11-04-2008 05:16 PM
I loved this book but really disliked all of the characters. I wish we could have seen more of a characterization of Joel and his marriage to Audrey. We don't really see anything that discusses the type of relationship those two shared. Audrey was incredibly hard to like--I hated the way she treated her poor daughters and enabled Lenny.
I don't know -- you're of course entitled to your opinion! But I feel like, for me, if we had seen more of the marital dynamic in action (as opposed to via recollections, of which we do see a bit) it would have become a little bit of a cliche? I thought seeing the fallout through Audrey was more effective.
The moments that Audrey remembers take on extra importance since they're so rare. What did you think of her reminiscence about Joel coming to the hospital after Karla's birth? What are some other moments that she recalls?
11-06-2008 12:53 PM
11-06-2008 07:35 PM
Now that you mention it, I have to agree that us seeing the marriage mostly through recollection is quite an effective way of highlighting certain scenes like Joel's hospital visit. Not that it makes Audrey any more likeable...
Perhaps not more likeable, but maybe more sympathetic? Or more understandable?
11-06-2008 10:59 PM
I've put Audrey and Joel together because their relationship is so central to the book and I'd like to discuss them as a unit. What drew them together in 1962 and what has kept them together for forty years? How would you describe the dynamics of their marriage?
In the case of Audrey, I think she was attracted to a handsome man from across the room that happened to be Jewish. Joel saw a pretty young face that was interested in what he had to say. Figuring he’d only be in England for 48hrs, he’d win her over and probably never see her again until he made the, possibly not so wise move, of telling Audrey that he should just take her away with him to America. Their marriage, I feel, is one of convenience. It got Audrey out of England and it gave Joel a student that became stronger and slightly more radical than he.
11-09-2008 02:46 PM
I think that Audrey was attracted to Joel as the older, handsome, American lawyer. But I think that she used him as the end to a means. She moved to America and lived an affluent life. I wondered through the rest of the book why Joel agreed to the marriage and why he stuck with it. We never get his point of view. For me, that leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Possibly the answer to why Audrey is the way she is has to come from Joel.
I thought from the very beginning Audrey wanted a way out of her life in England and Joel opened that door. I think there had to be something each of them got from the other in order for them to stay together. It would be interesting to have Joel's view of Audrey. Since we don't get it, I just let my imagination wander with that.
11-09-2008 03:47 PM
11-26-2008 11:52 AM