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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

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?


 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

Gloria's17, a senior in high school, and already engaged. Lorraine is the same age as Gloria. Clara might be a few years older.

 

Thanks for joining us, we'll be discussing Vixen here at First Look all November, so jump in anytime you want.

 

Also, the author Jillian Larkin will be joining in next week!

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

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

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

I'm enjoying this book so far. I started to get sucked in around eighty. I love Clara and Gloria but Lorraine is kind of driving me nuts. I suppose that's only natural though. 

 

Let's see why are all of these girls trying to be something they arent'...

 

I think being a girl that age is pretty difficult regardless of what decade it is. You are trying to find yourself and figure out how you fit in. And the grass always seems greener on the other side so you want to test it out. Because of the time period these girls don't have all of the options girls have today.

 

Gloria is trying so hard to maintain her life, but she also wants to explore the lifestyle of a flapper. I'm so excited that she'll get to sing.

 

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'm really hoping that Clara and Gloria get to bond over being flappers!

 

As for what freedom means. I think I maybe touched on this when I said they don't have the options girls nowadays have. There is so much expected of these girls. They are just supposed to marry the right boy, with the right name and then be a good little wife. Lorraine does get to go to college so maybe she'll get that freedom. But it appears that Gloria and Clara would go down a different road if Gloria's mom has her way. These girls are reaching out to the dark side of things so that they feel like they have some control over their lives and are independent. 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

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.

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy thru page 144

I'll be very interested in whether your opinion of Jerome changes as the book progresses.

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Tarri
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Lorraine

At this point in the book, I am feeling a great deal of pity for Lorraine.  She just seems like a sad person who has no idea of her place in the scheme of her life, so she does and says stupid things.    Anyone else feel that way?

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ScrappyMama
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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?


 

So far I am really, really enjoying Vixen!  It is very well written and has sucked me in so quickly I am way past the reqiured point. 

 

To answer your first question....Most teens/young adults go through the phase of wanting to change themselves in some way.  They are wanting to stretch their wings and see how much they can do.  I think that is what each of our three girls are trying to do.  Just figure out who they are and how they fit into the world.  I would say that just changing their looks would not change their lives.  It has to go deeper then that.  Up to this point in the novel I would say they are not yet successful and still seem to be striving to be different.

 

For the second question......None of those things make you free.  It is something that has to be hiddlen and done in secret.  You have to hide and be afraid that someone is going to find out.  Up to this point in the novel I would say none of the characters have freedom.  Each is trying to fit into a persona they think they either want and/or need to fit into.  The true freedom will come when they finally figure out who they are and are happy with that.

 

*I answered the questions before I read anyone else's posts.  Sorry if what I said has been said previously.*

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chelseamaya
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Re: Lorraine

 


Tarri wrote:

At this point in the book, I am feeling a great deal of pity for Lorraine.  She just seems like a sad person who has no idea of her place in the scheme of her life, so she does and says stupid things.    Anyone else feel that way?


I... feel no pity for her, I actually really dislike her, so much.  I mean, she is a sad person, like someone else said earlier, she went from being a good girl to a bad person.  I just can't bring myself to feel any sympathy for her.  I don't like her, and I can only see this feeling increasing.  I haven't had such an adverse reaction to a character in a long time, which is a good and a bad thing.  I don't find her redeeming herself in anyway in the future either.

 

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amusingmother
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Re: Lorraine

I just didn't ever like Lorraine.  I guess that if I had liked her I might feel pity for her.  Lorraine is the one character that seems to have no direction, whatsoever.  Her only goal seems to be to get attention.  Then again, who doesn't know a girl or two who will do anything to feed the attention-seeking ego?  Lorraine is a representation of the part of us that has been ignored for so long, we crave someone to acknowledge our existence. 

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sunnyseattle
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Re: Lorraine

I was feeling sorry for Lorraine at first.  I think we have all experienced having people in our lives that seem to have things fall into place for them, while life is more of a struggle for us.  It is hard not to be jealous or wonder if there is something wrong with us.

 

However, the carelessness with secrets changed that for me.  Thoughts are one thing, even about the people we care about.  Your actions are quite another.  She knows that Gloria life can be turned upside down if she is found out and at the party she is very willing to share that story. Luckily she didn't get a chance to tell.

 

I hope that there is more to her further on in the book.

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

To answer the first question I think that Gloria wants to change her looks as a sort of rebellion against the fiance that she really doesn't want to marry and against her parents who want her to be a perfect "good girl". I think that Lorraine has changed her look so that she can get noticed because she feels like she lives in Gloria's shadow. I think that she feels that becoming a flapper will get her noticed. Clara is going in the opposite direction so that she can try to turn her life around. She wants to see if being "country Clara" will make her feel better about herself and make it easier for her to forget her past in New York. I'm not sure if they are successful yet but I think that as the book goes on their new looks will start to change their personalities a little bit. I think that changing their looks has started to change their lives at least a little bit. Their looks are getting them noticed by others and making them feel different.

 

For the second question I think that Gloria and Lorraine feel that sneaking out and cutting their hair makes them free but I don't think so. I think that sneaking out and changing their looks is a form of rebellion and not true freedom.  If you have to hide who you are and what you do then you aren't free you are basically the opposite of free because you can't be yourself around everyone.

 

I am really looking forward to reading the rest of the book and I hope that Clara will tell Gloria all about her New York life and that they will become closer.  I also hope that Gloria doesn't end up with Bastian. It doesn't seen like he is a very nice guy.

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

I am also loving the descriptions.  Of colors, fashion, make-up.  This is a very visual book. I love how specific the colors are. 

 

I am also in enjoying seeing what Clara is reading.  She is certainly a multi-faceted character.  A reader, a thief, a charming manipulator, a holder of secrets...Clara is the character I am most interested in.

 

I do wonder if Marcus is as free as folks think he is.  Society in the twenties is not free for anyone.  For example, Bastian is not marrying for love but for money.  I bet that we find Marcus trapped in someway or another.

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

I have managed to control myself and haven't finished Vixen yet!  I always worry about spoilers, so I am glad to have stayed on track this time.  I haven't read any of the other posts yet, wanted to get my thoughts down before I take at look at what you all think.

 

 

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?

 

 

The girls want to change their looks because they aren't happy with their lives are leading them.  In a way each of them thinks the grass is greener on the other side, so to speak.  Gloria is chaffing at the idea of becoming a wife without having experienced any independence of her own, she doesn't really know who she is yet and she wants to find out before she has to conform to her husband's and society's expectations for her.  She knows there is something more out there for her, but she doesn't really know how to go about getting it.  She thinks the flapper lifestyle is glamourous, but I don't think she sees the danger yet.

 

Lorraine wants Marcus' attention and she has become quite desperate to get it.  She thinks that if she changes her look, his perception of her will change and he will really see her as someone independent of Gloria and desire her for her own qualities.  She doesn't realize that putting on mask is just that, it doesn't really change who you are at your core.  I am worried that she has the most to lose and may have the hardest fall.  But I will just have to keep reading and find out!

 

Clara has a big secret and I'm not sure what it is yet.  Could she be pregnant?  I thought so at first, but now, I'm not so sure about that theory.  I also can't wait to find out who the mysterious "cad" is and how he has found her, if it is even the "cad" who is sending her messages.  Clara has already experienced what Glo and Raine are feeling and doing.  And she sees the road they are on more clearly than they do.  But, all three are letting their preconceived notions, based solely on appearance, prevent them from really getting to know each other.  It will be interesting to see how far things go before they learn the truth about each other.

 

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?

 

I don't any of the main characters in the book have true freedom.  Gloria is chained to the expectations of society and the financial survival of her family and husband rest on her shoulders.  Lorraine is trapped by her obsession with Marcus and jealousy of Gloria.  In some ways she only sees what she wants to see and is closed off to other paths that may lead her to where she really wants to be.  Clara is trapped by her past.  I think she sometimes sees her indepence as a mistake and regrets the loss of innocence she left behind in New York.  She feels the price she paid for what she thought was freedom is too high and now she is guarded and jaded.

 

 

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

 

I am really enjoying this book and can't wait to read what happens next.  I don't think Glo will marry Sebastian, don't know where she is heading, but I hope it isn't a loveless trap of a marriage.  Lorraine should fall in love with someone totally unexpected.  Clara will let down her guard with Marcus, he will hurt her, but they will end up together in the end.  I can't wait to find out why Glo is packing heat in the prologue!

 

Now to start reading through all you thoughts and discussion points.

Kimberly from Ohio

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

1. Each girl thinks that by changing their looks, they'll achieve something that they think will make them happy. Lorraine hopes that she can seduce Marcus. Gloria thinks she'll gain independence and wants one last hurrah of freedom before marrying the proverbial ball and chain. And Clara is enjoying playing out her alter ego to avoid going to reform school. But do I think changing their looks changing their lives? Absolutely not. Appearances are just that - superficial. Changing the way they look won't change who they are and I think that they'll come to realize that to become happy or free or whatever it is they're trying to find, they shouldn't have to change themselves to have it.

 

2. Sneaking off to a speakeasy, drinking illegal substances and cutting off one's hair makes them feel free because it's something they shouldn't be doing. It makes them feel rebellious and maybe even alive, but not free. If that was freedom, then they shouldn't have to sneak out and lie about it. Freedom, in my opinion constitutes being able to do something with peace of mind. Not having to worry about being caught or stopped - feeling unrestrained. Do I think any of the characters have it? No, I don't. It seems like all the characters we've met are all bound to something. Social status, reputations and personas.

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

Vixen Discussion: Part I: Speak Easy through page 144

 

Hello All,  

How are you enjoying Vixen so far?

 

I am absolutely LOVING Vixen so far; it’s an amazing read!  I love that it is different from most of the mainstream young adult books.  In my opinion Vixen is refreshing and absolutely wonderful 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 characters is so interested in changing their looks? Do you think they are successful? Does changing their looks change their lives?

 

 I believe that Gloria, Lorraine, and Clara all want to change their looks for different reasons.  Gloria is about to become a wife at a very young age, to a man she isn’t crazy about.  I believe Gloria feels trapped in a way and wants an outlet; to be able to express herself and experiment a little before being tied down, and forced to live a “lady-like” lifestyle that is pleasing to her husband for the rest of her life.  Lorraine just wants to be noticed period.  She is jealous of Gloria and the fact that she has, in Bastian, what every girl wants, which is pushing her to find a way to become noticed and try to overshadow Gloria.  Lorraine also has a huge crush on Marcus and is dying for him to give her the time of day, so she is trying be noticed and loved by him as well, which is another reason for her changing her look.  An example would be her trying to pioneer the “bob” hairstyle at her school.  Clara, at first doesn’t want to change her look, but is forced into a situation in which she feels she has no other choice.  Clara has to be on her best behavior in order to avoid being shipped off to a boarding school, so she becomes an actress playing a part. 

 

I believe Gloria is successful in shedding her “good girl” image thus far; she clearly sheds this image by missing her own debutante dinner.  Lorraine, in my opinion, definitely has take on the “bad girl/rebel” persona.  She especially proves this when she is caught with her flask by Mrs. Carmody at Gloria’s debutante dinner.  Clara has also done a wonderful job adapting as “Country Clara” by sucking up to Mrs. Carmody and the other mothers and daughters at the debutante dinner, and by helping Mrs. Carmody cover Gloria’s disappearance from the dinner. 

 

I do believe that Gloria’s life is about to change in a big way by changing her look, as she appears to be getting in way over her head.  Lorraine’s life doesn’t appear to be changing, she just seems to be herself and not worry what others think of her.  Clara’s life is definitely changing as well.  Her lifestyle has done a complete 180 and she seems to be going with the flow, and almost enjoying it.     

 

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?

 

 I feel the struggle for freedom going on internally in all of the characters lives.  So far I don’t think any of them have achieved true freedom.  The girls’ actions and attempts at freedom are not paying off, and I don’t believe that drinking, or cutting their hair will set them free.  I believe these things can offer a sense of freedom and empowerment in the fact that they are rebelling and doing something that they aren’t suppose to do, but these actions will not equate to true freedom.  True freedom lies within yourself and your ability to overcome life’s obstacles and be yourself and be happy with your life. 

 

In my opinion Gloria is not on her way to achieving freedom, as she is unhappily engaged to be married, and isn’t yet standing up to her mother or her fiancé.  Lorraine doesn’t seem to know what it is she wants in life, other than Marcus, and in my opinion she just seems to be rebelling against everything in her life at the moment, rather than soul searching.  Clara is perhaps on her way to true freedom, as she is actually being forced to look at herself and her life and think about whom she really is and who she wants to be in life.  As well as pondering what things in life are truly important.

 

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

 

I am thoroughly enjoying Vixen so far.  I feel like all of the characters have been very well established and I am excited to see how each of their life’s unfold.  I think that Marcus will end up falling for “Country Clara” in his attempts to get rid of her.  I also think that Gloria is treading dangerous waters and is going to end up getting in too deep with Jerome or the mob.  Lorraine, I believe, will keep pining after Marcus and remain jealous of Gloria.  I also think she is going to end up betraying Gloria in some way at some point.

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

I don't want to repeat what everyone has said. And far more eloquently than I would have.

I would like to let Ms. Larkin know that her writing is beautiful and I am loving Vixen so much!! And so far my favorite character is Clara for the same reasons that have already been stated!!

Thank you for a wonderful YA novel.

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

We must remember they are experimenting before College actually starts,and Gloria getting married..Not sure how that will turn out yet...Trying to be something that they are so in awe of..The Flappers,the Club scene..Of cause they are playing with fire,but It reminds me of the 1960's,and I'm sure younger readers as well can relate to That Rebellious stage..As soon as they walk into The Green Mill..They are transformed,inside their minds..Nobody knows them.they can do whatever they please..Lorraine is very unsure of herself,and especially when she see's Gloria floating around,fitting in so seamlessly..Clara is fascinating..being able to "act" the part so well..in any given situation..Then they all return to the real world,Lorraine just did what she wanted at "The Party"for Gloria It did backfire,but she tried..I like her I adore Clara..Must see where the story goes with all of them..I am reading on , very hard not to....

 

The freedom from their World of Uptown so to speak..That alone is what constitutes "Freedom" for the girls...Clara has experienced what Lorraine and Gloria are doing,trying to do.. Although dangerous,it is still fascinating to me..Jerome and Gloria are the most dangerous together,given the time frame..But Gloria is on the Path of a little destruction..She loves the Danger,is not thinking past the moment..She does feel free from her very "Uptown"existence..For me Freedom is being comfortable in your own skin..Given their ages,it takes a bit of experimenting to get there..,,,Great questions Sarah... SusanVtc

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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LorettaP
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Re: Lorraine


Tarri wrote:

At this point in the book, I am feeling a great deal of pity for Lorraine.  She just seems like a sad person who has no idea of her place in the scheme of her life, so she does and says stupid things.    Anyone else feel that way?


I don't feel sorry for Lorraine. I do not think that we have seen all the things that she is capable of. I really see her character as a role that crosses the line and becomes a villian in this story. I think that she wants something so bad (to be Gloria) that she will stop at nothing to try to achieve it. She is going to end up hurting people to try to get what she wants.

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


sunnyseattle wrote:

I am also loving the descriptions.  Of colors, fashion, make-up.  This is a very visual book. I love how specific the colors are. 

 

I am also in enjoying seeing what Clara is reading.  She is certainly a multi-faceted character.  A reader, a thief, a charming manipulator, a holder of secrets...Clara is the character I am most interested in.

 

I do wonder if Marcus is as free as folks think he is.  Society in the twenties is not free for anyone.  For example, Bastian is not marrying for love but for money.  I bet that we find Marcus trapped in someway or another.


That is a very good point. We really do not know much about Marcus. I hope that we get to read more about him and I wonder what secrets he is hiding as well.