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TudorRose
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎01-31-2010

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I am really enjoying the book so far and can't wait to read the last third to see where all this is leading and who the three characters are in the Prologue.  (Nancy/Gillian/Paul?  That is my current theory).  However, I just don't seem to be as into this middle part of the book as I was with the first third.  I feel like we haven't really learned anything new about the major characters in the novel.  It feels like a bit of the same-old, same-old for me.  We do learn more about Paul, even though he isn't a major character at this point, which makes me think that he will figure more prominently at the end of the book.  Gillian is still repulsive but intriguing at the same time.  Nancy, Chris and Virginia are probably my favorite characters at this point in the novel.  It seems that we have a split in the writer's circle between characters that are completely self-absorbed and those that are more sensitive to the feelings/motivations of others.  (Bernard/Gillian/Adam vs. Nancy/Virginia/Chris) Rachel and Paul are caught between these groups and have to figure out how to navigate this contradicting relationships.  I think this is played out in their homes.  Virginia and Nancy have very comfortable, family oriented homes.  I think they are showing a little bit of who they are and what is important to them.  Bernard and Virginia have more cold/sterile homes that give them the opportunity to hide their true selves.  They always keep something of their true natures hidden/withdrawn.  Adam's place is a mess, just like he is.  Confused, jumbled, mismatched.  But, he is young and his identity is still in flux.

 

I hate that Paul is feeling so isolated and alone.  As a mom, I want to take him under my wing. He desperately needs a loving and secure family environment which he isn't likely to get with Jerry and Gillian.  I don't know why his mother would agree to let him live with them.  I think this is why Paul walks to his old house.  He wants to reconnect with a time where he felt loved and part of a family as opposed to the loneliness and confusion he is experiencing.

 

The other thing that worries me about Paul is his relationship with Gillian.  She is certainly controlling and manipulative, even with his relationship with Jerry.  He seems to need her validation and approval, maybe even more than his father's.  It seems like she uses the fallout of his plagiarism incident at school as leverage against him.  I think there is more to this relationship than has been revealed to this point.  I hope he isn't involved in the driveway scene at the beginning of the book, but I think he will be.

 

I also don't understand how Bernard fails to see how his little announcement at Thanksgiving is affecting Rachel and Virginia.  You would think that after he found out about his daughter's pregnancy a little light bulb would have gone off, hmmm, maybe that is why they have been so upset/distant with me.  Rachel is a very sweet/maternal character.  I hope all ends well with her part in the story.

 

Sorry if this post is a little scattered or disjointed, but it is getting late and it is time to turn off the nook and get some sleep!

 

Hope you all have a great week.:smileyhappy:

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

 

maxcat wrote:

Twj, I don't think that is the driveway in question. The scene is only familiar as Aimee drives away down the driveway. I think the driveway in the preface was at Gillian's house in Truro.

 

 maxcat...I never thought of that until I read your post..food for thought..Susan Vtc

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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krb2g
Posts: 289
Registered: ‎02-05-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I was interested in the case of plagiarism. I really appreciated the way that Rachel stood up for Paul. It wasn't clear to me, entirely, why he plagiarized in the first place (I felt the wanting to be friends reason felt a little weak, and I wasn't sure why he both allowed a friend to cheat AND plagiarized material from the internet--it felt like overkill, and a little bizarre). Still, the strangest part of the scene was Gillian's response. I'm going to quote parts of it here: 

 

"Paul," she said, "we don't really understand what could have motivated you to do something so"--she paused for a second, not so much to search for the perfect word as to lay emphasis on it--"so dishonorable," she said. "It's puzzling to both of us, since it seems previously you had been doing perfectly acceptable work in that class. And it's particularly distressing to me, since you live here, with me, and should know to value the words of any writer. The Internet may make things easy, but it's no excuse."

 

"If you ever borrow anything from another writer,"  said Gillian, "you need to transform it, make it better. You need to make it yours." (my page numbers change when I resize the text, but these selections are at the end of Paul's second section).

 

I find this exchange troubling for a few reasons. First, I feel like Jerry should have been taking the lead here--it felt a little like he was passing the buck to Gillian. Second, Gillian makes it all about herself: the problem, in her eyes, is as much that the incident reflects poorly on her as anything. Finally, I worry about Gillian's ideas of what constitutes fair borrowing. In some senses, she's right. When I quote other authors, for example, in critical essays, I quote in order to make the work more clear, to show hidden connections, or to marshal evidence in support of my own arguments. I consider writing collaborative, essentially; for me, the difference between collaboration and plagiarism lies in attribution. But, when explaining to my classes what constitutes plagiarism, I would never leave it where Gillian does. She gives a good description of what a good quotation can do, but then she never says anything about attribution, citing, or credit. And while many works that I love are made better by allusions to what has been written before (just think of The Waste Land, for example), this passage makes me nervous.

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BethAnnH
Posts: 29
Registered: ‎05-04-2010

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I enjoyed the middle chapters.  I feel we learned a little more about each character, by learning about their past and how they interact with their families and how they live. I feel the homes reflect the characters very well, Virginia's was some what of a surprise in how "messy" it was.  In need of paint job, shutter askew, plants out of control, etc. But she seems to be attentive to her children,so is this saying she has her priorities in the right place, or that I've read her wrong so far, not sure on that one.

 

I think Paul goes to his old house, because it was the last time he felt secure within the family. I loved how he described looking out the small mullioned window, and also how he could look through the walnut spindles of the stair railings so could see most of the house.  I think this reflects how Paul feels. Always on the outside looking in, never really belonging or being part of. How sad that he said his parents never come to his room I was also thinking of how the room was described as being on the lowest level with a basement smell that could not be removed. Another notch against Gillian for putting the kids there. In some ways he seems anti-social and I'm concerned where is character may be headed.  

 

Gillian is for me still the "Evil Witch" of the story.  When she made the statement "As for next year, she knew if she suggested Paul return to live with his mother, Jerry would agree. What she didn't want twas Paul, on his own choosing Linda over them"   she has serious control issue. I wonder what/who hurt her so bad in the past.  She may not want Paul, but she doesn't want him choosing someone else over her. I feel she is playing the same game with Adam, she doesn't want him choosing Kim over her, even if she really doesn't want him. Jealousy...or Control?  

 

 

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jbg78
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Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I enjoyed learning about the houses of the characters.  The houses do lead to major clues into the personal psychic of each of the individuals. 

 

I thought the Thanksgiving dinner scene was very funny in an uncomfortable way.  I have been at some of those Thanksgiving dinners.  The kind where there is suppose to be a big happy family moment that great twisted into a big family drama. The scene in the book was very well done. 

 

I am feeling very sorry for Paul :smileysad:.  He seems like a very confused teenager.  He could really use a friend, and instead he has Gillian and his father.

A book is like a garden carried in the pocket. ~Chinese Proverb~
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Sherry_Young
Posts: 48
Registered: ‎09-02-2009

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

I am struggling with the direction of the book at this point, too. I feel it is becoming more like a soap opera. On more than one occasion I have distracted myself with that question and have re-read parts.

 

That aside I do want to keep reading just to see where this leads.

 

Amanda-Louise wrote:

NANCY

 

Reading how Nancy developed the idea for her story made me wonder what on earth is the point of the book?  Is there a story?  This chapter did nothing for me.  It just showed that something is going on with Gillian & Adam (aside from the liaison when they last met).

 

RACHEL

 

There are way too many disjointed characters in here for me!  I can appreciate the '6 degrees' thing, but it's a bit too contrived for me.

 

PAUL

 

I'm really having trouble finding the thread in the novel.  I suppose perhaps it's the Leopardi Circle, but there seems that there are so many frayed bits of the thread hanging around.

 

VIRGINIA

 

Having trouble (again) caring about this Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I did find the announcement rather humorous.  Coming from a large family with a bunch of various permutations of siblings, these sorts of things happen around our dinner table all the time. 

 

ADAM

 

I see that the characters are interacting on a personal level through the discussion of their work.  However, is there a way to reveal the same information without having to read somewhat enticing tidbits of books we'll never have the satisfaction of reading?

 

GILLIAN

 

She's a bit odd and sneaky, splitting Adam and Kim apart at the start of the party.  She called Adam self-absorbed in the last chapter, but I certainly find her to be.  Wanting Adam at the party so he would see her lavish house. 

 

BERNARD

 

The drama seems a bit unrealistic.  Aimee has been labeled as jealous, but she seems too level-headed to explode like that.  To just decide to leave him for things he's done in his past (and to leave while she's pregnant).  Just doesn't seem overly likely for her.   It also seemed a bit of an odd place to stop the first part.

 

 

NANCY

 

This seemed a long chapter just to tell us that Nancy's father didn't like her first husband, Aimee really did leave Bernard and to foreshadow a 'possible treachery'.

 

-----

 

As much as this section didn't do much for me, I do like the book.  I should say I'm enjoying the book.  It's relatively short so it's not too much of a time investment to see where this all goes.  I just wish there were less words to say things, and that there would be more fleshing out of characters so that I could get more emotionally involved with them. I just find that I come back to them and I can't really remember what I thought about them the last time I encountered them.

 

 

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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dhaupt
Posts: 11,843
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

I agree with many of you here who have said that they liked the middle chapters better than the beginning. Maybe it's because I'm getting used to the writing style, maybe because I'm finally feeling closer to the characters. Whatever the reason I did enjoy these chapters better.

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pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

 

dhaupt wrote:

I agree with many of you here who have said that they liked the middle chapters better than the beginning. Maybe it's because I'm getting used to the writing style, maybe because I'm finally feeling closer to the characters. Whatever the reason I did enjoy these chapters better.

 

 

I was thinking about this. I like the middle better too.

For me it was because the characters lives were starting to relate to each other. There was a wedding, a christmas party, thanksgiving dinner. Rachel had Paul at her school. Chris caused trouble with Aimee and Bernard. There are more instances of this. The first section only the writing circle brought characters together.

pen21

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Sanderson1216
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

We've seen the homes of most of our characters: How to they reflect the characters themselves, their lifestyles, their personalities, their desires?

 

The characters homes directly reflect their lifestyles and personalities. Describing their homes is another way for the author to provide us with an insight into these characters.

 

Who has most surprised you in these chapters? Are there characters you were entirely wrong about? Who did you have pegged from first introduction?

 

Chris is surprising me the most at this point in the book. Although from the beginning, I've seen him as being arrogant within the Circle, I'm beginning to sympathize with him concerning the failure of his marriage and his relationship with his children. My impression about Gillian's character has not changed since the beginning of the book. I find her character to be cold and I don't find her sympathetic at all.

 

Why does Paul walk all the way to his old house after talking with Rachel at The Academy? How does Paul fit in at school? How do you judge his actions?

 

I feel sorry for Paul. He doesn't seem to fit in at school or at his father's home. I make a point to say "his father's home", because it isn't a place that Paul considers "home".

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kaylami
Posts: 46
Registered: ‎03-10-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

I think you both are spot on to my feelings about this book.  I was trying to find the words, but you did if for me.  Thanks!

Sherry_Young wrote:

I am struggling with the direction of the book at this point, too. I feel it is becoming more like a soap opera. On more than one occasion I have distracted myself with that question and have re-read parts.

 

That aside I do want to keep reading just to see where this leads.

 

Amanda-Louise wrote:

NANCY

 

Reading how Nancy developed the idea for her story made me wonder what on earth is the point of the book?  Is there a story?  This chapter did nothing for me.  It just showed that something is going on with Gillian & Adam (aside from the liaison when they last met).

 

RACHEL

 

There are way too many disjointed characters in here for me!  I can appreciate the '6 degrees' thing, but it's a bit too contrived for me.

 

PAUL

 

I'm really having trouble finding the thread in the novel.  I suppose perhaps it's the Leopardi Circle, but there seems that there are so many frayed bits of the thread hanging around.

 

VIRGINIA

 

Having trouble (again) caring about this Thanksgiving dinner.  However, I did find the announcement rather humorous.  Coming from a large family with a bunch of various permutations of siblings, these sorts of things happen around our dinner table all the time. 

 

ADAM

 

I see that the characters are interacting on a personal level through the discussion of their work.  However, is there a way to reveal the same information without having to read somewhat enticing tidbits of books we'll never have the satisfaction of reading?

 

GILLIAN

 

She's a bit odd and sneaky, splitting Adam and Kim apart at the start of the party.  She called Adam self-absorbed in the last chapter, but I certainly find her to be.  Wanting Adam at the party so he would see her lavish house. 

 

BERNARD

 

The drama seems a bit unrealistic.  Aimee has been labeled as jealous, but she seems too level-headed to explode like that.  To just decide to leave him for things he's done in his past (and to leave while she's pregnant).  Just doesn't seem overly likely for her.   It also seemed a bit of an odd place to stop the first part.

 

 

NANCY

 

This seemed a long chapter just to tell us that Nancy's father didn't like her first husband, Aimee really did leave Bernard and to foreshadow a 'possible treachery'.

 

-----

 

As much as this section didn't do much for me, I do like the book.  I should say I'm enjoying the book.  It's relatively short so it's not too much of a time investment to see where this all goes.  I just wish there were less words to say things, and that there would be more fleshing out of characters so that I could get more emotionally involved with them. I just find that I come back to them and I can't really remember what I thought about them the last time I encountered them.

 

 

 

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midgefrazel
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

I am sure [as I a Mayflower descendant] that many Americans have just such a difficult time at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Just like the forefathers, we simply do not always get along.It was a great scene. I read it twice.

 

This helped set the tone for the chapters to come.

 

I am enjoying the book much more now that I have changed how I feel about the writers in the group. As a writer of non-fiction I have never turned to peers for any feedback. Having the editor and the publisher involved was enough for me. (Note to self: never write fiction!)

 

The opening part of the novel is beginning to make sense.

 

Midge

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Goodword
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎01-04-2010

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

This part of the novel was more enjoyable than the first.  I enjoyed the banter of the authors in the writing group and getting deeper into the character's lives.

 

The writers' homes impressed me with their personalities.  Adam's seems like a grad school student's apartment, but with Stickley chairs--good taste in furniture.  Is he building his collection a piece at a time, easing from the shabby apartment into a tasteful home--and will he make that transition in his life?  I was surprised at first at the description of Virginia's house--I'd expected her to be a careful garnener--why would I think that?  It was reassuring that her plants are overgrown and her home comfortable.  Even though I absolutely support Aimee's right to make the changes she wanted to in the house, I cringed at the thought of painting the wood.  

 

At first, it didn't bother me that Gillian had put Paul in the basement of the house--I can imagine many teens would enjoy that independence--because I assumed that she and Jerry had only been married a short time.  Her relationship with Paul didn't bother me--I wouldn't expect her to be best friends with her husband's teenage children from a previous marriage.  Paul has an opportunity to go to a private school because of Gillian.  While the way she talks to Paul may seem awkward, I think she just has no experience dealing with teens, and simply doesn't know how to relate, so, for her, sharing a story about her youth may feel as if she is reaching out, giving a gift.  Then I realized that Gillian and Paul have been married for some time--Paul's mother had been concerned that the children were two floors away should they become sick and call out for help in the night.  That detail changed my perspective quite a bit.  Apparently Gillian has known Paul and his sister since they were children and perhaps could be expected to have a warmer relationship with them by this point. 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

 

Goodword wrote:

This part of the novel was more enjoyable than the first.  I enjoyed the banter of the authors in the writing group and getting deeper into the character's lives.

 

The writers' homes impressed me with their personalities.  Adam's seems like a grad school student's apartment, but with Stickley chairs--good taste in furniture.  Is he building his collection a piece at a time, easing from the shabby apartment into a tasteful home--and will he make that transition in his life?  I was surprised at first at the description of Virginia's house--I'd expected her to be a careful garnener--why would I think that?  It was reassuring that her plants are overgrown and her home comfortable.  Even though I absolutely support Aimee's right to make the changes she wanted to in the house, I cringed at the thought of painting the wood.  

 

At first, it didn't bother me that Gillian had put Paul in the basement of the house--I can imagine many teens would enjoy that independence--because I assumed that she and Jerry had only been married a short time.  Her relationship with Paul didn't bother me--I wouldn't expect her to be best friends with her husband's teenage children from a previous marriage.  Paul has an opportunity to go to a private school because of Gillian.  While the way she talks to Paul may seem awkward, I think she just has no experience dealing with teens, and simply doesn't know how to relate, so, for her, sharing a story about her youth may feel as if she is reaching out, giving a gift.  Then I realized that Gillian and Paul have been married for some time--Paul's mother had been concerned that the children were two floors away should they become sick and call out for help in the night.  That detail changed my perspective quite a bit.  Apparently Gillian has known Paul and his sister since they were children and perhaps could be expected to have a warmer relationship with them by this point. 

 

Dear Goodword.I  like the way for put it all together ..It was all rolling around in my head,but you were able to concisely post it.Thank you..Susan Vtc..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Cycling_Chef
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Registered: ‎09-02-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

The middle section of this book dragged a bit for me. I found the stories about the secondary characters were not as interesting as the primary characters and made this many-charactered novel a bit harder to follow. I did not like the part of Adam's reading of his novel and then the critique by the writing circle. Adam's novel excerpt was too long for me. I did not want to invest energy getting my head around characters of his novel, too. Once I got past the assigned reading section the story picked up and I was eager to finish the novel to find out how it ends.

Nallia
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

We've seen the homes of most of our characters: How to they reflect the characters themselves, their lifestyles, their personalities, their desires?

 

The homes were about what I expected for each of the characters.  Virginia's overgrown landscaping reiterated how litte she cares about appearances.  Nancy's home is warm and inviting, and the preparations she made for the first meeting she hosted reflect her kindness and gernerosity, and the insecurity she feels with the Leopardi Circle.  Gillian's home is a mirror of her own insecurities and self absorption.  It has been mentioned that she grew up in a poor family, and she seems desperately concerned with pretending her humble beginning didn't exist.


Who has most surprised you in these chapters? Are there characters you were entirely wrong about? Who did you have pegged from first introduction?

 

There have been no surprises for me so far.  Aimee's reaction at the party didn't surprise me; the seeds were sown in the early Bernard chapter when we are shown the little manipulations Aimee performs to try to keep him from (or to at least try to make him feel guilty about) going to the Leopardi Circle meeting.

 

I was also completely unsurprised by Bernard announcing Aimee's pregnancy during Thanksgiving dinner.  So much effort was put into talking about how excited Rachel was to be sharing the news of her own pregnancy, and how precarious and volatile relations are with Bernard that I knew Rachel's announcement couldn't go smoothly.  The announcement about Aimee's pregnancy was very predictable and cliché to me.

 

Why does Paul walk all the way to his old house after talking with Rachel at The Academy? How does Paul fit in at school? How do you judge his actions?

 

Unfortunately, Paul's father and Gillian care little about Paul's actual feelings or issues.  They are very wrapped up in themselves and how Paul's actions reflect on them.  Gillian reinforces her self-centerdness when we are told that she doesn't care if Paul returns to live with his mother, that she only cares that he not be the one to make that decision for himself.

 

While I am enjoying reading about each character's life, I am having a bit of trouble staying interested in this book, because I still have no real idea what the plot line is two thirds of the way through.  I have no clear sense of the actual antagonists and protagonists, and how they will clash.  I hope something major happens soon, because it is feeling a bit too drawn out for such a short novel.

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BookLovingBeachBum
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I am enjoying the middle part of the book much more than the first part.

 

I am still confused on how Paul fits in to the story. I am enoying his chapters but think they may not need to be included. Also with  Rachel I think we could have seen some of her interactions with the family thru Virginia or Bernard. I am hoping in the end this will come together.

 

 

 

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maxcat
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy") - my thoughts

I agree, pen, the middle chapters were a bit more organized although at times, it became to wordy and trivial as far as describing things. Alot of that could be cut out so one can move on with the story.

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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nfam
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

I can't say any of the characters surprised me. I did think Bernard acted tastelessly by announcing his baby's arrival at the Thanksgiving dinner, but knowing how insensitive Bernard is, it wasn't a surprise. 

 

Gillian continues to be the heavy. I almost find her too evil. She's obviously a very talented writer and has managed to make her husband, at least, dote on her. She much have some good qualities, but we don't see them in this story. 

 

I'm eager to see how all these pieces fit together for the conclusion. The people seem quite self-absorbed. I wonder what sort of difficulty brings them together. 

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EiLvReedn
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Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

We've seen the homes of most of our characters: How to they reflect the characters themselves, their lifestyles, their personalities, their desires?

Nancy's home is comfortable and safe and seems the most "homey" of all of them. I especially like the setting by the river. It seems like an appropriate spot for a writer.

Gillian & her husband's house just seems to be a show place so they can show off what they have. The description of Gillian's Christmas tree also makes me think she is determined to have everything she felt deprived of as a child. Gillian's escape cottage just seems weird and she acts so weird! A dead mouse in a can already and she freaks?! Really don't like her any better after the description of the house and party she &  he husband hosted.

Adam, still seems like a college kid so his place & having Kim over seems to fit well. He's unfinished, unsettled and that's the way his place is as well.

Bernard's home is all his wife's place. It doesn't seem to reflect him at all. He seems to me to be the type who would live under stacks of books and papers and wear all rumpled up clothes, etc. Like the absent minded professor.

Chris and Virginia are the 2 I really haven't gotten much of an impression on their homes yet. They seem to always be at someone else's place.


Who has most surprised you in these chapters?Paul, I really didn't expect him to get in trouble at school. I figured he was kind of a sad character and someone older at the school like the guy at the gymnasium might take him under his wing. He definitely needs a father figure (better one) or parents or someone who cares.

 Are there characters you were entirely wrong about?Adam, I never expected him to go gaga for Gillian. Eewww.

 Who did you have pegged from first introduction?Gillian, still don't like her but I guess someone needs to be the villain. It adds spice.

 

Why does Paul walk all the way to his old house after talking with Rachel at The Academy?I think he make have been trying to remember a time when things were good and he had a happy family place. How does Paul fit in at school?He really doesn't as I said before he seems kind of invisible and doesn't fit in with the kids. It's sad that he thought helping a bully would win him a friend.  How do you judge his actions?He's a kid. He's lost and he doesn't seem like he has anywhere to turn. But then again he is smart and should be able to realize he needs to find some help somewhere. I kind of thought he might open up to Rachel more. It frustrates me, but then again he's a kid. The author is doing a good job with his character.

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crazyakchick
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Registered: ‎12-26-2009

Re: The Writing Circle: Middle Chapters (Through "Nancy")

[ Edited ]

i think the characters' houses very much reflect who they are.  and now that i think about it, it especially fits bernard/aimee.  aimee painted the entire house, 'whitewashing' it in a sense, to make it hers, much like she did with bernard himself.  i like what bonnie_c wrote about gillian's putting the kids in the mildewed basement.  that is very typical gillian. 

 

if anything, this section made me like the likeable characters and dislike the unlikeable characters more.  i enjoyed reading more 'virginia', and i really like her; i think she's my favorite.  nancy is a nice woman, but sort of lackluster.  i was glad to see her speaking up in the writing circle. 

 

boy, gillian is just a piece of work, isn't she?  i know this has been mentioned before but i was disappointed in paul's dad when it came time to discipline paul for the incident at school and he just handed the whole thing over to gillian.  and that was nice of gillian, wasn't it, to make it ALL ABOUT HER????  i do wonder what she's playing at with adam - is he just another conquest?  more affirmation that she's the woman?  it was interesting to me that she wanted him to show up at the christmas party so he could see her house and see her with jerry.    

 

i'm not sure why bernard, after he found out about rachel's pregnancy, didn't make the connection that maybe she was going to announce at thanksgiving.  oh, wait, bernard is too self-absorbed to notice anything but himself, THAT'S why.  although i did laugh out loud when he had to stop himself from telling aimee he'd slept with gillian 'before she was born'.   

 

poor paul is just lost.  i don't know if HE knows why he went to his old house.  i think he's just looking for something to call home, and he doesn't have it in his life. 

 

after the few hints we got, i'm really interested to see how this all converges.