out of character for Beth (who is such a logical intellectual) and I frankly found it just too graphic (and really drawn out).  I probably would not have continued reading after this point if I hadn't been participating in this book club.  I also agree with those who have wondered how we got from Chapter 2 to Beth being engaged to Will.  There's a big knowledge gap there that's really left me wondering.  Also, Will seemed shady and insincere to me, and I felt like Beth was getting hints of that too, so I was extremely surprised when she announced her engagement.  I will be interested to see how that particular piece of the plot plays out in the rest of the book.

Frequent Contributor
mgorbatjuk
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎04-12-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

This is a hard book to read. I find I have to pay close attention to keep the characters seperate. That doesn't mean I don't like the book-it's just going to take longer to read than most books. Although I'm older than the characters in the book and come from a much different background I can still relate to Beth's insecurities and neediness. Those 2 traits make people make bad choices sometimes. I just hope things work out well for Beth. I think I'll read on to find out.

Distinguished Correspondent
Shadowwolf36
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five


IBIS wrote:

While reading "A Fortunate Age" I had the unmoored feelings I get whenever I visit a foreign country... 

 

Everything that was so vital to the main characters felt alien to me. Their conversations, their anxieties, their worries... it was like watching Jane Goodall studying the chimps in Africa. Or watching children play games with rules I don't know.

 

The irony is that I live in Boston, a mere 4-hour drive to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Yet the characters' mindsets and concerns couldn't be farther from my own... 

 

Although I like some of the characters, I feel emotionally distant from them...  

New York City at the turn of the 20th Century in this book felt as if it could have taken place on another planet.

 


 

I totally agree -- I felt almost like I was in a completely different world which perhaps I am but still, I don't normally feel so disconnected even when reading paranormal and/or sci fi.....this was different but I am glad I kept reading because it did get much better to me.
Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,279
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

ibis...You really have amazing insight...its just hard to put your finger on why it all seems foreign to you...I  live in Vt..and travel to Boston ,yes It might not be as obvious to you ,but its happening all over.I will not single out a group of people,of which I am one,but please read on and I believe you will understand and relate  in a different way..Are u getting alot of snow? we are certainly not Global warming this winter..its so beautiful....Vtcozy Feel free to send me a message..I can somtimes open my Private msgs  have a good one....By the way I am a newyorker many moons ago

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,279
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Great post...you are insightful it happens to many groups of people,backgrounds are crucial..not always, I bet if you look around you probably know some people that are similar...read on

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
New User
Attia
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I found the first chapter-up to page 4 at a total disconnect. It was even annoyingly written-too much crammed into a short space-too long sentences. Then suddenly things began to

come together-almost as if another writer came in.

The writing from then on flowed and was very good. The author held my interest....

However-the names were a little off-Peregrine? Lillian? Sadie? Too old fashioned.

Lil was so strong in her denial of her mother's help with the wedding and reception and then

she falls so quickly into her dependency of Tuck.

Beth's sex scene with Will alarmed me-I thought he was totally perverted and dangerous.

I would have run so fast from there despite his explanation.Control issues....

Frequent Contributor
bookworm_gp
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I immediately thought Tuck when Sadie saw someone in the dark room with Caitlin. I don't believe Tuck loves her, but he needs the validation that he doesn't think he's getting from Lil. Anyway I think Sadie should have told Lil. I would want to know. If I found out later that my friends knew and were talking about me I'd be hurt and furious.

 

I'm curious about Will's "problem." Would Beth get engaged if he was still unable to perform? I would think she's want her own children. And if he's ok now how did that come about so quickly? I seem to be focused on Beth more than the others. She seems more real to me.

 

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Wordsmith
kiakar
Posts: 3,435
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Oh! my goodness! Thanks so very much, eadieburke for telling me about Maeve's book "heart and soul" coming out in February. So, thank goodness she is still writing.

 

 


eadieburke wrote:

Linda:

 

Maeve Binchy's new book "Heart and Soul" comes out in February. Even though "Circle of Friends" is from a different time era, I believe that when you get any group of people together, young or old, they are all always struggling in order to make their relationships work. It's like the old saying, "There is a lid out there for every pot - it's just finding the lid that fits the best" in regards to relationships. When you find a good one - it's great but when it doesn't just fit right, then it's time to move on.


 

New User
RobynG
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I am with you 100%. We have this weird sex scene, and the next thing you know they're engaged? I would have liked to see more about Will's character and Will & Beth's relationship growing.
The greater part of our misery or happiness depends not upon our circumstances but our disposition. - Martha Washington

Whether you think you can, or think you can't, you're right. - Henry Ford
Reader 2
LitChickLB
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎12-06-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I felt the book was hard to get in to. I finally was mostly enjoying it after the third chapter. In my opinion it is a book for select audiences. The meaning of some of the acronyms would have been helpful. The sex scene was unnecessary in my opinion.
Correspondent
m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Hi,

I read chapter two last night and found it quite different from chapter one.  It's in Beth's perspective for the full chapter - and is easier to follow.

At first Will annoyed me about as much as he seemed to annoy Beth - but then things changed and he became more human.

I found it realistic and interesting that Beth would think of Lil and Tuck walking up the stairs and down the hall to the apartment for the first time just a few months earlier.  Is she jealous of Lil and Tuck?  All the anti-marriage talk - might not be real...

The sex scene reminds me of 9 1/2 weeks - perhaps because Mickey Rourke is in the news with his 'come back'.  It wasn't bad and seems like she hasn't had a big O quite like that before....why do some women like to be so dominated?  It could be because she is always in control and it felt good to let go...or maybe she really is just an easily controlled little girl after all.

I didn't quite buy the impotent story from Will - and will be interested to see if it's the truth.

I liked the way her mind wandered during sex and right afterward....

She surely over-reacts to the Scarsdale comment - but maybe she really is more like 'them' than she wants to believe.  I didn't find her to be very wild or bohemian - rather quite conservative and mellow.

These are long chapters - 50 pages for the first two chapters.  I still really have no idea what is gong to happen - if anything is going to happen.

 

Susan

Distinguished Bibliophile
Peppermill
Posts: 6,768
Registered: ‎04-04-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five

...life is too short to read a book you don't really like that much. 

 

 

Ah, a soul mate!

 

 

(That's about attitude towards reading.  Sometimes it feels as if there are so few of us.  I haven't read enough of this one yet to have an opinion.  But, I am enjoying the conversations here --  no, they won't spoil the book for me, only heighten my anticipation.)

 

Pepper


LucyLov wrote:

I felt the same way I thought, what are you thinking? Hello, what year is this, I just didn't get it, why would she (Beth) let him (Will) get away with that.

 

 I also found the book very slow for me, I just could not really get into it, don't know if I will finish it or not. I use to always finish a book if I started it, but life is too short to read a book you don't really like that much. 


 

 

"Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here." -- Leo Tolstoy
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