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KxBurns
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Chapters One through Five

The novel opens with Lil's unexpected wedding. What does this event represent and how does Lil's marriage impact her group of friends?

 

What do the opening chapters reveal about the main characters as individuals and as members of various groups - families, generations, social classes, etc.? What conflicts are hinted at or exposed? What moments did you find most striking?

 

What changes occur in the months that elapse between the wedding in Chapter One, which takes place in October 1998, and the party Lil and Tuck throw in Chapter Five, in June 1999?

 

(Please keep in mind that this thread is for discussion of the first five chapters ONLY. Do not refer to events that occur later in the book. Thanks!)

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jeandew
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Re: Chapters One through Five

From the start, I felt as if I were in the 60's (my generation coming of age!).  The biggest surprise was Lil getting married- even enjoying the event!  It brings out a host of differing feelings.  I sense regret in some and jealousy in others.  The mothers are an annoyance.

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miller1323
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Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

As for moments I found most striking--I'm curious as to what others thought of the sex scene.  Altough it did establish Beth as pliable and foolish (atleast for me), did anyone else find it a bit much?
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DSaff
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I agree - Beth seemed very foolish with Will. She even knew there was something wrong, but did nothing to stop it.


miller1323 wrote:
As for moments I found most striking--I'm curious as to what others thought of the sex scene.  Altough it did establish Beth as pliable and foolish (atleast for me), did anyone else find it a bit much?

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
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DSaff
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Lil's wedding definitely took everyone by surprise, but I was happy to see the girls rally around her. They were willing to make an odd trip with their clothes to get to her and the wedding came off well. The changes that happen between the wedding and the party of chapter 5 seem big. For one, we now find that Beth is going to marry Will, a huge surprise as she hadn't told any of her friens. I wonder how close they really are.
DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
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Vermontcozy
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Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

The opening sentence,with reference to Temple Emaanu-El,was an eye opener for me.I lived about 3 blocks away in the seventies...so I knew immediately I would enjoy this complex book.I the word complex,because I knew that relationships would be different as I read on....the group is now suspended,they don't really know why.
Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Vermontcozy
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Beth was experimenting,even though she didn"t know why..she was turned on .Over analyzing ,but it was still thrilling for her,different than her other lovers. 
Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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lizabet1196
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Re: Chapters One through Five

The first chapter for me was really hard to get through.  After that it was alot easier. There seemed to be some jealousy at Lil getting married.  Maybe some uncertainity to some about how this would affect their relationships with her.
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kiakar
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Yes, the mothers, all of them seemed somewhat alike. they were possessive,closed minded to all but their child. Even the characters were so much alike in many ways. I guess that is why they were friends so very long. The girls anyway. The men or boys seemed to full of aloofness about everything except something that involved them.

 

 

 

 


jeandew wrote:

From the start, I felt as if I were in the 60's (my generation coming of age!).  The biggest surprise was Lil getting married- even enjoying the event!  It brings out a host of differing feelings.  I sense regret in some and jealousy in others.  The mothers are an annoyance.


 

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C-c-a
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Registered: ‎09-07-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five

When I first started reading A Fortunate Age, I did not think I was going to like it. Chapter one was the hardest for me to get thru and then the story started to pick up. I am now liking this book more and more.

 

I was very surprised with the sex scene between Beth and Will. It was totally unexpected.

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Shadowwolf36
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Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Chapters One through Five

When I first started reading chapter one, I was not sure if I would like the book. There seemed to be so many condescending statements regarding those who thought differently than them. I wasn't sure that I would like any of the characters except maybe Beth. She was the one I most closely aligned myself with. Perhaps I was too much of a country mouse but I felt so completely uneducated despite having a college degree and reading nearly anything I can put my hands on.  I am happy they were there for their friend despite the misgivings they all had. I see that most of them had conflicts with their parents -- most seemed to like their friends parents more than they liked their own which I suppose happens alot at that age.  As for Beth, I felt that she just really wants to feel loved and wanted which brought her to Will. I think that had her sense of self-worth been better, she would not have allowed that particular transgression to happen.

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kiakar
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Re: Chapters One through Five

Yes, I will go along with it being too much, absolutely so!  Was she born yesterday. How could a young woman do such a thing with someone she didn't know, had never seen and had admitted she hadn't ever heard Lil or her husband say anything about him. It was kind of like unbelievable but I know I have heard  women do this. Its like they have a death wish. I think I would just rather head for the nearest busy interstate and take a walk across.

 

 

 

 


miller1323 wrote:
As for moments I found most striking--I'm curious as to what others thought of the sex scene.  Altough it did establish Beth as pliable and foolish (atleast for me), did anyone else find it a bit much?

 

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kiakar
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I really feel this group of friends never even imagined any of them getting married.  And Lil was very dominate about not ever getting married. She was quite verbal on the fact that marriage was unneccessary. So I think it gave all of them something to ponder. Lil of all of them, getting married!

 

 

 

 


lizabet1196 wrote:
The first chapter for me was really hard to get through.  After that it was alot easier. There seemed to be some jealousy at Lil getting married.  Maybe some uncertainity to some about how this would affect their relationships with her.

 

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GrammiT
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Registered: ‎03-20-2007
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Re: Chapters One through Five


miller1323 wrote:
As for moments I found most striking--I'm curious as to what others thought of the sex scene. Altough it did establish Beth as pliable and foolish (atleast for me), did anyone else find it a bit much?

I am with you--the sex scene was a bit much. After the first two chapters, I wasn't sure I would even finish the book. However, I have continued & am glad I did as I am enjoying the book much more the further I get into it.

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LindaEducation
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I too found the first chapter pretty difficult to go through, and it took me longer than usual to finish that chapter.  After that, it was easier.

 

I found the girls with mixed reactions on the wedding--I think they were a bit uncertain how their friendships would be affected with her getting married. I know when I got married I was the first one in our group and I think a few of my friends were a little anxious if it would affect our group of friends and whether I would have time for them etc.

You know you've read a good book when you turn the last page and feel a little as if you have lost a friend. -- Paul Sweeney
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bookworm_gp
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I raced through the first seven chapters, and really enjoyed them. 

 

I was not surprised that Beth had sex with Will so quickly. She still has issues with Dave dumping her and she's either trying to forget him or prove to herself that she's still desirable.

 

I was surprised that Beth and Will are engaged. He seemed so intent on not having a permanent relationship. I'm curious to read more about them.

 

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Grace2133
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Re: Chapters One through Five

She was way too maleable. She just let him use her as he wanted to use her. She asked no questions, made no demands. It does seem to position her as the weak link in her group of friends. I do hope she grows a backbone at some point in this book.
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kiakar
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I do agree with your post. She apparently has some issues to deal with about herself.

 

 


Grace2133 wrote:
She was way too maleable. She just let him use her as he wanted to use her. She asked no questions, made no demands. It does seem to position her as the weak link in her group of friends. I do hope she grows a backbone at some point in this book.

 

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Grace2133
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Re: Chapters One through Five

I agree. For any woman with a braincell, this would definitely be a situation to actively avoid. She is content to let him do to whatever he wants to do to her. The situation is dangerous at best.
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Grace2133
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Re: Chapters One through Five

[ Edited ]

Grace2133 wrote:
I agree. For any woman with a braincell, this would definitely be a situation to actively avoid. She is content to let him do to whatever he wants to do to her. The situation is dangerous at best.
I meant to quote kiakar's post but hadn't figured out how to do that yet. Sorry about that.
Message Edited by Grace2133 on 01-05-2009 03:44 PM