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

 


sandrabrazier wrote:

As I read this book, I kept thinking of how women's lives were starting to change. Prior to World War One, 

 

I was thinking of my grandmother when I read your statement Sandra and remember her telling me that when she married my grandfather she had to give up a job that she loved because it was illegal for married women to work.

 

We've come a long way baby, that's for sure.

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

 


Sarah-W wrote:

And how are the notes getting to her...? That's the really creepy part!


firegirl3 wrote:

I agree. Who is The Cad? And why does she have such bad memories of him? Is he sending these notes to her?


 


I thought about this as well, if it's someone from her past how are the notes getting into her bedroom.

 

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harleygirl805
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I am a little late joining the discussion and haven't had time to read all of the responses so far.  I am enjoying Vixen - I like the alternating voices and viewpoints.   It reminds me a little of the Luxe series by Anna Godbersen - though set in a different era, they address similar themes of young girls longing to break free of the chains placed on them by society and their parents.

 

I agree with Sarah's observation about the main characters trying to manipulate their images into different versions of themselves.  Whether they find the freedom that they are looking for remains to be seen.  Given air of social change that permeates the era, it seems obvious why the girls would want to experiment and reinvent themselves.  They are all looking for emancipation - Gloria from her ordained life, Lorraine from her life in the shadows, and Clara from her past.  So far, Gloria seems to have found the most freedom from her reality.  Cutting her hair and pursuing Jerome has given her a taste of what her life could be like.  I find it interesting that even though the three girls are kind of at odds with each other, they actually have more in common than they realize.  It will be interesting to see how their stories intertwine in the next segment.

 

 

As for Sarah's second question about freedom, I think that the girls think that they have found freedom by sneaking into the speakeasy, cutting their hair, dressing like a flapper (or in Clara's case, not dressing like flapper), etc.  But, I'm not sure if they have found freedom yet.  As I mentioned, I think Gloria has found some freedom and discovered parts of herself that might not have been revealed had she never set foot in the speakeasy and met Jerome.

 

No predictions so far, though I am curious which character was in the prologue.  Looking forward to reading the next section and seeing how the story progresses.

 

Paula

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hookedonbooks09
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

Referring to the question about trying to change themselves---or maybe reinvent themselves is more accurate---considering that they are all essentially teenagers, I think it is really quite normal for the age.

 

It is part of the rebelliousness that leads to their individualism----apart from their parents, in particular!

 

In answer to the second part of the question about achieving freedom and what that really means, I would say it's specific to the person.  Freedom of choice, to be who you are, certainly, is quite basic, but beyond that, we each need or want a different level of freedom, depending on our situations, I believe.

 

Barb

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

 


dhaupt wrote:

 


Sarah-W wrote:

And how are the notes getting to her...? That's the really creepy part!


firegirl3 wrote:

I agree. Who is The Cad? And why does she have such bad memories of him? Is he sending these notes to her?


 


I thought about this as well, if it's someone from her past how are the notes getting into her bedroom.

 


I was thinking the Cad was Carlito. I don't know maybe because he is the most dangerous character we have met in the book and also because they have the C&C going on LOL

 

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

I'm having a great time with this book! I wasn't sure if I would at first, being a young adult selection. I have been pleasantly surprised with the character development and plot. I'm also finding the pace to be a nice change from my usual fare.

 

The story of the three girls, their separate lives and their interactions with each other and others is interesting. Now with this added twist of the mysterious notes sent to Lorraine I'm hooked. I can't wait to see what the next section brings!

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Lexa555
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

So far I am liking this book. There is a little drama as well as a mystery that needs to be solved about Clara's old life in New York with a mysterious man. It seems to fit in well with the theme of the 1920s and I enjoy learning about this time period. I'm still waiting for something a little more to happen though.

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DaniLynn71
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I already shared most of my thoughts on the freedom issue, but something else occurred to me since then. (It's interesting how a good book sticks in my mind and makes me keep thinking, even though I've read two other books since finishing this one)

 

Although all of the girls are working so hard towards achieving freedom, I don't think the world was really in a place during that time period for them to fully achieve it .  I think of Clara, who at 19 - a "legal" adult - was being threatened by her family of being sent to a reform school.  That would never have happened to a man of that age. So, I really am beginning to agree with those who said the men really are the only ones in the book who had any real freedom.

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

 


AWVA wrote:

Even though I've already responded to the main questioned like to comment on what other things people are bringing up as topics. First of all I'd like to state that I completely agree how it's  really important to remember what era this book is set in. It's easy to let go of the fact that we are reading about a completely different time - when women were not equal and were not openly accepted as "ladies" if they did something as simple as "bob" their hair. Even something as normal as going into a barber shop was not accepted for women. There were "men only" signs on places of business.

 

going back to the question of changed.. I did also want to mention that I found it very interesting how Clara felt it odd to revert back to her true self...and found it easier to continue with the false persona she had created. It makes me question how much she liked her flapper lifestyle. In most flashbacks it seems that she would have it no other way than to be her trend setting flapper self. But those flashbacks can also seem sad and out of control. Perhaps instead of completely attempting to change herself...she as well as the other characters are searching for that happy medium...and not a complete lifestyle change. Because as I stated before...you can't change yourself through your look...only by making a choice to take a different direction. 

 

people are also discussing "sex in YA". So far sex has been implied..Fortunatly it has been made clear that these girls are of an age to marry (this is also a reminder of the era.Since they are only - 17/19 years old).  I do not find myself disappointed in the sexual references at this point.Although I've found myself concerned with the alcohol and smoking. Why do these topics make me more uncomfortable? I'll think on that question.


Hi there!  So I've been reading along on this thread a bit over the past week, counting down the days until I get to join in. I've been so impressed by all of your insights. But I was particularly glad to see this post. Because I do think we modern women sometimes take the freedom we have to wear our clothes and hair the way we want for granted. The worst result of hacking off all your hair now might be that you realized you looked better with longer hair and now you have to wait for it to grow back. Women in the 20s had much bigger things to worry about.

 

While bobbing your hair was becoming all the rage at this point in time, it was not something budding young debutantes did.  Particularly not debs who were engaged to be married. It would've taken Gloria some serious guts to bob her hair, knowing both her mother and fiance would hate it. Luckily, Gloria's quite the feisty one :smileyhappy:

 

Insightful comments about Clara as well! Personally I think Clara did what a lot of teenagers do: She tried one extreme (the out-of-control flapper lifestyle) then swung to another (innocent and dull Country Clara). Now she's hopefully on her way to finding her true self in the middle.

 

And I understand your concerns with the drinking and smoking, but my goal was to give an honest portrayal of the time period without watering it down. In the 1920s, people had no idea the level of damage they were doing to their lungs and livers by chain-smoking and drinking every night. I am by no means encouraging young people of this day and age, who luckily know these dangers well, to do the same.

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

 


Sarah-W wrote:

It's funny you should mention the cover. I thought it was reminiscent of Anna Godbersen's The Luxe (Luxe Series #1). I kept wondering which character it was supposed to be. If we judged by the hair-color it would be Lorraine. But I'm guessing the cover might supposed to be more evocative than it is a particular character or person. We'll have to ask Jillian about it when she joins the discussion next week.


 

Hi, Sarah.  Thanks so much for doing such a great job moderating the discussion.  And for the comparison of VIXEN's cover to the LUXE covers.  Those are some gorgeous, gorgeous covers. When I was recently on a pre-publication tour for VIXEN, I was surprised that the most common question I ran into was: Which character is it on the cover?

 

I, of course, can't take any credit for the beautiful cover. It was shown to me, I squealed at how amazing it was, and that was that. But you're exactly right, Sarah, when you say that the girl on the cover is "more evocative than it is a particular character or person." The young woman on the cover is whoever you want her to be. Your favorite character, perhaps, or a woman that embodies the listless-yet-wicked attitude so many of the women of that era were beginning to find within themselves.

 

Instead of sitting up straight like a proper lady, this woman is feeling the freedom to recline and look into the distance. Maybe she's looking towards a different future. A future that won't have to revolve around marrying well and teaching her daughter to be the demure young lady her own mother wishes she was.

 

Or maybe she's just bored.  Either way I think she's going to start searching for some excitement.

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

 


Sarah-W wrote:

Hello All, 

 

How are you enjoying Vixen so far?

 

To start things off, I thought I would comment that I noticed two things in this first section of Vixen and I'm very interested in hearing what you might think about them:

 

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?

 

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?

 

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


 

I think that our three young ladies are going to find themselves unable to shed their "real" selves.  It is easy enough to change one's appearance, but no matter what you look like on the outside, you are still "you" on the inside.  

 

As for freedom, Jerome has clearly identified "who" Gloria is.  And, no, I don't believe her actions have freed her.  It seems to me that Clara is the only one of the trio who has had a taste of freedom.  She moved to New York, made her own choices and, whether good or bad, had to live with those choices - for a time.

 

I have no predictions, but I'm still intrigued by all the mention of the variety of colors that Gloria notices at the Green Mill.  Maybe that represents Gloria's awakening to the sights & sounds of the speakeasy and is, therefore, so vivid.

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

 


I HAVE read Savage Beauty. This really is one of the definite biographies of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Nancy Milford also wrote famous Zelda  biography, about F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant, but troubled wife. Vixen has me thinking that it's about time I finally give Zelda a try!


Vermontcozy wrote:

Savage Beauty  True Sarah.Definitely more serious..But even as I read "Vixen"..It was a  time in our History when ,with all the tragedies of WW1  People just were  feeling free.in some respects..The Era gave birth to wonderful Artists,Writers,Musicians...Edna St  Vincent Millay attended "Vassar "in the early 1920's  She was quite the Rebel.,in all respects...So keeping with the 1920's  This is a great book..Fascinating Life...Susan..


 

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


Sarah-W wrote:

 


I HAVE read Savage Beauty. This really is one of the definite biographies of Edna St. Vincent Millay. Nancy Milford also wrote famous Zelda  biography, about F. Scott Fitzgerald's brilliant, but troubled wife. Vixen has me thinking that it's about time I finally give Zelda a try!


Vermontcozy wrote:

Savage Beauty  True Sarah.Definitely more serious..But even as I read "Vixen"..It was a  time in our History when ,with all the tragedies of WW1  People just were  feeling free.in some respects..The Era gave birth to wonderful Artists,Writers,Musicians...Edna St  Vincent Millay attended "Vassar "in the early 1920's  She was quite the Rebel.,in all respects...So keeping with the 1920's  This is a great book..Fascinating Life...Susan..


 


Hi Sarah.."Savage Beauty" was such a page turner .Beautifully written  I agree I should read "Zelda" as well.."Vixen" has reminded me  as well,that I was always fascinated by that "Era"...Best ...Susan

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

The book plays as smoothly as an HBO Drama (and should be one too).

I think that gloria will get caught and it will backlash her as she gets more popular in the flapper industry and Clara's old personality will be revealed and bastian will start to like Clara (Not likely though) and that Lorraine will eventually go phsyco enough to unfriend Gloria.

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


DaniLynn71 wrote:

I already shared most of my thoughts on the freedom issue, but something else occurred to me since then. (It's interesting how a good book sticks in my mind and makes me keep thinking, even though I've read two other books since finishing this one)

 

Although all of the girls are working so hard towards achieving freedom, I don't think the world was really in a place during that time period for them to fully achieve it .  I think of Clara, who at 19 - a "legal" adult - was being threatened by her family of being sent to a reform school.  That would never have happened to a man of that age. So, I really am beginning to agree with those who said the men really are the only ones in the book who had any real freedom.


what a great observation!

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


Lexa555 wrote:

So far I am liking this book. There is a little drama as well as a mystery that needs to be solved about Clara's old life in New York with a mysterious man. It seems to fit in well with the theme of the 1920s and I enjoy learning about this time period. I'm still waiting for something a little more to happen though.


Glad you are liking "Vixen"..Much more Drama and Mystery as you read on....Its a different series,and I can't wait for "Ingenue"....Haven't seen you in while..so Just saying : )  Susan

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 


arrokidd wrote:

The book plays as smoothly as an HBO Drama (and should be one too).

I think that gloria will get caught and it will backlash her as she gets more popular in the flapper industry and Clara's old personality will be revealed and bastian will start to like Clara (Not likely though) and that Lorraine will eventually go phsyco enough to unfriend Gloria.


I agree. An HBO drama.

 

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Atreyu59
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

Hey Zao01:

   I have my theory on this note delivery thing.   Consider your one of the sub-servant staff members & a well know man/gentleman of the times knows where you work (at the Cormody house) and ask you to deliver the notes and keep it a secret - would you do that?  perhaps you work several jobs and are asked about delivering the notes as part of your duties to keep a surprise going ?  My theory is that you wouldn't say anything because you think it is OK.

Kind-of weird but realistic.  

 

The book concentrates so much on the 'flapper girls' we don't consider many of the servant staff-who in those days were tied to doing what they were told or face losing their job for not being loyal or following orders.

Just a thought.....

 


I want to know this as well. The notes are so very creepy!

 

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Atreyu59
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

TO arrokidd:

 

     This would be a nice suspense/YA movie too.  Of course some things would change to make it more MOVIE worthy and intriguing, yet the movies would be great.

 


 

you said   .   .     .      ...

                     The book plays as smoothly as an HBO Drama (and should be one too).

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
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BookBobBP
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

I do not see much to either Gloria or Lorraine. Good girl being bad and needy friend.  The Clara is more interesting not so one dimensional.  I am looking forward to hearing more about her.