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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Chapters Ten through Twelve

What did you make of Sadie's pregnancy and how she handles it? What about Lil's reaction? Emily is struggling here to deal with difficult situations with both Curtis and her sister, Clara. What role does the group play in Emily's handling of these situations?

 

The terrorist attacks of September 11th occur during this group of chapters. What is the impact on the members of the group?

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fordmg
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I have only read through chapter 11, I can't get into the book really.  I felt like chapter 11 started out like an Epiloge.  And this is where everyone ended up.  Actually each chapter seems to be like that.  I read a chapter on one person, then it skips months or years, and there is a recap, here they are and it goes on to someone else.  Then a new chapter skips time and through the chapter it plays catch up to say what has happened.  Emily's life seems to be pathetic.  I am afraid that I do not relate to any of these characters.

MG

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jpock
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Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I feel like, in these chapters, we're finally getting some consistent plot development, but it does seem somewhat "apart" I guess from the rest of the book.  Almost as if I've begun a vol. 2?  I have really enjoyed getting to know Sadie and Emily, though.

 

jpock

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Rosei
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I like time ellipses on these chapters. I found them to be more appropriated here than in the previous group of chapters. September 11th attacks seem to re-group, in a way or another, the friends closer, since they are concerned about each other in a very difficult moment. Emily's behaviour and strenght surprise me very much.
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Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve


KxBurns wrote:
What did you make of Sadie's pregnancy and how she handles it? What about Lil's reaction? Emily is struggling here to deal with difficult situations with both Curtis and her sister, Clara. What role does the group play in Emily's handling of these situations?

 

The terrorist attacks of September 11th occur during this group of chapters. What is the impact on the members of the group?


Sadie handled her pregnancy the way most of the people I know, who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant. Sadie obviously didn't know much about babies and pregnancy, as evidenced by her visit to the doctor.   She didn't want to tell her friends because she wasn't sure she was going to have a baby, and she didn't want to hear their judgements.  Then once she told Lil, the baby became real.   

 

I think Lil's reaction to Sadie's pregnancy was pure jealousy.  She was jealous that Sadie was getting what Lil wanted, when Sadie didn't want to be pregnant. Also, the fact that Ed was the father, made it all the more difficult for Lil because Tuck had failed while Ed had succeeded.  But the more I read, the more it seems that all of these friends are jealous of each other.  

 

I really came to respect Emily in chapters eleven and twelve.  I cannot imagine the stress having a sister/daughter like Clara could put on a family.   Emily has hooked up with a loser (sorry Curtis), the career she thought would be hers is over before it even starts, and then her parents dump her sister on her, without even offering to help with expenses.  Emily had to deal with a lot and she ends up not being able to follow through with a lot of the problems, but she does take action and tries to cope the best for both her and Clara.  

 

 

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EJD0626
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Registered: ‎09-13-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

These chapters really gave me so much respect for Emily. She is so relatable & I really felt for her in her situation with Clara. I knew from the beginning that something would happen w/ her & the doctor & I am glad that they ended up marrying & she is seemingly getting her happy ending.

I also think that Sadie dealt w/ her unexpected pregnancy as any woman would.  

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biljounc63
Posts: 189
Registered: ‎11-02-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

The section on September 11th did bring back the feeling I has at the time. It was nice to see them want to do something. It was a day that affected everybody. I work near a international airport in CT and I can still remember the erie total quiet for the few days when all air traffic was gounded. I felt like I was in another world... it was too quiet.
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

"Reading lets you visit the world of another"
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dhaupt
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I often wondered during the remainder of the book, what if Sadie had found herself pregnant by Tal or by agent Mulder. I think she and Ed work well together, but in Sadie's instance I think she could have easily been ok with either of the other two. 

I really felt for Emily in these chapters first w/that dog Curtis and then w/Clara, I think it was Dr. Gitter rather then her friends who made the difference in Emily and without him I think she would have worked herself into a nervous breakdown.

In regard to 9/11 I think the friends reaction is a good indication of what we all felt, some of us slugged right along and others of us became afraid of everything. 

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booksJT
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎11-24-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Sadie handled her pregnancy like most young people . She was emabarrassed and scared to confine in her friends. Sadie at first thought this pregnancy would abort itself  so she waited before telling anyone. I agree with (Tarri) that Lil was a little jealous of Sadie's pregnancy. Lil was trying to get pregnant but failed to do so. Tuck had once again failed her.  Even though Sadies's acting career failed she was able to develop a relationship with Curtis and take on the responsibilty of her sister. She managed to keep her wits  and do what was necessary to help Clara. The section about September 11 brings back memories. I was in Brooklyn  at work and I was able to see the  smoke and smell it. I was glad to see the characters were able to take comfort in one another's company. After Sept 11 the group wanted to do something more productive in  their lives. This was good sign of maturing and understanding.
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no4daughter
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-15-2007
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Both Sadie, with her pregnancy, and Emily, with her Curtis and Clara situations, seem to pull away from the group when faced with difficulties instead of turning to them as one would expect.  With this group, it seems that when the going gets tough they just go away by themselves.   

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Fozzie
Posts: 2,404
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

My favorite story line of the book is the one which tells of Emily and Clara.  I felt there was real substance to this story line.  Emily was facing problems that were understandable --- the loss of her career, time wasted on a bad boyfriend, and the conflicting emotions of her love of and hate for her sister, Clara.  This section of the book seemed almost at odds with the superficiality of the other situations the characters deal with in other parts of the book.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Dances_through_Books
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

In Chapter 10, we find out that Sadie is pregnant with Ed's baby. I was dissapointed that Sadie would be so careless, but I also find it interesting that she "settles" for Ed because of the baby.  I understand Ed is doing well, making money, and is the father of the child; but I wonder if she would have been happier with Agent Connelly.

 

I enjoyed that the majority of the chapter focused on Emily.  Curtis and Emily's relationship is doomed from the start; but it does serve a purpose. Emily realizes in a drawn out, painful way, that she really doesn't want to be an actress anymore.  She's exhausted and been let down too many times.  The relationship with Curtis ends just in time for her substance addicted sister, Clara to move in.  I find it interesting that Emily's parents (financially strapped, I realize) wash their hands of their daughter, and let her loose to be taken care of by Emily.  Given her past history, and the fact they know Emily doesn't make that much money, I find it interesting that they've let their exhaustion of the situation with Clara cloud their judgement to dump her on Emily. I realize Emily's sense of family and duty to help Clara; but what would have happened if Dr Gitter hadn't come to the rescue? Clara would have made them both homeless (without psychiatric help).

 

I also think Emily's situation infers how self absorbed each member (minus Emily) in the group is. It takes Emily not coming to a barbecue for her friends to worry about her. They ignore that she hasn't spoken to anyone for an entire season, and then when there is a get together finally decide to worry. This may have to do with the fact that Emily is the only member of the group with siblings; but I think it speaks loudly of how much this "group" does not care about each other. Beth is the only one who understands what Emily has been through ..."It's not fair you shouldn't always have to carry other people's burdens."

 

On a positive note, I am happy for how everything ends up working out for her.  I think Emily is my favorite character; she has to work hard for everything, and in the end receives that happiest and most complete ending.

 

 

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Having been through a similar situation, I don't think Emily's parents judgement was clouded because I don't believe that my parents judgement was clouded when they asked me to find and help my brother who had gone missing. They were simply too elderly to do anything about his problems and they could not handle it any longer, anyway. They would have gotten sick and he would have remained missing (as he was until I finally found him sleeping in empty apartments by the grace of a kindly landlord) and/or homeless which he also was at the time. In every family there is always one member who takes on the burdens imposed while the others merely avert their eyes and/or roll over and play dead. As I continue to read, Emily has grown enormously in my eyes.

twj


Dances_through_Books wrote:

edited by twj:I find it interesting that Emily's parents (financially strapped, I realize) wash their hands of their daughter, and let her loose to be taken care of by Emily.  Given her past history, and the fact they know Emily doesn't make that much money, I find it interesting that they've let their exhaustion of the situation with Clara cloud their judgement to dump her on Emily. I realize Emily's sense of family and duty to help Clara; but what would have happened if Dr Gitter hadn't come to the rescue? Clara would have made them both homeless (without psychiatric help)....

 

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KxBurns
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve


Tarri wrote:
[edited]

I think Lil's reaction to Sadie's pregnancy was pure jealousy.  She was jealous that Sadie was getting what Lil wanted, when Sadie didn't want to be pregnant. Also, the fact that Ed was the father, made it all the more difficult for Lil because Tuck had failed while Ed had succeeded.  But the more I read, the more it seems that all of these friends are jealous of each other.  

 

[edited]

Emily had to deal with a lot and she ends up not being able to follow through with a lot of the problems, but she does take action and tries to cope the best for both her and Clara.  

 

 


I agree, Tarrie -- well said!

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nfam
Posts: 231
Registered: ‎01-08-2007
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Sadie's pregnancy was quite a surprise for the readers as well as the characters. I thought she handled the pregnancy they way you'd expect Sadie to. She hid from it until she had to tell someone. I never could understand why Lil was always the one she confided in. Lil was so obviously jealous of everything Sadie was and did. I expected that she wouldn't be particularly helpful about the pregnancy. Pure jealousy is the way I'd describe her reaction.
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chris227
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎12-02-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Every time I really start to get into the book I get to a new chapter and skip months or years ahead and feel lost all over again!  I feel as if I can't become to onvolved in any one character because I may turn the page and hear barely anything of them again! 

 

As far as Sadie and her pregnancy go I agree with others who said that she was just scared.  I mean she was unmarried and seeing two men at the same time, neither of whom was fully in her life.  Lil's reaction was one of pure jealousy - she was the first to get married she thinks she should be the first to have a baby.  Early chapters also hinted that Lil had a crush on Ed so I'm wondering if the fact that it was Ed's baby caused Lil to feel even more jealousy than if the FBI guy had been the father. 

 

I really enjoyed the parts about Emily.  We saw Emily struggle through some difficult times, ending her acting career, ending her relationship with Curtis, and beginning a caregiving relationship with her sister, and then becoming engaged to Josh.  I think that these chapters were the first where we actually saw a character mature and grow.  We witnessed Emily moving from adolescence to adulthood and it wasn't getting married or having a baby that made her an adult but actually taking on responsibility for herself and someone she loves.  Emily is my favorite character by far and I hope that we can hear more about her in the last few chapters

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Guerneymember12
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Registered: ‎09-21-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I thought Sadie's "affair" with the father was out of character for Sadie, cheating on the FBI who we barely met by the way, but the small part we met was very romantic and Sadie was looking to do something different than what was always expected of her -- in this case Tal.  An FBI agent is powerful, brings her the status that I think Sadie requires from someone; so I thought the affair was so out of character and therefore the pregnancy was just thrust upon us at this time. forgive my language. but at this point in the book.  I feel like she she wants to get done with it.  I was enjoying living in each one's life for a brief glimpse per each chapter and then she went to giving me years of their lives in one sentence.  this only gets worse as the book progresses.

 

Lil acted horribly.  Sadie never really acted as though she wanted to Not have the baby  yet that seems to be what sadie expects her to do Obviously jealousy instead of friendship is kicking in here

when emily is having her problems the friends fail her!  iT'S ok, that they have never personally been around a mentally ill person, but instead of stereotyping and 1. blaming Emily  for taking care of her sister instead of supporting her sister and then 2. ditching out on her when they see a few good days and think she's totally normal; why don't they ask questions about clara.  Be a friend.  Why didn't they ever call or check in during all those nights when emily was having to work all the extra hours to take care of both of them?  It's like they had totally deserted her.

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NaniNT
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎11-20-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

I'm with you. I really trying to get into this book, but struggle through each chapter and have not been able grasp the full storyline.
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LibraryGirlReads
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Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Sadie's pregnancy was very unexpected because I thought Sadie would be more careful than that.  I also would not have anticipated her having a relationship with two men and being unable to break one off when it is clearly no longer working.  I was actually surprised that Sadie didn't hide the pregnancy longer from her friends as they do not seem to confide in each other at all.  Lil's jealous reaction and her implication that Sadie should not have the baby didn't really surprise me as Lil has often seemed jealous of Sadie throughout the book.

 

I enjoyed the section on Emily as I feld we really got to know her a bit more than some of the other characters.  She seemed less superficial as she pondered her relationship with Curtis and then had to take on the role of Clara's caretaker.  Clara really pushed Emily to her limits.  While it was clear that Clara needed more care than Emily could provide, I also understand why Emily felt that she had to be the one to take care of everything.  Her parents gave her this responsibility and she wanted to live up to it.  Emily did not let the group help her at all in that she didn't tell them how bad things were really getting.  Again, none of the relationships seem to be very open and honest.

 

September 11 was such a big day for the country.  It did bring some of the friends together for a little while and gave them a desire to 'do something' as Lil states.  However, we never really see if any of them follow through on that desire.  Emily goes back to work and things kind of go on as if it never happens.  So far the dramatic change in the New York landscape hasn't really been mentioned.

 

I am still having difficulty following some of the time jumps, especially when contrasting this book with another I recently read in which the jumps in time were VERY clearly labeled and the author hit major events in the characters' lives while skipping the more detailed, everyday routines.

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Lil_Irish_Lass
Posts: 163
Registered: ‎11-21-2008
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Re: Chapters Ten through Twelve

Once again this book jumps a great expanse of time which I find annoying and stops the little flow that there is to the story. One chapter we find Sadie pregnant and then all of a sudden before we see how she deal with it, tells Ed... a year has gone by. 

The way the book jumps after major life changes (Beth's engagement to Will, Sadie's pregnancy) makes me think that Smith Rakoff is doing it as an example of how young adults approach life. As in they make rash decisions or don't think about what impact their actions can have and they don't have the patience to wait for things to happen and are not concerned with the details. Beth gets engaged suddenly (the actual wedding doesn't matter since the engagement implies the wedding) so the story can jump to a point after the wedding without any consequence. 

Personally I find it annoying and makes me not want to continue reading. My experience so far with this novel is like it's a lost manuscript pieced together but missing parts that connect the entire story together.

That being said, I loved that we FINALLY got to know Emily and her story. Up until her chapter she was a background character the female redhead of the story and not much else. Now we know she is an amazing woman (and to me I find her the most life like out of all of them). 

Part of me feels like this book is all of a sudden going to end one chapter with the group of friends in their 30s and the next jump ahead to their retirement.
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"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White