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Mysterylover1138
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I will say this, if you have gone through your life and you haven't known someone like each of the characters in this novel then you are living under a rock.  The characters are amazing and so well written.  I found myself actually thinking of friends of mine who were exactly like each of the characters.  

 

I think that in everyones life you go through a phase of wanting to reinvent yourself, and that is exactly what these characters are trying to do.  Gloria wants to reinvent herself as a flapper, Lorraine wants to be Gloria, Clara just wants to leave her past behind, and Marcus wants to go from girl hoping playboy to one man woman.  I believe that everyone wants to go through the transition and the reinvention of being someone else.  And this reinvention and this transition is what lets someone be free, because you just let yourself go and really get into who you want to be and you only focus on being that person.

 

The first section of the book was great, the second section was even better....can't wait for everyone to get through the whole book and we can discuss the whole novel.

 

So excited :smileyhappy:

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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144


MrsO2010 wrote:

I agree with Trish in that I really enjoy & appreciate how the chapters are divided amongst and the girls. Sometimes, I get in a tizzy when reading a book & want to skip ahead to see specifically what's going on with a particular character and I liked how the readily identifiable chapter titles facilitated that.  However, I was "good" and didn't do that in Vixen.  I've completed the book but will read again on pace w/ the discussion.  :-)


I love how the author switches viewpoints in the story.  It allows the reader to really get to know the three characters and it also creates a tension in the reader having to read through two chapters to get back to the thread of that character.  I think it is also interesting to see how one character miscontrues or misunderstands a situation or comment that one of the other girls made, adding to the tension of the story.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

That is an interesting theroy!  Maybe he saw her in New York, but she didn't see him or doesn't remember seeing him. 

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144


avalonpriestess wrote:

"Some interesting observations. I want to hear more about why you think of Marcus as being the character who is most free. "

 

 

Marcus 'appears' to be free, he doesn't seem to have a care in the world.  I'll bet it's just an act.  I think he's much deeper than the shallow 'let's have fun' guy he seems to be.

 

Donna


I agree.  I don't think Marcus is free at all.  He is caught up in his playboy image, but I think deep down that isn't who he really is.  In a way, he is just as caught up in societal expectations as the girls.  Maybe that is why he seems to be drawn to Clara, even though he is supposed to be setting her up.  He recognizes that part of himself that wants a simpler kind of life in her.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:

If you had to choose between a society marriage or life as a singer in a speakeasy, what would you choose?


Hands down, singer in a speakeasy!  In both roles you have to wear a mask, but the singer is really controlling their own choices.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:
I agree! Do you think he is as blind to Lorraine's advances as he seems to be?

avalonpriestess wrote:

 

Marcus 'appears' to be free, he doesn't seem to have a care in the world.  I'll bet it's just an act.  I think he's much deeper than the shallow 'let's have fun' guy he seems to be.

 


 


I think that Marcus knows that Lorraine isn't genuine and that is off putting to him.  Lorraine really is selfish and shallow, but Marcus uses his playboy image as a tool and a mask to keep people from getting to close.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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rebecca_herman
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]

1. Each of the characters seems to be trying to change their lives by manipulating their image. Gloria is a good girl interested in exploring the flapper lifestyle. Lorraine is her best friend who is jealous of Gloria and thinks she can get attention through a bad girl reputation and appearance. Then we have Clara who has a past living the high life as a flapper in New York City, but decides to adopt of the persona of 'Country Clara' when she comes to Chicago to help with Gloria's wedding. Why do you think each of these character is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 

I think all the characters do feel trapped in their life and want their lives to be different. Gloria is still so young and is already engaged to be married and I think she wants the freedom to be different and have fun since she is still young. And Clara I think is trying to escape her past probably. But I think ultimately changing your looks doesn't always help. But maybe it can give you the confidence to really change yourself.

 

 

2. The other thing that really struck me about this first section of Vixen is Gloria's first meeting with Jerome, a black piano player at the Green Mill speakeasy."'You're here because you think it makes you free,'" he tells her. "'Unlike the rest of your little schoolgirl friends, sneaking out without Daddy's permission. Listening to the black man play his music and dirty your lily white hands... But you ain't free, kid. You wouldn't know how to be free if your life depended on it.'" I'm very interested in hearing about what you think regarding 'freedom' in this novel. Does sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting one's hair make someone free? What constitutes freedom to you, and do any of the characters we've met so far have it?

 

To me freedom is having the real freedom to make your own choices and do what makes you happy. I think that might feel like freedom to Gloria at first but I think in the long run for true freedom you have to have the ability to make your own choices about what makes you happy in life not just temporarily escape somewhere like a speakeasy for a bit.

 

Anyway my predictions so far are that ultimately Gloria will decide not to marry her fiance. I also think Clara is running from someone or some big secret.

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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:

I think that it's interesting that the flapper fashions tend to imitate a boyish form, compared to what woman wore in the past: both the shorter hair and the flattened breasts. I wonder if there's a connection between these two kinds of freedoms?


Sarah, I think this kind of points back to your original question in whether "look" and "perception" can really change someone.  Maybe women at this time thought that if they dressed more like men with straighter silhouettes and flattened their curves, they would be treated more like men and awarded an equal status or freedom.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:

Interesting thought... I think it's part of what makes Vixen such a vivid read, but I hadn't thought to ask about the significance. Does anyone else have any thoughts about this?


StewiesMom wrote:

I'm not ready to answer the posted questions yet, but something did strike me as I read the first chapter of Vixen.  Colors play a huge part in Gloria's world.  The descriptions of many things in Chapter 1 seemed to include the exact hue of that thing.  I don't know why this stood out to me, but it did.  I haven't gone past chapter 4 yet, so I don't know if this is significant or not, but I find myself wondering why there are such vivid color descriptions, unless they hold value?


 


This is a very interesting point.  I hope we get some insight from Jillian on this.  I hadn't really thought about this aspect of the novel, but I did remember that the sight of Glo's pink bedroom almost made Clara physically sick.  I think that since colors are wavelengths of light, the tone or intensity of the color can give a clue or cue to the personality of the character.  I'm not being very clear, I know, but this is something I will be looking for as I finish the novel.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144


Sarah-W wrote:

I'm also loving the characters... but I have to admit I'm also a sucker for the fashion!


Me too!  I really "see" this book as a movie as I read.  I wonder if there will ever be a film version of Vixen, could be interesting.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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TudorRose
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144


halfpintlady wrote:

 

 

Lorraine is just a sad sap. I have to admit I'm glad I'm not a girl like her and that my mother raised me to be confident. She is so unhappy with herself! She really needs to stop comparing herself to Gloria. 

 

And then there is Clara. It was hard for me at first to see her trying to be a "good" girl. I want her to embrace who she is and be proud, but I get why she is trying to change. 

 

 


I think that Lorraine needs a hugh shot of self confidence.  That is what drives her misbehavior, she feels inadaquate and always needs to seem to be in control or on top.  I suspect that her parents aren't really there for her in a meaningful way and she is obviously starved for attention.

 

I think that Clara is beginning to like the country girl she is pretending to be.  I think that as the novel progresses she will be pretending a lot less.

 

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

If you had to choose between a society marriage or life as a singer in a speakeasy, what would you choose?

 

well, if I have to choose between those two, I'd rather choose a society marriage. I'm don't really like parties or excitement, I'd prefer a quiet, unexciting life. And I'd like to have children and a family. But, if it wasn't just those 2 options, I'd rather be an ordinary middle class person, since then I might get more choice in who to marry, and have less expectations for perfect appearance, manners, etc.

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Infinitely
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

1. I think they were interested in changing their personas because they wanted to be someone else.  Someone they have always heard about and always wanted to be and never were.  They did it for different reasons but in the end it came down to wanting to be someone different then what they were before.  So far I think they are partially successful but they still have a long way to go.  That is especially apparent when Gloria goes to the speakeasy and is shown by Maude that she isnt a flapper and that so far she doesn't belong no matter how much she wants too.  Her cousin does a good job on starting to change her persona to others around her because Gloria never suspects her cousin's true backround.  Changing their looks starts to change their lives in small ways such as Gloria sneaking out and Clara mingling with the society debutantes without them suspecting a thing about their past. 

 

2.  I think freedom is the ability to be the person you truly want to be.  Not having to go with what society says you need too.  If this means sneaking out and going to speakeasys then thats what you need to do.  But that doesn't mean you should do it just to do it.  You should do what makes you free for the simple fact that it gives you freedom.  I think that's what Gloria is starting to look for and realize while she is talking to Jerome especially during the audition. 

 

I would write predictions but since I have finished the book I'm afraid of writing a spoiler so I'm going to keep quiet :smileyvery-happy:!  I did enjoy the book immensely even though the beginning was a little slow for me.  After the first couple chapters though, I couldn't stop reading! 

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julz_b
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Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I think all the young ladies have come to a turning point in their lives whether self inflicted or lead by society. Gloria is feeling her world closing in with her impending nuptials. She feels the need to let her hair down—or chop it off—and taste a bit of life that she will never be a part of after she is married. Because of her status in society, I don’t believe she will truly be free. Lorraine is feeling pushed out of Gloria’s life and feeling hurt. She just needs to let it go and do her own thing. She wants her life to stay the comfortable place it always has been—her and Gloria. She wants to pull Gloria back in to their childhood. Clara is doing her best to change her image and is succeeding. I think if she can stay away from her old habits and this mystery person from her past, she will do well. Out of the three ladies, I think she has the best opportunity for change.

 

I don’t think sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances, or cutting your hair off make you free. I believe this is more of a in-the-moment kind of freedom that they had reached for. I think cutting all ties and never looking back or truly not regretting your decision you have made, whether good or bad ones, is true freedom. Although I would love to see Clara’s true colors come out, she is the only one aim towards pure freedom—not go to boarding school, not falling back into her scandalous life, trying to be a better person.

 

I am very surprised I like this book—not my usual genre… I love the secretive speakeasy, prohibition storyline in this book. Very interesting. I’m not sure what will happen to the characters, but I do know that I want to see Clara turn some heads and make jaws drop. I do like her. I also like the forbidden lust thing with Gloria and Jerome. I think it is more of a ‘want what I cannot have thing or ‘how far can I push this before I get caught’ thing. Lorraine is more or less the monkey wrench in the story. She makes the story interesting at times but also annoying on other occasions.

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Kristine7887
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]

I really enjoy how these three characters are all trying to recreate themselves for the different points they are in their lives. While they are all about the same age, they like any other teenagers have grown up with different experiences. We have Clara, trying to change because of her past, Lorraine trying to change because of her present, and Gloria trying to change because of her future.

 

As terrible as this reality is, no matter what time period you live in, the way society thinks of you always has been, and always will be based on the way you look. By changing the way they dress, their hairstyle, etc., it helps them to fit in with the people they want approving of them. Clara seems to have everyone fooled that she's just an innocent country girl. You can tell that deep down the flapper wants to show, but she has incredible self control. She even has her aunt approving of her at this point. Lorraine is not successful at all. She goes way over the top with trying to change her image and has everyone looking down on her. Gloria is definitely breaking free from her rich girl lifestyle, but she doesn't have people in the flapper scene convinced, especially Jerome.

 

As far as whether or not they're getting this freedom they're looking for goes, I believe for that time period, they are accomplishing freedom. They are forcing themselves out there and doing things that women aren't allowed to do, or what they're not supposed to be doing.  Individually though,Clara has already lived the freedom, and now she's pretty much looking to be sheltered and to be a proper lady. Lorraine doesn't have freedom. She's too wrapped up in herself and what she needs to do to get everyone's approval. She seems to be physically free, but not mentally free. Gloria on the other hand, also isn't free yet. She's still engaged to a man she doesn't want to be, and she's almost living a double life at this point in the book.

 

So far I am really enjoying this book. My predictions are that Gloria is not going to marry Sebastian, Lorraine is going to ruin her friendship with Gloria in one way or another (probably by revealing her secrets), and Clara's past life is going to eventually be revealed to everyone for better or worse (possibly because of the letters she keeps receiving).

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taraw4
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I’m not sure what will happen to the characters, but I do know that I want to see Clara turn some heads and make jaws drop. I do like her. I also like the forbidden lust thing with Gloria and Jerome. I think it is more of a ‘want what I cannot have thing or ‘how far can I push this before I get caught’ thing. Lorraine is more or less the monkey wrench in the story. She makes the story interesting at times but also annoying on other occasions.

 

I agree with this.  I am enjoying getting to know Gloria and Clara's characters.  I am curious to see what will happen with Clara later in the story.  She is playing her new role so well, but in the very beginning of the story it didn't sound like that is truly what she wanted for her life.  She wanted to sneak of and try to catch a train back to New York.  I also want to know more about the guy who must have broken her heart and see what role that may play.

 

As for Gloria, I hope she gets caught.  She is obviously feeling torn and now feels trapped because of the impending divorce.  Even if it is not true freedom that she is finding in this new lifestyle it may be more her than she would ever find with Sebastian and if she does not get caught she will have no choice but to marry him and live with that lifestyle.  Getting caught may be her only out. 

 

Lorraine I am just not sure of.  In the first chapter about her, she seemed very supportive of Gloria with helping to get her haircut.  After that her insecurities and jealousy are a little bit much.  She is awkward with Marcus and his impression of her is unclear to me.

 

I think that although this is definitely set in a time period that had so many restrictions and rules for these young girls, that can be seen for anyone during anytime period. I think that this book is easy to relate to as everyone at something has those feelings of wanting to change themselves and make a fresh start.  Trying to recreate oneself to find freedom.  But my feeling is that no matter how hard one tries to change themselves the core of who they are remains the same and they will most likely end up where they were always going to be.   

 

 

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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

So, it seems that I'm in the minority here: I'm not a huge fan of this book yet. I'm finding the dialogue clunky (I kept stopping as I was reading, and thinking that people don't really talk like that [and no, it was not the 1920s slang that threw me off--I think that the author has perhaps the strongest control of that register of speech]). I also think the plot a bit contrived--the speakeasy scenes seem off to me, and the parents' divorce also strikes me as implausible in context.

 

But, I will say, I think Clara's the most fun character because she's having such a great time pretending to be Country Cousin Clara. Lorraine's a little snake in the grass who has no sense of appropriate timing (between throwing herself at Marcus and using the flask at Gloria's party). She's acting out of insecurity, but I doubt it will end well for her.

 

I've yet to see anyone really free in this book: what society (mostly through the person of Gloria's mom, Bea) controls in the upper-crust world Gloria's been born into, it seems that the mob controls in the speakeasy: after Gloria's first visit, she's determined to cut her hair so she can fit in.

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Vermontcozy
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144


rebecca_herman wrote:

If you had to choose between a society marriage or life as a singer in a speakeasy, what would you choose?

 

well, if I have to choose between those two, I'd rather choose a society marriage. I'm don't really like parties or excitement, I'd prefer a quiet, unexciting life. And I'd like to have children and a family. But, if it wasn't just those 2 options, I'd rather be an ordinary middle class person, since then I might get more choice in who to marry, and have less expectations for perfect appearance, manners, etc.


Definitely a "Society Marriage" But the man that I would marry,would have to be up to Going out to  a Speakeasy as well..I need that balance in my life   ;  )and surely we could do that..Then have a "Lawn Party" which reminds me of The Great Gatsby:".I think in That world it was all about Appearances..Not that different from today..I am loving "Vixen" because It has stirred up some good discussion's.and Welcome New BNers..Its been so comfortable posting and reading everyones Ideas...Thanks Sarah -W our Moderator    for your openended questions..A great mix of Readers..Susan Vtc  

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All-Things-Stephen-King
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

[ Edited ]

 

rebecca_herman wrote:

If you had to choose between a society marriage or life as a singer in a speakeasy, what would you choose?

 

well, if I have to choose between those two, I'd rather choose a society marriage. I'm don't really like parties or excitement, I'd prefer a quiet, unexciting life. And I'd like to have children and a family. But, if it wasn't just those 2 options, I'd rather be an ordinary middle class person, since then I might get more choice in who to marry, and have less expectations for perfect appearance, manners, etc.


 

I would choose speakeasy singer hands down and this is why. 

 

If I didn't love the person to whom I was supposed to marry, all the money, children, or fame wouldn't be worth it to me.   I couldn't imagine living a fake life, it would go against everything I believe in.   A lackluster, loveless life is not for me.  I feel your heart and soul become marred if you choose money over anything else.  Money will come, maybe not to the degree it would have but if you are smart and fall in love all things are possible. 

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mv5ocean
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

It is definitely an interesting observation that all 3 of the girls are trying to change their image---the old grass is always greener story! Additionally, I haven't read ahead so this is just an observation, I think Marcus might be trying to be someone else as well.

By saying that I mean he has always been the person girls gravitate to and he simply uses that to his advantage. He might not even realize he is looking for something more substantial, but I think he is going to fall for Clara and she might either provide the stability he needs or break his heart..........can't really decide how it might play out. :smileyhappy:

I'm excited to see if that equation is even in the cards or if I'm totally going down the wrong path.

 

In regards to freedom, each girl is taking her opportunity to try out things new to them, be it becoming the "flapper" or becoming the "school girl".  In a sense that is a freedom to challenge themselves to step out of their shell and embrace something completely foreign to them.  But is it ultimately freedom.....................no.  They are still held captive by their own "demons"----such as Clara's secret, Lorraine's desire for Marcus, and Gloria's doomed (I think) marriage.