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jenno0108
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Registered: ‎05-03-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

The preface grabbed my attention quick. I definitely noticed the comments about the headlights. I can't wait to learn about it later. I am having a little trouble with the jumping around, but as the story progresses, it is getting easier. I am really starting to get into the story.
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LenaH
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I did like the foreshadowing initally...I thought it was a very nice set-up for something that could be flushed out in greater detail later. As the book progressed, I liked the nice tie-in with Nancy's experiences with her father, but quite let down that it was not further touched upon. I really thought that there could have been something juicy there.

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Amanda-Louise
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I totally agree.  I could have followed the opening story through as an entire book!

 

Amanda

 

 

violetangel wrote:

Frankly I found the story that opened the book far more compelling than the actual book.  I'd rather read the story than the stuff about the people, none of whom are the least bit interesting to me. 

 

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MSaff
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

  Hello Again All,

 

  The story at the beginning kink of baffled me at first.  Then when we got into the story, I think that I figured out that the Doctor in the story was Nancy's father.  As for the rest of the story, I'm not sure what to make of it. 

  I think that Nancy is writing for the medical community as a type of therapy and maybe a comfort zone.  Somehow I think that Nancy has a lot to offer, but she is timid and maybe a little intimidated by others.  She dives head long into her writing  so that she does not have to deal with other people, and because she has some sort of control.

 

  I could be completely wrong here.  (LOL)

 

 

Rachel-K wrote:

What do you make of the early piece of a story we are given at the opening of the novel?

 

Whose story might this be, and what does it lead you think might happen with it?

 

 

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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MSaff
Posts: 272
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I forgot to mention that I am currently on the fence here.  The initial story drew me in immediately, and then the switch was made to describing the individual characters and the group as a whole.  I am hopeful that we learn more about the Doctor and the family. 

 

  I also agree that we are reading a little bit of Nancy's novel at the beginning.

 

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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literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006

Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Actually I never thought of replying to my own posting but I had another thought here. 

 

At the very beginning in Part I, there's another reference to a person that might be applicable.  It's when the doctor is leaving the hospital, "changed from scrubs into his street clothes and he wore running shoes and a black leather jacket that didn't seem like the style of clothing a doctor would chose.  From a distance, the jacket made him look like a teenager..."  We know this timeframe and the timeframe from Gillian's chapter, but we do not know the timeframe of the paragraph below.  Just a thought.

 

Literature

 

literature wrote:

The Preface begins "The house is set on a hillside, with a long driveway that leads up to it and disappears around the back...you would barely make out the truck as it comes around the side of the house, as it heads down the driveway.  A figure cuts across the sloping front lawn and starts down the driveway, towards the road.  It's probably a woman (?), but she's dressed in black, and almost invisible in the dark."

 

Then we jump to page 55 / Gillian "The Dirt road that led to Gillian's house ran perilously between a steep hillside and the edge of the marsh.  It was so narrow and so tortuous and so desolate that no one who didn't know for sure would believe that there was a house at the end of it.  Gillian could have driven it blindfolded.  She knew the curves..." 

 

At this point, all we can do is speculate what the author has in mind and it won't be the obvious.  Could Paul have gone up to the house to get away from everything, been asleep in one of the rooms, Gillian gone up to the house with a friend or a friend met her there unbeknown to her that Paul was there and then Paul witnessed something?  Up to the end of the chapter on Chris, we know that Paul doesn't drive.  Or, could Jerry have planned to surprise Gillian at the house (against Gillian's wishes) and Gillian came up with or had someone meet her there and it was Jerry who raced down the driveway in the truck and her lover at the front door or vice versa?

 

 

As far as the couple that lost their baby and went on to have two sons, the only characters so far with two sons are Joe and Chris, but Chris's boys are too young.  Joe grew up in NYC and could have Joe and his first wife been in the hospital where Nancy's father was practicing?

 

 

 

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bwildwoman3
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I found that the opening was more enticing and was expecting the story to be more on the doctor....but I found the relationship with the writers to be true to life and interesting..I was hooked from the beginning and just had to read on to see where life took them. I was angry with the turn of events...But loved the way right over came wrong...Don't want to give away the ending.....

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Goodword
Posts: 111
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

She writes beautifully, and the beginning has a misty, dreamlike quality for me. I assume the preface is a piece of action that we will come back to later or at the end of the story. Then we go to the Italicized piece, which, since this is a book about a writing circle, I assume is a piece of writing from one of its members. I notice the similarities to the preface, but they confuse me, because the two stories don't seem to be related. I wonder if I'm being led to believe they are connected when they are not as a trick. Or both stories are being told by the same speaker, since the voice seems the same. I am still getting used to the writer's style. Finally, we go to Nancy's chapter, and I wonder whether she or another writer is the author of the piece--later I'm certain that it is from her novel.
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Mysterylover1138
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

The preface is always The part that sucks the reader In.  It basically sets the Tone for if the reader feels They may get into the novel or if They wont.

 

I wont lie when I Saw the Book Pop Up In My NOOK library I Was imediatly ready to read it.  I Was taking a chance reading it because it is not typically the kind of novel that I would read, but I Was willing to give it a chance because from the discription I Was interested to know about how the groups dynamic would ultimatly play out.

 

The beginning sucked me In, the story of the Doctor and his choice to leave and let the family mourn made me want to contiue reading to see where that might take the novel.

 

I believe that all of the characters were well written and that is kind of what kept me reading the novel, because there were a few slow points where I wasn't sure if I Was going to make it through, but I kept pushing because I wanted to see how each of the characters developed.

 

As for everyones favorite enemy Gillian, well don't we all know someone like that?  I think throughout the whole novel her character Was the most interesting, mainly because you were seeing everyones perspective of her and you never really got her own perspective of herself.  Which In a way is how people see other people.  We never really take a look back and see ourselves the way others see us because we are always too busy thinking we are perfect. 

 

Well that is at least how I felt as I Was reading the novel and seeing Gillians character pan out.

 

Honestly for taking a chance and taking a look at a novel outside of My normal reading zone I am glad I did, because it Was a great read and it went by pretty fast.

 

 

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Sanderson1216
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I agree that the first part has been slow reading for me and at times I lost interest, however, the characters helped keep me interested in continuing the story.  

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maxcat
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

[ Edited ]

I agree with Bonnie_C. I reread the preface after reading the 8 chapters and it became clearer to me that Gillian could possibly be the woman that was hit. I still think Nancy's Dad was the driver of the truck. But as for the person running down the yard to Gillian, I'm thinking it was Adam. The scene descibes a long driveway, which would have been Gillian's cottage.. Everything kind of makes sense, sort of, now. I have read passed page 88 and it does get clearer.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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bdrdunc
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

I also missed the part about the headlights and will have to go back and reread that.  I thought the first story about the doctor and the loss of the baby was interesting.  I find the characters very interesting.  They are so well described that I feel brought into their circle and their lives.  So far I am enjoying the book.  It will be interesting to see how they bring the doctor back into the story and if he is the one that hits Gillian.  I am looking forward to reading more.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

1-I noticed this parallel...Nancy was doing an article on colonoscopies...Chris was having one. I wondered if this signalled some kind of future relationship between them.

 

2-On p. 73, Chris refers to Dick Smollett and says he nabbed a MacArthur...does anyone know what that means?

 

3-Also, Chris pointed out that newspapers might contain profound information but they wound up lining cages, etc. and were discarded in the most mundane way, leading me to think that their ultimate use almost cancelled the effect they had originally, on the people they informed. Because of the temporary nature of the newspaper, the effort made to produce/author a wonderful article, and the effect of the piece itself on the public, seemed limited and short lived and made me wonder if it was all worth it. For some reason, I found this sad.

 

4-This thought made me wonder about the permanent effect of ebooks and reading devices in perpetuity. Libraries will surely not look like the libraries of today. Will there be shelves of discs or shelves of nooks or kindles or some other devices? Will knowledge be perceived in the same way and will books ever become classics again. I have some first editions that I treasure. How could I treasure an ebook? Would I want to reread it? Where would I store it for the future so it was not mingled with my more casual reads?

 

I guess I really just love the feeling of the solid book in my hands. I love the fact that I can keep it and pick it up whenever I choose. I love the fact that I can refer back to some page or passage. I can't perceive of using an ebook that way...but then, I couldn't perceive of using a cell phone and yet it has replaced the landline! Perhaps we get used to everything, in time. :smileyhappy:

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Bonnie_C
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Another question I had was in regard to the couple who lost their baby.  The story says that the couple later on had 2 sons.  Could one of the sons be someone in the writing circle? 

 

Bonnie

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GuzziAlfa
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

What do you make of the early piece of a story we are given at the opening of the novel?

 

Whose story might this be, and what does it lead you think might happen with it?

 

Without delving into character studies and making this thread quicker to read - I will respond to the questions in this thread...

Unlike a few of the posts - I thought the opening was about the doctor's story and not the couple who lost the baby.  I felt they were incidental to the study since it was all about the doctor's frame of mind; clothes, headlights for example.  The preface almost lost me from the wanting to continue perspective. 

I had not made any connection to Gillian's cottage and her driveway - excellent job for those of you who posted that.  Posts like that make me glad I joined this circle.  The whole woman in the darkness left me cold - so does Nancy for that matter.  I'm warming up to her as the outsider and learning quickly how to fit into the circle.  Could this be Nancy in the opening?  Hmmm, well, it's not the plumber and thankfully there is no butler for us to point fingers.  My initial impression was that the opening was not connected to the story of the circle.  Gillian's cottage aside - I am choosing to go with - this is the plot line of one of the stories of the authors in the circle.  Ok, lame.  So is the butler did it and I went with that didn't I?

If I am right - I will buy one of those lottery tickets I refuse to buy.  We'll see if it gets read out loud in the circle now won't we? :smileyvery-happy:

 

John S.

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StewiesMom
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Nice line of thought, Literature!  I had been thinking along similar lines about the mother, father and the dead baby, only I just couldn't connect anyone to the possibility.  You've made a connection I'll ponder for awhile. :smileyhappy:

 

 

literature wrote:

Actually I never thought of replying to my own posting but I had another thought here. 

 

At the very beginning in Part I, there's another reference to a person that might be applicable.  It's when the doctor is leaving the hospital, "changed from scrubs into his street clothes and he wore running shoes and a black leather jacket that didn't seem like the style of clothing a doctor would chose.  From a distance, the jacket made him look like a teenager..."  We know this timeframe and the timeframe from Gillian's chapter, but we do not know the timeframe of the paragraph below.  Just a thought.

 

Literature

 

literature wrote:

The Preface begins "The house is set on a hillside, with a long driveway that leads up to it and disappears around the back...you would barely make out the truck as it comes around the side of the house, as it heads down the driveway.  A figure cuts across the sloping front lawn and starts down the driveway, towards the road.  It's probably a woman (?), but she's dressed in black, and almost invisible in the dark."

 

Then we jump to page 55 / Gillian "The Dirt road that led to Gillian's house ran perilously between a steep hillside and the edge of the marsh.  It was so narrow and so tortuous and so desolate that no one who didn't know for sure would believe that there was a house at the end of it.  Gillian could have driven it blindfolded.  She knew the curves..." 

 

At this point, all we can do is speculate what the author has in mind and it won't be the obvious.  Could Paul have gone up to the house to get away from everything, been asleep in one of the rooms, Gillian gone up to the house with a friend or a friend met her there unbeknown to her that Paul was there and then Paul witnessed something?  Up to the end of the chapter on Chris, we know that Paul doesn't drive.  Or, could Jerry have planned to surprise Gillian at the house (against Gillian's wishes) and Gillian came up with or had someone meet her there and it was Jerry who raced down the driveway in the truck and her lover at the front door or vice versa?

 

 

As far as the couple that lost their baby and went on to have two sons, the only characters so far with two sons are Joe and Chris, but Chris's boys are too young.  Joe grew up in NYC and could have Joe and his first wife been in the hospital where Nancy's father was practicing?

 

 

 

 

"Tact, my dear"..."is merely a ploy of the unimaginative." - Bernard in Corinne Demas' "The Writing Circle"
"My life is my own, and the opinions of others don't interest me..." — Carroll John Daly**
**This is not necessarily true, I just love the quote!**
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kpatton
Posts: 206
Registered: ‎11-27-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Outstanding question.  I think it is Nancy's story.  Not sure why, but since she is the writer joining the circle and so far hasn't had a chance to share any of her writing, it makes me think it is hers.  I also eliminate the poetry writers.  I actually had forgotten this introduction to the novel.  It was good to go back and reread it and be reminded that it may have something to do with the rest of the story.

 

I certainly makes you think that danger awaits the woman in the story, does it mean something that will happen to one of the characters?  Something that already has happened? 

 

I tend to be a reader that reads each page and chapter and doesn't try to figure things out or predict.  I like the surprise when it happens.

 

Kathy

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Sunltcloud
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Rachel said this in the "Circle" thread:

 

I think Dick Smollet was awarded a MacArthur "genius" award, which is a prize of something like a half million dollars and probably worth more than that in chest-puffing. 

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

 

2-On p. 73, Chris refers to Dick Smollett and says he nabbed a MacArthur...does anyone know what that means?

 

 

 

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Sunltcloud
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

The only way I can envision a "new order" in libraries and in the minds of readers in general is by looking back at devices or procedures no longer in use, and admire the ease with which young people have taken to their modern replacements. And when I see the question mark on my granddaughter's face as I occasionally spread butter on my toast (she has never tasted real butter) I realize that my old world order has disappeared and with it the freshly-churned yellow unsalted butter that was a part of my childhood. I must obey doctor's orders now, but I will forever taste and cherish the rich yet simple flavor of a slab of homemade bread, fresh butter, and gooseberry jam. There is happiness in them there food memories as there is happiness in remembering childhood books.

 

Now, take the telegram for instance. In 1964 I informed my parents about the birth of my daughter by telegram. Telegrams are obsolete. Today there is almost instant access to images of a newborn on facebook, youtube etc.

 

Or, I think I mentioned it somewhere else, look at pay phones. More and more are taken out. My granddaughter would probably ask a complete stranger to use his/her cell phone if hers were not functioning properly,  instead of searching for a pay phone.

 

And....the photographic film is saying farewell too. I am a photographer; I used to have my own darkroom. I loved the smell of the chemicals I mixed. I loved the emergence of a face in the developer. I spent many hours in virtual darkness bringing to life those details that are now available instantly in my camera and can be enhanced on my computer. I still go to exhibits of black and white Ansel Adams prints and I still admire those coffee table books I bought many years ago. But I also like to play around with photo shop; I love new software that allows me instant scrapbooking. I adore Shutterfly and have bought several books from them after I combined my own text and digital photographs onto their colorful backgrounds. 

 

I almost assume that after another generation or two text books will be a thing of the past and young students will have no problem with studying by using electronic devices. It is that generation that will no longer yearn to flip the pages of a book. We "oldtimers" (I mean those of us who have lived with REAL books all our lives) will always look at our first editions with loving eyes. We will cling to the piles of books we have accumulated while we fill our nooks and Kindles and netbooks and laptops and ipads and iphones with new reading material.

 

Sometimes I feel as if we are living double lives. One foot in the electronic age, but an airplane ride away I am back in the "old world." My daughter spent some time in Laos where she helped distribute books to children who had never had a book of their own. They are just beginning to enjoy reading books for pleasure.

And while my friends in Germany love their handys (cell phones) I know of no one who reads books on it.  But the pace is picking up here and I don't want to be left behind. Though I still print out emails now and then "to get a better look at them" :smileyhappy:  I try to pay attention to the frown I get for leaving a paper trail. And I certainly don't want to wake up one morning to the news that my local library has been converted to a digital lending station, without being prepared to catch their digital data flow.

 

PS. As to storing casual reads and important ones, I will probably soon store them on separate SDcards. I imagine there will always be classics as there are classics now, whether on paper - bound in leather or laying around as dog-eared paperback - computer, or in the form of an as yet not imagined intelligence.

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

4-This thought made me wonder about the permanent effect of ebooks and reading devices in perpetuity. Libraries will surely not look like the libraries of today. Will there be shelves of discs or shelves of nooks or kindles or some other devices? Will knowledge be perceived in the same way and will books ever become classics again. I have some first editions that I treasure. How could I treasure an ebook? Would I want to reread it? Where would I store it for the future so it was not mingled with my more casual reads?

 

I guess I really just love the feeling of the solid book in my hands. I love the fact that I can keep it and pick it up whenever I choose. I love the fact that I can refer back to some page or passage. I can't perceive of using an ebook that way...but then, I couldn't perceive of using a cell phone and yet it has replaced the landline! Perhaps we get used to everything, in time. :smileyhappy:

 

 

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: First Impressions

Thank you so much for that info. I followed up and checked it out. It was quite an honor as it is nicknamed "the genius award".

 

Sunltcloud wrote:

Rachel said this in the "Circle" thread:

 

I think Dick Smollet was awarded a MacArthur "genius" award, which is a prize of something like a half million dollars and probably worth more than that in chest-puffing. 

 

 

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

 

2-On p. 73, Chris refers to Dick Smollett and says he nabbed a MacArthur...does anyone know what that means?