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Carol_Ellen
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Registered: ‎10-12-2010

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

I am really enjoying this book so far.  It is very interesting to see rebellion in an era and society so different from our own.  When one pictures their grandmother or great grandmother's generation, one usually can not picture any type of rebellion (except maybe if that older generation was a teen in the late 60s - 70s).  Also, what we usually equate with rebellion is usually in our frame of experience.  To the modern reader, the thought of listening to a black man's music being scandalous is laughable.

 

I don't believe that the girls are truly free because their actions are not things that make them free but rather are reactions to someone else's rules, so in a way the rules are still controlling them.  The only way to be free is to be happy with who you are and do things because you want to do them, not as a reaction to someone else's expectation of you.  If you do something solely to spite another, you are still allowing that person to have control over you.

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

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?

 

Sometimes just by changing your looks, you can change how you feel and behave, essentially becoming a different person.They each are running from something. Clara is running from her past. Lorraine is running from obscurity. Gloria is running from a doomed future. By remaking themselves over they each hope to be saved.

 

 

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?

Women had no freedom. They were ruled by their fathers and their uncles, and husbands and bosses-- heck, even their mothers. The speakeasy gave the girls a sense of freedom. They could shed the restrictive trappings of society and "be free".Even Jerome doesn't really seem free. He is ruled by the gangsters and by his skin. Marcus is probably the freest character I've seen yet. He's a blond, blue-eyed white male. Who could have been "freer" in the 20s?

 


What are your thoughts about the first section of Vixen? What are your predictions (no spoilers, please!) about what might happen next?

 

I really have no idea what will happen next. I'm curious to see what happens with Clara, and I'm curious to see what happens between Gloria and Jerome. I'm loving the story so far!


Heather
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/
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ClaudiaLuce
Posts: 133
Registered: ‎01-31-2008

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

I enjoyed Vixen so much that I could not put it down, but I promise not to spoil it for anyone! I loved this novel and can't wait for the sequel.

 

:smileyhappy:

 

All three of our main characters that the story is built around are in their mid to late teens, which is typically a time of defining or redifiining ones-self; that is exactly what Gloria, Lorraine, and Clara appear to be doing in one manner or the other.  I was very intrigued by the idea that both Clara and Lorraine had their hair cut in bobs; Gloria follows suit, but not until after her first visit to the speakeasy when she felt uncomfortable with her long tresses. This alone shows us that she is attempting to redefine her image.  At the same time, Clara is becoming more dowdy as she attempts to avoid reform school.  I was fascinated by each and all of these characters as they fought to discover their true identities and their inner limits.  Readers who are able to keep to the prescribed schedule are in for some delightful suprises!!

 

Changing ones looks does not constitue freedom.  We have met one character who exemplifies my idea of freedom of spirit.  That character is Marcus.  He appears to be the most "free spirit" in this cast of characters.

"Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body." -
-- Sir Richard Steele
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bmxmom
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I believe the girls are changing their look as a period of self discovery in their lives.  They are trying to find out who they are and where they fit in life.  Gloria and Lorraine seem sick of the deb lifestyle their mothers have guided them toward.  They are growing up and realizing they do not have to do exactly what their parents dictate because they have their own minds.  Clara on the other hand has had her rebellious phase and is now trying to conform to please her aunt and parents (who want to send her to a reform school).  She is finding that she is becoming more comfortable in her "Country Clara" persona.  This comfort I believe is coming from maturity.  Eventually all us women get there-most of us don't get their until we are well into our 40's now though.

 

 

 

Sneaking off, drinking and cutting your hair do not themselves make you free.  Acting out helps you to stretch your boundaries when you are young and trying to find your place in life.  This gives a sense of freedom.  This freedom is only from the "old boundaries" and as a young person you don't realize "new boundaries" are already in place.  Freedom to me means peace of mind, body and soul; feeling comfy in your own skin and being self sufficient.  Gloria and Lorraine in a sense have found their freedom.  Freedom is a state of mind, not necessarily a tangible thing.

 

This book is very well written and something I would not have normally read.  Big thanks to FL book club and Jillian Larkin!  I love how the chapters are written.  The style the book is written in makes it very hard to put down.  I am not one to stay up and read, I love my sleep but this book makes me want to!

 

Predictions?  I really hope Clara stays true to herself and her newly formed identity.  I also hope that Gloria does not marry because she finds her fiance with another girl (Lorraine?)

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

Can't agree more!

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thewanderingjew
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Registered: ‎12-18-2007

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

 

I have been thinking about this question and the response. I think it is really easy, especially today, to change one's looks and pretend to be a different person with all of the cosmetic options available, BUT, I think it is really easier for a young person, than an older one. I think an older person realizes the stripes cannot be changed. They are probably more fully formed.
At a certain age, you could stand up and spit nickels and still, you could not be a vamp! (although you might still want to be!) My mom always said she was 18 in her head and it was only her body that had aged. Unfortunately, the body rules!

nfmgirl wrote:

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?

 

Sometimes just by changing your looks, you can change how you feel and behave, essentially becoming a different person.They each are running from something. Clara is running from her past. Lorraine is running from obscurity. Gloria is running from a doomed future. By remaking themselves over they each hope to be saved.

 

 

 

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

I am really enjoying the book so far! I kind of had a slow start with it because of life, but now I cannot put it down and am dying to know what will happen. It is very interesting to read everyone's thoughts and predictions! I haven't really looked too much into this time period but after reading this, it has grabbed my attention and I plan to research about it!

 

So far, I am not a big fan of Gloria because she seriously has everything and she just doesn't seem to appreciate it, like nothing is good enough and she needs more more more. I do however enjoy her experiences with Jerome! And Lorraine... Lets just say I am sure all of us knows a Lorraine in their lives. I am liking Marcus, even though if I knew someone like that in life I probably would not like them- I am waiting for something to tear his walls down and expose this weakness. I am not sure what my thoughts on Sebastian are yet he almost seems to good to be true, I suspect something will come up!

 

What I am grateful for is that this story isn't about some girl who has like 2-3 guys who are madly in love with her and she has to choose one of them (it seems to be the case for many other stories in the YA I have come across). Anyone else notice that?

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

Marcus I agree is one of the freer ones in the book so far, and unfortunately woman in this time period were expected to 'obey' everybody and fit into that débutant style with ease. I know I wouldn't have. I would have been a flapper head to toe!

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nicole21WA
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

In regards to Jerome telling Gloria that she isn't free, I think he means that although she has everything, having everything also traps her.  There are certain expectations that go along with her social standing.  She's restricted in what she can do even though it appears her possibilities in life are endless.

 

I'm a bit surprised by Lorraine's apparently sudden change.  It seems like she was a "good girl" until now.  She got into Columbia, so she must have at least been taking her schoolwork seriously.  Is breaking out the flask at the deb party all about her jealousy?  I just think there must be something more to it than that.

 

I'm enjoying the book so far and am intrigued by the notes being left for Clara.  Just what is it that she's hiding?  I don't think it's going to be anything too traumatic (I don't think she's involved in anyone's death), but it's clear she doesn't want anyone to find out.

 

Prediction:  Gloria and Bastian go through with the marriage to keep up appearances, but Gloria has a fling with someone at the speakeasy (maybe Jerome).

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

I love going through and reading everyones predictions since I've finished the book!  :smileytongue:

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

I agree, it will be interesting to see what is going on with Lorraine.  She does seem to be the character I least understand.  There seems to be more than just simple jealousy going here.


nicole21WA wrote:

..

 

I'm a bit surprised by Lorraine's apparently sudden change.  It seems like she was a "good girl" until now.  She got into Columbia, so she must have at least been taking her schoolwork seriously.  Is breaking out the flask at the deb party all about her jealousy?  I just think there must be something more to it than that.

 


 

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Lycan731
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Her writing style is good. it flows very nicely. I imagine it requieres a bit of skill to write a story that is set on the 20's, to be believable. It has that cops and robbers kind of feeling without involving neither.

 Even though the story is good, I find it entirely cliched up to this point: Good girls that wants to be bad, bad girl wants to be good, best friend is jealous of good girl's fortune...

 Nevertheless, the story keeps me interested enough to keep reading. The fact that is told from different points of view keeps it fresh.

 heard this was going to be part of a series...but I can't see what more is there to tell.

 I'm hoping that this book will surprise yet.

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

Wow, I'm not sure what I can contribute that hasn't been said alreadIy!  I had a bit of trouble getting into the book, but now I'm well in and enjoying it quite a lot.  I think the story is very engaging; all of the various love triangles are interesting, since they've got me wondering how everything will shake out, and who will end up with whom.  I think the 1920s setting is fun; I love the atmosphere of the speakeasy and I like the flapper slang--I almost wish there were more of that, since it gives the story more of a "period" flare whenever the characters use it.  Sometimes I feel like more attention to the setting would really add something, though.  I'd like more descriptions of the surroundings and less of what people are wearing, but that may just be my own preference, and I'm sure there are lots of other people who will love reading the detailed descriptions of people's clothes all the time.  I loved the comedy of Clara stealing the paddy wagon.  The characters all still seem somewhat two-dimensional, so I'm hoping they will be more fully fleshed-out as the book goes on.  Particularly the secondary characters (Marcus, Sebastian, Jerome, Gloria's mother) seem kind of hollow at this point.   And I suppose the storylines are also fairly cliched, but on the whole, I think it's the execution that matters, and so even with a story that feels familiar, if it's done well, then that doesn't really matter, and so far I think the book is done well enough to be able to forgive its lack of originality.

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

 


nicole21WA wrote:

In regards to Jerome telling Gloria that she isn't free, I think he means that although she has everything, having everything also traps her.  There are certain expectations that go along with her social standing.  She's restricted in what she can do even though it appears her possibilities in life are endless.

 

I'm a bit surprised by Lorraine's apparently sudden change.  It seems like she was a "good girl" until now.  She got into Columbia, so she must have at least been taking her schoolwork seriously.  Is breaking out the flask at the deb party all about her jealousy?  I just think there must be something more to it than that.

 

I'm enjoying the book so far and am intrigued by the notes being left for Clara.  Just what is it that she's hiding?  I don't think it's going to be anything too traumatic (I don't think she's involved in anyone's death), but it's clear she doesn't want anyone to find out.

 

Prediction:  Gloria and Bastian go through with the marriage to keep up appearances, but Gloria has a fling with someone at the speakeasy (maybe Jerome).


 

Nicole, 

 

I found it very interesting that Jerome had Gloria pegged as a rich, privileged girl from the first time he met her. Gloria finding the need to lie to him to prove him "wrong" just proved how right he was about her not being free. If she was, she would embrace who she is, and her background, and she would have told him the truth. I kind of think that Jerome still knows who Gloria really is, even though he's going along with her lie of being a country girl. 

 

I absolutely think that Lorraine's jealousy drove her to act foolish at Gloria's party. She's tired of taking a back seat to her best friend and getting less attention. She feels like Gloria has had enough and now it's her turn to be in the spotlight. Maybe she feels like she could never get an upstanding guy like Bastian, so she is choosing the flashier flapper lifestyle instead? I'm not 100% sure on her yet. Maybe she is just so determined to have the attention all on her, she's going to the extreme to get it. 

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

 


ScrappyMama wrote:

I love going through and reading everyones predictions since I've finished the book!  :smileytongue:


Me too! I had to stop myself from mentioning anything that happened after page 144 when writing my response :smileytongue:

 

Gricel

things-she-read.org
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shmy
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

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 for the characters is the first step, their appearance. And it is also the easiest to change out of all the things the characters want to change in their lives. For Glo, she can’t change that she doesn’t have the ‘spark’ with Sebastian, but she can change her hair. And little things like changing her hair lead to big things like lying to her mother and the audition.

 

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?


It is definitely not my form of freedom now, but had you asked me at least 5-7 years ago I would have said, hell yes!

 

What are your thoughts about the first section of Vixen? What are your predictions (no spoilers, please!) about what might happen next?


I’m expecting some major betrayal coming from Raine, she just got so much bubbling inside of her toward Glo, that it just has to happen. I’m loving Clara and Marcus so I’m expecting some romance. Also I’m dying to find out where those notes are coming from!

 

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

 


narcisse wrote:

I don't think that Mrs. Carmody started warming up to Clara thinking that she had changed.  I think all she cared about was the appearance that Clara was an upstanding citizen so that it didn't bring any scandal or embarrassment into her home.

 

Further example of how preoccupied with appearances everyone is.


Yeah, you're probably right about that one. It's all about the appearances, isn't it?

 

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Sapphire329
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I'm a little behind on my reading (won't get to the end of part 1 by tomorrow) but I am really enjoying the book. I like Clara's wit. I like that she can go toe to toe with Lorraine, probably not something Lorraine is used to. I also like that Gloria has begun to realize that Lorraine is competing with her and I wonder if Gloria will confront Lorraine about it. 

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

 

You make a very interesting point. She sees what she wants to see because she wants to see it so badly. I guess it would mean that one thing was going right in her life.


Atreyu59 wrote:

Hey CAMIBONES:

       don't forget Clara's aunt doesn't know everything; in my eyes she simply believes her niece had a bad few moments and is truly remorseful and wants to change.  I think by her agreeing to get into this  "arranged wedding-plans" and helping out will put her back in favor with the family.

I think that Aunt Carmody is watchful, yet she is as clueless as everyone else - she must not be that observant - take a look at her own marriage fiasco.  I am sure it was obvious about Mr Carmody yet she takes this as a total surprise.

 

Humm . mmm

 

 

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

Ok so I had a late start in reading the book.... to answer the question about what i think of Vixen so far?  I don't want to put it down.

 

I'm totally loving Clara.  For her to be at the Speakeasy and have to stand back at the sake of not blowing her cover must be difficult... being all up in the mix- the drinking, the dancing, the lifestyle that is all too familiar and not faulter takes a lot of determination on her part. 

 

Raine is the character I like least.  She's deceitful, jealous and fake.  All I have to say is that If I were Clara I would have already put her in her place worse than Clara already has.  Raine is realizing that Clara is "sharp"  and i predict that Raine will somehow find out Clara's secret.

 

Gloria... She's just trying to find herself, break out of her shell and be her own person.  Perhaps this gig will make her more independent so that maybe (prediction) she won't marry afterall and has the income to support herself.  I also believe that a person can't control who they are attracted to.  With this being said, even though it appears she is playing with fire when it comes to Jerome, since she is engaged, she is also living with the times of her generation and therefore her attraction with Jerome is just another way in which she is trying to find herself while she is driven to achieve her happiness.

 

Although i just started reading this book yesterday, I think i can finish it by tomorrow.  I'm really excited about this read.