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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Audrey and Joel


EJD0626 wrote:
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?

Contributor
lenoreva
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎04-15-2008
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Re: Audrey and Joel

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...
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KxBurns
Posts: 1,006
Registered: ‎09-06-2007
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Re: Audrey and Joel


lenoreva wrote:
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?

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CDover1978
Posts: 17
Registered: ‎02-12-2008
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Re: Audrey and Joel

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.

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CAG
Posts: 218
Registered: ‎01-15-2007
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Re: Audrey and Joel


PiperMurphy wrote:
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.
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AshALee
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
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Re: Audrey and Joel

I thought initially on Joel's end, it would have been just a 48 hour thing, but she was so aloof and difficult towards him, and alternately simply handed herself to him with no games, that he was fascinated.  When he said I should take you home with me, I thought it was just a challenge and he didn't expect her to rise to the bait, but he was her ticket out of her way of life.
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marciliogq
Posts: 244
Registered: ‎02-22-2008
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Re: Audrey and Joel

I tried to understand during all my reading why Audrey chose to get married with Joel practically when they had first met. I couldn't suppose clearly what reasons made them engaging. As my reading went on I realized some possible reasons for that previous decision in 1962: both of them were activists, he had a good professional situation while she had no profession. In my opinion the engagement was nearly a kind of convenience. For the forty years Audrey maintained a mask to protect her own fragility and lots of prejudices she had. Her intolerance towards religion, others' opinion, respect her children's opinions and beliefs, her sardonic/sarcastic/ironical way of treating made Audrey one of the most hateful characters in my opinion, a kind of vilain. Audrey's tolerance towards Lenny is a sort of overprotection that intrigues. Why did she overprotect him if her opinion towards others like him was so intolerant? For example, when Berenice told her about Joel's child the first Audrey's reaction was to suggest that she should have made an abortion. Her opinions about Rosa's religion, Karla's relationship with Mike, Berenice's son, Lenny's girlfriend got Audrey the most narrow-minded character of the book. Her only capacity was the performance of recognizing and respecting her own beliefs or practices.