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Inspired Bibliophile
LarryOnLI
Posts: 1,983
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Yes. I have to say that I loved the story but it could have gone on another 25 to 50 pages to tie everything up at the end.

 

Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Everyone,

 

  These final chapters were extremely fast moving and insightful.  We saw how evil Gillian really was and how Nancy dealt with Gillian's stealing her novel, at least the first chapter, and how the story was being twisted to avoid the plagiarism issue.  I still think that it would be considered plagiarism as Gillian had no novel in the works and when she heard Nancy reading her first chapter, Gillian went with the story and ran with it. 

  I also liked the way the rest of the group rallied around Nancy and was willing to go through so much to get Gillian.  Gillian has an evil personality and I was glad that she was found out and dealt with as far as the Pulitzer. 

  I was not surprised at the ending, however, I do wish it hadn't been Paul that that Gillian had hit with the truck, because of her self centered occupation with herself. 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
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Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I finished the book and went straight in to take a shower...just felt like I needed to get something unclean away...

 

That gave me time to process the last bit of the novel and I've come to this conclusion:


VIRGINIA WAS WRONG - IT TRULY WAS ALL ABOUT BERNARD!

 

How is this all about Bernard do you ask? Let's take a look at what we know...

 

  1. Bernard and Virginia were once married.
  2. Bernard and Virginia have children together - Rachel and Teddy.
  3. Bernard and Virginia started the Leopardi Circle with Helene.
  4. Bernard invited Gillian to join the Circle.
  5. Chris lived in the same house as Rachel and met her family one Thanksgiving.
  6. Virginia invited Chris to join the Circle.
  7. Bernard invited Nancy to join the Circle.
  8. Chris practically challenges Gillian to write a work of fiction during the first discussion of Nancy's novel.
  9. Virginia pleads with Bernard for the writing incident information from Gillian's past.
  10. Bernard provides the critical piece of info on Gillian's poem from college because he worries that Aimee will leave if he does not take sides against Gillian.
  11. Adam and Nancy discover the college poetry critical to "punishing" Gillian from the info provided by Bernard.
  12. The info from Bernard results in Gillian losing out on the Pulitzer Prize.
  13. Rachel took an interest in Paul's situation regarding the plagerized papers.
  14. Paul remained with his father and Gillian because he was able to remain at school after Rachel's help instead of returning to his mother's house.

From these clues we can infer that, as an indirect result of his selfish choices, Bernard was the intermediary killer. Without his existence, Paul would have survived.

Then again, Virginia would probably disagree...

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
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Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I kept questioning this myself. I did read through all of Part I though before I should have completed it. I think I kept questioning this in frustration of not enjoying this book.

 

dhaupt wrote:

I am going to respond before reading other replies

 

First of all I have to wonder if this would have been a better read for me if I had read it all through and not read on schedule. So I'm not going to be reviewing it until I can do that.

 

 

 

Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
Inspired Contributor
Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

I urge you to go back and re-read the PREFACE and the beginning of Part One.
We now see that the Preface actually tells us the ending of the story. The author "misleads" us into thinking it is about the story of Nancy's father in her novel because she makes a point of talking about how he turned his headlights on - something he had failed to do before.
Let children read whatever they want and then talk about it with them. If parents and kids can talk together, we won't have as much censorship because we won't have as much fear.
— Judy Blume
Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

There have been so many insightful comments on this thread!  

It's exciting for me to hear your thoughts about the novel as a whole and so rewarding to know that some of what I was trying to do really worked.

 

I was frustrated yesterday because the "reply" button on this program wasn't working for me, and although I could read what you were all writing, I couldn't say a word.  Ah, technology!

Please know that even if you don't hear anything from me, I'm reading every word and thinking about everything you say--and appreciate all your input!

 

--Corinne

 

 

Inspired Wordsmith
Sunltcloud
Posts: 933
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Corinne,

 

Nothing seemed to be working yesterday at B&N and I was frustrated not to be able to comment on the ending of the story. And today I am in a hurry, so I will just say for now that it was well done as far as I am concerned. The various characters played their parts in each other's lives exactly the way it often happens in real life. Some actions were planned, some were executed without thought of anybody else, some were accidental, but all left a trail. That the most vulnerable and most innocent of the characters receives the fatal blow makes me want to say "not fair," but again, life is that way.

Distinguished Wordsmith
MSaff
Posts: 272
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Corinne,

 

  I just wanted to take this time to thank you for allowing us to read your novel.  It was certainly a roller coaster ride for me.  Thank You again.

 

 

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

There have been so many insightful comments on this thread!  

It's exciting for me to hear your thoughts about the novel as a whole and so rewarding to know that some of what I was trying to do really worked.

 

I was frustrated yesterday because the "reply" button on this program wasn't working for me, and although I could read what you were all writing, I couldn't say a word.  Ah, technology!

Please know that even if you don't hear anything from me, I'm reading every word and thinking about everything you say--and appreciate all your input!

 

--Corinne

 

 

 

 

Mike
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss
http://travelswithcarsandbooks.blogspot.com/
Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

So I wasn't alone in my frustrations with the website!

 

Thank you. You got exactly what I was trying to do in this novel--have my characters act just as people do in real life.  And as we all know, (alas!)  things don't always work out fairly.

Yes--Paul is the most vulnerable   and the most innocent-- and he ends up the victim of unintended consequencesMany small things that the other characters do come together in ways that they couldn't predict and may not even be aware of.

 

--Corinne

 

Sunltcloud wrote:

Corinne,

 

Nothing seemed to be working yesterday at B&N and I was frustrated not to be able to comment on the ending of the story. And today I am in a hurry, so I will just say for now that it was well done as far as I am concerned. The various characters played their parts in each other's lives exactly the way it often happens in real life. Some actions were planned, some were executed without thought of anybody else, some were accidental, but all left a trail. That the most vulnerable and most innocent of the characters receives the fatal blow makes me want to say "not fair," but again, life is that way.

 

 

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Mike--

Thank you for being part of this literary adventure.

And many thanks for your terrific review!

 

--Corinne

 

MSaff wrote:

Hi Corinne,

 

  I just wanted to take this time to thank you for allowing us to read your novel.  It was certainly a roller coaster ride for me.  Thank You again.

 

 

 

Corinne-Demas wrote:

There have been so many insightful comments on this thread!  

It's exciting for me to hear your thoughts about the novel as a whole and so rewarding to know that some of what I was trying to do really worked.

 

I was frustrated yesterday because the "reply" button on this program wasn't working for me, and although I could read what you were all writing, I couldn't say a word.  Ah, technology!

Please know that even if you don't hear anything from me, I'm reading every word and thinking about everything you say--and appreciate all your input!

 

--Corinne

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wordsmith
literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I was very impressed with Nancy and Adam when they visited Gillian's college.  All along Nancy had been portrayed as insecure and a little meek but  once she arrived at Bolten College the professional Nancy surfaced.  She knew her way around libraries and as the editor of the newsletter, she had access to them.  Nancy even commented that she loved the sense of mysteries and the secrets that were buried in the libraries for years, and how apropos in this instance.  Nancy was used to the slow pace of research but Adam wasn't and quickly became discouraged so "take charge" Nancy suggested lunch to Adam to calm him down.  What I found interesting, and did make a mental note of, was when Adam first got into the car and threw his briefcase in the back seat.  I was just waiting to see why Corinne had to mention the briefcase.   Perseverance paid off, they found what they were looking for and Adam used the briefcase to stuff all the papers into.

 

 


How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us?

 


 

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

You got it!

 

--Corinne

 

 


literature wrote:
I was very impressed with Nancy and Adam when they visited Gillian's college.  All along Nancy had been portrayed as insecure and a little meek but  once she arrived at Bolten College the professional Nancy surfaced.  She knew her way around libraries and as the editor of the newsletter, she had access to them.  Nancy even commented that she loved the sense of mysteries and the secrets that were buried in the libraries for years, and how apropos in this instance.  Nancy was used to the slow pace of research but Adam wasn't and quickly became discouraged so "take charge" Nancy suggested lunch to Adam to calm him down.  What I found interesting, and did make a mental note of, was when Adam first got into the car and threw his briefcase in the back seat.  I was just waiting to see why Corinne had to mention the briefcase.   Perseverance paid off, they found what they were looking for and Adam used the briefcase to stuff all the papers into.

 

 


How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us?

 


 


 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Thank you Corinne for sharing "The Writing Circle" with us.I was on a bit of a Roller Coaster ride with the book,but I  certainly enjoyed having you somewhat tie up The Loose Ends..You brought me full circle in understanding where you were taking us,when you posted about certain areas of the book,and your thoughts.I wish you well,will read your next book and I hope I can catch you at a Book Signing. in New England ..Best Susan.Vtc.

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Susant--

 

Glad I was able to elucidate things a  little!

I've learned a lot from all of your comments, too.

 

I'd love to be be able to meet everyone in the First Look Book Club in real life.

My book event schedule is posted on The Writing Group facebook page (hope many of you will become fans!) and on my website:  http://www.corinnedemas.com/books/writingcircle.htm

 

Only one week to go-- I'll miss this group!

 

--Corinne

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Thank you Corinne for sharing "The Writing Circle" with us.I was on a bit of a Roller Coaster ride with the book,but I  certainly enjoyed having you somewhat tie up The Loose Ends..You brought me full circle in understanding where you were taking us,when you posted about certain areas of the book,and your thoughts.I wish you well,will read your next book and I hope I can catch you at a Book Signing. in New England ..Best Susan.Vtc.


 

 

Contributor
edelweissAM
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

     I had a hard time with this reading. The novel seemed to get me interested and then drop me into boredom. Sad to say, I found Gillian, the most compelling and colorful character.  I could not get absorbed into the other members of the novel. I loved the preface but did not really enjoy the path that followed. Perhaps I was looking for something  and I just did not find a satisfactory answer.  I would imagine a writing circle that encouraged people in their genre:mystery writers together or romantic poets together. 

     

     

Correspondent
retromom
Posts: 113
Registered: ‎02-02-2008

Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

The novel came together for me in this last third of the book. All the puzzles of the pieces now fit. I'm glad I stuck it out!

 

I found the fact that the group was faithful to Nancy, which was the moral thing to do kind of ironic after some of them were not faithful to their loved ones who should have mattered more to them than members of a writing group. Talk about dysfunctional people! It's interesting to compare the morality in marriage with the morality in the writing group.

 

I did need a bit more of the story at the end. I had some questions as to what happens to Gillian now and what happens to the group. In this section all of a sudden I care about some of these characters and I want more! Quite a turnaround!

Beth

http://bookaholicmom.blogspot.com/
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

[ Edited ]

For me, at first, The Writing Circle seemed to be an easy beach read with an uncomplicated plot but it developed into an interesting mystery with many surprises. Once I was drawn in I wanted to read it until the end.
I found many of the characters to be dysfunctional or they came from dysfunctional families. Some were driven by blind ambition without a thought for the consequences while others were  driven by the opposite need to do right by the world. They seemed to be, but they were not, random strangers, since they were interconnected by a variety of circumstances.
It was sometimes a difficult book for me to follow because there were so many characters introduced and they often seemed at cross purposes. Their connections were hard to tie in to the whole story and/or to each other, at times. I found that if I read it as if it was a series of short stories, I was not as disappointed when a character was not as fully developed as I had  hoped or when its connection to the main theme was difficult to ascertain. Sometimes, in a later chapter, the character was re-introduced and the plot became clearer.
The book could be seen as a study in unethical behavior vs living with a "moral compass" and in the end I was left with the feeling that justice is not always served very well. The just are not always rewarded with the success they deserve and often the unjust are not punished for the actual crimes they commit. Like a Pollyanna, I suppose I wanted the book to punish the guilty and reward the innocent. I wanted it to end with all the loose ends tied up neatly and justly but life is not a fairy tale even in a novel. I would like to think that there will be another book which will further develop some of these characters. Perhaps it will be book one of a series.
This novel forced me to think about the issue of making good or bad choices; which do we choose and why?

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Dear Retromom--

Thank you so much for sticking it out!  I am so glad you care about some of these characters-- that's what every writer hopes for. I know this is a demanding novel, and some of it may not make sense until things come together at the end.   I'm interested in the way people's lives intersect and the unpredictable effects of their actions.  I hope you had some fun figuring out how ever piece contributes to the final event.

 

I could have gone on writing for another thousand or so pages-- each character's story continues after the novel is over--- what you saw was just a slice of each of their lives. The novel begins with Nancy writing and ends with Gillian not being able to write. At the start, Nancy is joining the Leopardis, at the end she's the moral center and Gillian is cast out. 

I think your point about the morality in marriage versus the morality in the group is particularly interesting.

 

Thank you for thoughtful reading!

 

--Corinne

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

 

Yes! I really wanted you to confront these moral questions! Thanks for brining this thematic issue into the discussion.

 

At the end of the novel, Gillian finds that " now, she had nothing to write.  The poem was nothing, just an exercise in words."  For a writer like Gillian, isn't this the perfect punishment?

 

--Corinne

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

For me, at first, The Writing Circle seemed to be an easy beach read with an uncomplicated plot but it developed into an interesting mystery with many surprises. Once I was drawn in I wanted to read it until the end.
I found many of the characters to be dysfunctional or they came from dysfunctional families. Some were driven by blind ambition without a thought for the consequences while others were  driven by the opposite need to do right by the world. They seemed to be, but they were not, random strangers, since they were interconnected by a variety of circumstances.
It was sometimes a difficult book for me to follow because there were so many characters introduced and they often seemed at cross purposes. Their connections were hard to tie in to the whole story and/or to each other, at times. I found that if I read it as if it was a series of short stories, I was not as disappointed when a character was not as fully developed as I had  hoped or when its connection to the main theme was difficult to ascertain. Sometimes, in a later chapter, the character was re-introduced and the plot became clearer.
The book could be seen as a study in unethical behavior vs living with a "moral compass" and in the end I was left with the feeling that justice is not always served very well. The just are not always rewarded with the success they deserve and often the unjust are not punished for the actual crimes they commit. Like a Pollyanna, I suppose I wanted the book to punish the guilty and reward the innocent. I wanted it to end with all the loose ends tied up neatly and justly but life is not a fairy tale even in a novel. I would like to think that there will be another book which will further develop some of these characters. Perhaps it will be book one of a series.
This novel forced me to think about the issue of making good or bad choices; which do we choose and why?


 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


Corinne-Demas wrote:

 

 

Yes! I really wanted you to confront these moral questions! Thanks for brining this thematic issue into the discussion.

 

At the end of the novel, Gillian finds that " now, she had nothing to write.  The poem was nothing, just an exercise in words."  For a writer like Gillian, isn't this the perfect punishment?

 

--Corinne

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

For me, at first, The Writing Circle seemed to be an easy beach read with an uncomplicated plot but it developed into an interesting mystery with many surprises. Once I was drawn in I wanted to read it until the end.
I found many of the characters to be dysfunctional or they came from dysfunctional families. Some were driven by blind ambition without a thought for the consequences while others were  driven by the opposite need to do right by the world. They seemed to be, but they were not, random strangers, since they were interconnected by a variety of circumstances.
It was sometimes a difficult book for me to follow because there were so many characters introduced and they often seemed at cross purposes. Their connections were hard to tie in to the whole story and/or to each other, at times. I found that if I read it as if it was a series of short stories, I was not as disappointed when a character was not as fully developed as I had  hoped or when its connection to the main theme was difficult to ascertain. Sometimes, in a later chapter, the character was re-introduced and the plot became clearer.
The book could be seen as a study in unethical behavior vs living with a "moral compass" and in the end I was left with the feeling that justice is not always served very well. The just are not always rewarded with the success they deserve and often the unjust are not punished for the actual crimes they commit. Like a Pollyanna, I suppose I wanted the book to punish the guilty and reward the innocent. I wanted it to end with all the loose ends tied up neatly and justly but life is not a fairy tale even in a novel. I would like to think that there will be another book which will further develop some of these characters. Perhaps it will be book one of a series.
This novel forced me to think about the issue of making good or bad choices; which do we choose and why?


 

 


 

Twj...I always enjoy the points you bring up.and For me ,I always expect one to do what is right.as well..But we know that doesn't always happen and we hold people responsible for their actions..Which  as adults,it should be that way..Choices,we all have choices...Susan Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer