01-23-2009 11:24 PM
"No sensible man ever engages, unprepared, in a fencing match of words with a woman." - The Woman in White
01-25-2009 02:46 PM
As I mentioned in the "Dave" thread, my definition of favorite, in a critical/analytical sense, will revolve around the strongest character in the book, not the one that I think is the nicest person "in real life", that I can sympathize with the most, or that who is appealing and would be fun to have as a friend. I concede all that with Emily. But I found her story to be deeply irritating, for reasons a couple other posters have mentioned.
If you took Emily's story out of this book and had it stand alone; if this was a book about Emily and the other characters were the walk-on characters, friends, etc., it would be chick lit. But early chick lit. Heroine has unrealistic professional dreams, struggles with life's unfairness then suddenly -- ephiphany! Doctor rides in on white horse, and she is miraculously able to see a clear path personally, professionally and solve her family problems, with a single stroke. Reading about Emily, I could almost feel my emotions being manipulated!
Add to that the fact that her marriage somehow seems to lift her above her friends in a way -- she has succeeded or is succeeding, apparently suddenly effortlessly, at all the things at which they still struggle. There is a kind of arrogance that emerges in Emily's attitude to Lil; and she essentially abandons Lil (not necc. literally but by not attempting to understand what is going on on a deep level.) It feels as if Emily needs the group less than any other member, even Sadie. Which are not appealing qualities on any level.
01-25-2009 03:36 PM
01-28-2009 01:26 PM
I think Emily is my favorite character in the book.
I could totally relate to the issue with her sister. I have a similar problem with my older sister. I always open my doors and am helping her, when I shouldn't. I should put my foot down and demand that she go to rehab. But that is a very difficult thing to do with a family member. Tell them that YOU know what is best for them, tell them how they need to live their lives. It is hard to put into words, but I completely understood why Emily could not hospitalize her sister. I was grateful when Josh came along to help with Clara.
The 2 things I did not like in regards to Emily, first was the breakup with Curtis, and how well it seemed she took it and got over it. When someone you love suddenly walks out of your life, I think it takes more then just a day or two of oversleeping to get over them (distractions or not). I wondered if she even really was in love with Curtis.
Secondly, was the way Josh comes from seemingly nowhere to save the day and her foot, and proposes to her in the hospital. Not just that he wants to marry her when he has not even had a single date with her and knows nothing about her except hear-say, but also that it ends so well! That just seemed too fairy-tale far fetched for me, therefore was a bit of a distraction.
Overall though I really enjoyed Emily's character and reading about her struggles with finding her career, with her indepence, with struggling to find what she really wanted from Curtis, what she really wanted from life.. It did get frustrating when she let her sister and Curtis walk all over her. But in reality we all put up with things we shouldn't for people that we love, so it made her character seem more "real" to me.
01-28-2009 02:21 PM
Emily wasn't one of my favorites. I found her to be about as much of a loser as Dave. Both had potential I think - but neither wanted it enough to go get it. What a waste. Music and Acting are difficult fields and require focus, hard work and determination - which neither seemed to possess. Instead they pout about their lack of success...and wait around for it to arrive.
Her time with Curtis is a big waste and if she had any brains and common sense she would have confronted him long before she did.
What does she want? Does she even know?
I'm mad at her parents for pushing the crazy Clara onto her - that's not fair. She takes on the burden but then really doesn't do what is right for Clara. Does she need inpatient care (like Dr Josh recommended) or is he just pushing for care for Clara to get closer to Emily? Don't know.
Accepting his proposal was strange. I guess she just got so desperate that marriage to a relative stranger who promised to take care of her and Clara was the answer. Yikes. Is this the easy alternative?
The new career and med school are inconsisten with her personality and not well explained and therefore not very believable.
Is she done with med school at the end of the book? I didn't see that...
01-29-2009 10:32 PM
I like your thoughts about Emily, Olivialove. She was surprisingly at peace with the way things ended with Curtis, but I wonder if that's because her break-up with him was prompted by one of those moments of insight or clarity where she realized how deluded she had been to think it could work? To me, this represented a real moment of growth for her.
I certainly admired that Emily made choices that seemed to take into account more than just her own happiness, but also the well-being of others.
01-30-2009 09:00 PM
Emily was one of my favorite characters (in addition to Sadie). I admire women that go against the norm and follow their passion - whether they are supported or not. She also demonstrates a deep commitment to family in taking her sister in when her parents threw up their hands and walked away. What an admirable person and one that we should all aspire to be. Emily somewhat makes you think about the adage that good things happen to good people.