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Inspired Correspondent
Bonnie824
Posts: 951
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


biljounc63 wrote:

 

 

I was disappointed in Sadie when she appears to have done nothing in telling Lil about the affair that Tuck is having. She really does not like Tuck or Caitlin yet she does nothing to protect her friend Lil. It has been stated before at how close is this group of people really are. Overall they seem to be thinking mostly of themselves. 


I would personally tell a friend if I knew her husband was cheating, but many good friends do struggle with that decision. I think it's common to think telling might cause more harm than good- and sometimes wives already know but haven't decided what to do yet.

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m3girl
Posts: 194
Registered: ‎03-02-2007
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

 
Frequent Contributor
fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


booksJT wrote:
First of all I thought Sadie's scenes with Caitlin were odd. If she was Lil's friend she should have told her about the affair or completely avoided Caitlin. Instead she meets with this woman to discuss her friends realtionship with her husband.  At this point I don't consider her a friend of Lil's. It was as if Caitlin was trying to persuade her to become her friend instead of Lil's. Caitlin's  explanation as to why she was having this affair didn't make sense and Sadie should have seen through it. Even if she didn't want to say anything she should have avoided discussing Lil with Catilin. I am glad to see that Beth finally realized what type of person Dave really was. He was the one holding her back from finding happiness some where else. I found Dave's character to be a product of society that believes that they have certain entitlements.  His disppointments in  life led to a less meaningful realtionship with Meredith. This was the one person he thought he could have a life with him.

 

I agree that this chapter is strange.  I don't know if I think Sadie should tell Lil about the afair with Caitlin, we don't really know how serious the afair is.  Maybe just a one time thing.  Is Caitlin an believable character?   I don't understand why Sadie went there in the first place, and why did she stay as long as she did.  The description of Caitlin's appartment was disgusting (the appartment, not the description).  I wouldn't spend 5 minutes there.  Just spit out what you want to say, and let me out of there.

MG

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Jennie77
Posts: 18
Registered: ‎10-09-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


biljounc63 wrote:

I found that I could really relate to the way Sadie feels about Sunday mornings and afternoons and the feeling of dread that Monday is on the way. I am also like that as well and it goes way back. In fact, I am one of thos people who given the the chance like today that if I can I take Mondays off for a long weekend just for the simple fact that when Sunday afternoon hits I still have Monday to look forward to and works great to disspell those Sunday afternoon blues.

 

I was disappointed in Sadie when she appears to have done nothing in telling Lil about the affair that Tuck is having. She really does not like Tuck or Caitlin yet she does nothing to protect her friend Lil. It has been stated before at how close is this group of people really are. Overall they seem to be thinking mostly of themselves. 


 

Biljounc,

 

I too was disappointed when I realized she didn't say anything to Lil about Tuck's affair.  Although it would have been uncomfortable and difficult, I think she had some type of obligation to at least consider telling her.  Lil probably would not have wanted to hear it, and she would have been angry to hear it, but if she later found out that her husband was a cheat, one of her best friends knew about it but didn't tell her, she would have been really upset at what I would call, a betrayal (especially since she doesn't even like Caitlyn). 

 

I think that for the most part, this group of "friends" are really just a group of self-centered soles, that only have in common, their ability to not see their own self-centeredness.  

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miller1323
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎09-23-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I might be the minority, but I'm really enjoying the writing style.  I think the whole point is to provide incredibly well rounded characters.  So what the author does is let us see the characters through their eyes as well as their parents, friends, and aquaintances. As seen by Sadie we see the worst of the Green-Gold's politics...affairs, disgusting used furniture, sour coffee, etc...  But then the Rose sees their activism as exciting which prompts even Sadie to change course and become flattered by the idea that she might have influenced such a demonstration.

 

The author does go off on tangents, but it's just one of the ways she puts us in these characters heads.  We almost get a stream of concious approach to the narration.  She even details their though processes.  Like the scene where Sadie is confronting Caitlin,  we even get her inner dialogue.  The conversation is exasperating to read, as it must have been for Sadie to participate in. 

 

Another thing I am loving is how we casually get brought up to date on the other characters in the group.  When Beth announces her marriage or we learn that Sadie dumped Tal, we are desperate for the details. I think the desire to have the details filled in propels the story forward in an interesting and way.

 

Overall I find these tactics fresh, dymanic and effective.

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BooksRPam
Posts: 39
Registered: ‎12-05-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


eileen100 wrote:

 

The surprising event that occurred between chapters nine and ten (which I won't mention here even though the cat seemingly is out of the bag), and its patchy backstory in chapter ten, have brought me to the breaking point. Perhaps this is a writing style that others appreciate, but I prefer a story that plays out at a fairly constant speed instead of in super-slow-mo and triple-speed parts. Although  I looked forward to reading and discussing this book, I find that my reactions have been reduced to the same observation over and over (and I've done it in such cliched metaphor, to boot. I apologize for that). For me, this seems to overshadow any other thoughts I have about the story. So it's time for me to move on to another book. So many books and so little time!


I hate to jump on the negative bandwagon here, but I have to agree that, at least for me, this book just is too much of a struggle to continue.  When it gets to the point where I dread having to read in the evening, I know that I need to move on.  I don't feel that I know these people, I don't care about these people, and the mass of information that fills the pages doesn't give me the chance to know and care about who they are, what they feel, what makes them tick.

 

I'm really disappointed because I was so looking for to "my first book club experience," and I hope I have a chance to participate in another one where I actually want to talk about the book.

Pam
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bookworm_gp
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I did finish the book, without too much struggle, although I found myself skimming certain parts.  I never lived in NY but I've visited and usually enjoy reading about it. In this case the author had too much detail and I skimmed over it hoping for more on the characters.  I was always looking for more and not finding it. In any case it kept me reading. As others have said, there were huge chunks missing and it was annoying.  

There were parts I really liked but as whole I don't think I could reccomend it to someone else.

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C-c-a
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎09-07-2007
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I really liked chapters 6 and 7. I just finished chapter 8 today and I am again disappointed in this book. I am not enjoying Dave's perspective. I plan to read chapter nine tonight. I hope this book improves again.
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dottyr
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎12-07-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I agree this book is a struggle to read.  If it was not my first experience with an online book club I would not continue.  There are such gaps in her story that you don't feel a connection with the characters or really begin to care about them.  The dialogue is missing something

that gives me a feel that I want to continue reading and when I try and find another missing year I want to just say okay I give up.

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bookladyET
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-26-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

Wow...This book has finally turned around for me.  I wasn't sure I wanted to finish it, but now I'm involved with the characters.
Frequent Contributor
Sassy398
Posts: 56
Registered: ‎11-03-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I find that thew characters, in this novel are very immature misfits that have no clue

about what they truly want in their lives.  I guess one might say they come from the X generation, meaning they don't where they are going.  This book kind of reads like a drawn

out soap opera.

Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


pandy914 wrote:

First of all, let me just say that how proud I am of Beth, at how much she matures in a single chapter.  She transforms from a passive victim of her destiny to an active participant, and ends up all the happier for it.  When she recognizes that love is not a fairy tale, that she can love more than one person and must choose the man with whom she is best suited, she truly matures into a woman.  Even her mother sees it;  she goes from trying to "take care of" Beth to merely accepting her decision, and her certainty of it.

 

When introduced to Dave in the following chapter, we see that she has made the right choice.  Dave is obviously the product of a society that overly-validates a child's every accomplishment;  he is made to believe that he is something of a prodigy, so he feels a sense of entitlement and passively waits for the gifts he's been told will arrive.  While he's waiting, he lets his life pass him by.  Six years after graduation, he finds that he has more in common with people ten years younger than he;  he sullenly watches his friends move on without him, feeling a sense of abandonment, and yet remaining paralyzed when it comes to acting himself.  After reading about Dave, it is obvious to me that he has been holding Beth back from realizing her potential, and that she is SOOOO much better off without him.


 

I agree -- Beth does seem to mature over the course of a short period of time once she realizes the foolishness of hanging on to her relationship with Dave.

 

 I like your assessment of Dave -- I found him a very compelling character due to all the qualities you describe, as well as the palpable anger that Chatterbox astutely identifies in Dave. I think he is a very relevant "type" of his generation, without (as jpock correctly points out) representing his generation as a whole.

Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


nfam wrote:

This is a very ambitious book. I believe the author is trying to give us a rounded picture of her era. She does this by introducing a number of disparate characters that supposedly were frends at Oberlin. I applaud the author for taking on such a challenging assignment, but I'm finding it very hard to appreciate the book. We jump from character to character. Just when I get interested in Emily and her relationship to Dave and Curtis we're off to someone else. I can't even say that the reactions of the characters from one chapter to the next are particularly consistent. Sadie is a case in point. I understand her background and her relationship with her family. When she goes to meet Caitlin who she doesn't even like on a day when she's supposed to be meeting her parents, it doesn't ring.

 

Sorry, but this book doesn't hang together for me. There's too much backstory interspersed with the action. The general general advice given to writers today is, "Show don't Tell." For some reason, Ms. Smith Rakoff has decided to ignore the advice and write primarily in terms of what happened before. It doesn't make me want to read more. I keep putting the book down and wonder why I'm going ahead with it. 


 

While I totally respect your right to feel this way, I have to say that the style works for me personally. I like getting really into one character's head and then pulling back and observing that character from afar again, with a better understanding of what's making them tick. I think Smith Rakoff's treatment of the passage of time is effective for chronicling a group and a generation over several years. I find that understanding the everyday, the "micro" as someone put it, allows me to understand the greater leaps and life decisions that occur in the meantime. It mimics life in some ways -- our friends tell us the tiniest details of really insignificant matters but when a friend decides to start a family or gets really serious with someone, there isn't always a sit-down exposition of why. Sometimes there is, and the surprises may not be as out-of-the-blue as Lil's marriage or Beth's, but I'm not really having trouble reconciling the actions of the characters with the information we've been given about them.

 

Of course, that is just my opinion and you're entitled to yours!

 

As far as Sadie at Caitlin's, I think rushing over there when she was supposed to be at her parents was a reflection of the urgency and the shock -- needing to find out what the heck was going on. The fact that she uncomfortably leaves feeling as if she's somehow in cahoots with Caitlin, and that she subsequently never translates her outrage into action by telling Lil is less clear but I think it has to do with, as others have said, not being sure if she would do more harm to Lil and to the friendship but sticking her nose into her friend's marriage.

Moderator
KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


miller1323 wrote:

I might be the minority, but I'm really enjoying the writing style.  I think the whole point is to provide incredibly well rounded characters.  So what the author does is let us see the characters through their eyes as well as their parents, friends, and aquaintances. As seen by Sadie we see the worst of the Green-Gold's politics...affairs, disgusting used furniture, sour coffee, etc...  But then the Rose sees their activism as exciting which prompts even Sadie to change course and become flattered by the idea that she might have influenced such a demonstration.

 

The author does go off on tangents, but it's just one of the ways she puts us in these characters heads.  We almost get a stream of concious approach to the narration.  She even details their though processes.  Like the scene where Sadie is confronting Caitlin,  we even get her inner dialogue.  The conversation is exasperating to read, as it must have been for Sadie to participate in. 

 

Another thing I am loving is how we casually get brought up to date on the other characters in the group.  When Beth announces her marriage or we learn that Sadie dumped Tal, we are desperate for the details. I think the desire to have the details filled in propels the story forward in an interesting and way.

 

Overall I find these tactics fresh, dymanic and effective.


 

I feel the same way! And great point about the Green-Golds as seen through Rose Peregrine's eyes as opposed to Sadie's.
Inspired Correspondent
EbonyAngel
Posts: 276
Registered: ‎12-22-2006
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


dottyr wrote:

I agree this book is a struggle to read.  If it was not my first experience with an online book club I would not continue.  There are such gaps in her story that you don't feel a connection with the characters or really begin to care about them.  The dialogue is missing something

that gives me a feel that I want to continue reading and when I try and find another missing year I want to just say okay I give up.


 

Yes, it has been a little bit of a struggle for me but I think that's because mostly I just can't find a character to really relate to.  Maybe it's the age difference, I'm more in the 1970's range.  I like the style and even though I've gotten lost a few times, the story itself seems ok.

I did pick out some parts though.

When Sadie was visiting Caitlin and noticed that her feet were grey with grime.  I thought this said more about Sadie than it did about Caitlin.

Also the part when Sadie met Mike and he fliped open his id and she saw that it said FBI.  It showed me that she didn't buy all the stuff Caitlin was telling her.  For a minute, I thought that she believed Caitlin's stories.

Now when Dave passed out, I thought that was the end of him and we'd be reading about his funeral and maybe the group would tell/think about what they really thought about him.

Contributor
nikkid
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎09-15-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

Let me say that I am enjoying the book much more now!

 

There are certainly some stumbling blocks in chapters 6-9.  Yeah! for Beth in making up her mind and deciding to marry Will.  We do not know much about Will but boy did we findout about Dave.  What a character!  How indecisive can you be?  He is such a mess and obviously very unhappy.  I hope that he will get himself together now that all his old girlfriends have left him.

 

Did Sadie really not tell Lil that Tuck was having an affair?  I still can't believe that she wouldn't tell her friend that her huband was sleeping with another woman.  I am hoping to hear in the following chapters that she did tell Lil about the affair between Tuck and Catlin and Lil and Tuck worked it out in couseling or something!  Wishful thinking?!

Distinguished Correspondent
Shadowwolf36
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎09-16-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I agree with most that it was difficult to begin with but I for one ended up liking the book....not loving it but I did begin to get used to the writing style and had to keep going to find out what happened next to particular characters that I cared about. I am glad that I didn't give up right away and stuck to it.
Moderator
dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

[ Edited ]

I think in these chapters the ones who have it together seem to be Beth and Sadie. Beth in her realization that love and life aren't perfect and sometimes prince charming isn't the one on the white horse, but that doesn't mean he's not the right one for us and I feel that she at the end of chapter 7 decides that Will is her right match.

 

And Sadie working at what she loves and her relationship w/Delores seems to be good and I think she like Beth realize that love isn't easy or perfect, [edited by moderator].

In the case of Dave, I'm torn in two different directions, I admire him for not giving up his dream of music but at the same time I don't think he's much of a risk taker. Deciding to stay with this band of "kids" instead of going with his own music and why not tell Curtis about his music? He seems to still be very immature in his personal life too and not very observant if he didn't see Meredith's impending leave.

 

 

NOTE FROM THE MODERATOR: Please remember that you are NOT permitted to introduce information from beyond Chapter 9 on this thread.

Message Edited by KxBurns on 01-16-2009 11:23 AM
Correspondent
detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine


nikkid wrote:

Did Sadie really not tell Lil that Tuck was having an affair?  I still can't believe that she wouldn't tell her friend that her huband was sleeping with another woman.  I am hoping to hear in the following chapters that she did tell Lil about the affair between Tuck and Catlin and Lil and Tuck worked it out in couseling or something!  Wishful thinking?!


I agree, we don't know whether Sadie didn't tell Lil, or whether it just happened "off the page." Lil and Tuck working it out would parallel Beth's coming to terms about one-right-person vs many-right-people -- that marriage/life isn't perfect, that it's full of negotiation and compromise (I prefer that term to "settling" :smileyhappy: )

Correspondent
detailmuse
Posts: 180
Registered: ‎01-24-2008
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Re: Chapters Six through Nine

I probably would not have persevered through the first set of chapters if not for this discussion group. The second set of chapters seemed more readable but I made a note at the end of Ch 7 that it seemed like nonfiction, a sort of biographical narrative, interesting but remote. It turned for me in Ch 8 and now at the end of Ch 9, I'm eager to read on!! (And of course, when I turned the page to place my bookmark, I saw the stunning first sentence of Ch 10!)

 

I'm not feeling the frustration at the writing style that others are. Alternating between slow, analytical looks and fast, time-warp leaps is one of the most original (signature) aspects of this book. It's unusual, and I find myself enjoying it just for the experience of something different. I also suspect it's going to fit the epic (wide scope) ambitions of this novel.

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