Reply
Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

Oh  boy, Lorraine really turned out to be someone on a path to destruction. I think she might already be in too deep and could wind up becoming more involved with the mob. She is looking for affection and recognition and Carlito is the only one giving it to her. Everyone else is rejecting her because of her erratic behavior. In the next book I wonder if she might even wind up being the catalyst that gets Gloria and Jerome into some more trouble when she moves to NYC to go to school.

 

 


 
Sarah-W wrote:
...Will Lorraine get the love and attention she desires without finding herself trapped in a dark bargain with one of Chicago’s ruthless gangsters?

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

Clara is someone I cannot figure out. From one minute to the next, I change my mind about her. If she returns to NYC, as she surely would, if Marcus goes there to school and she follows him, she might be very tempted to return to her "flapper" ways and get involved again with her former boyfriend. I am not sure that she would be strong enough to resist both him and the lifestyle she loved even if Marcus sincerely loves her.

Marcus, has a whole new life in front of him and he may soon find that he needs more than Clara, too. Right now, he may feel like his relationship with Clara is kismet, but his life is just beginning. They are both in a position to grow. Will they grow together or further apart? The second book awaits us. Perhaps it will clear up these secrets or perhaps it will leave us hungering for a third.

 


Sarah-W wrote:

 

Can Clara find the courage to face her past and make a new life with the man she loves? Vixen ends with murder, romance, and intrigue, revealing the identity of the gun-toting vixen in the prologue and Vera's role in the events of the book. 

 

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

It has also been a pleasure having you as the moderator. Thank you!

 

Sarah-W wrote:

 

 

 
This is the last week of the Vixen First Look discussion. You've all been wonderful participants! It has been such a pleasure to read a book with people who are so open and engaged....

 

Inspired Bibliophile
thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

I enjoyed the book. I thought it presented an accurate view of the times and turmoil that existed in the twenties. As well as being an interesting read, it provides an easy way to introduce young people to the history of that era.

The morality of today has eased considerably from what it was in the Roaring Twenties. Can you imagine a Victoria Secret commercial in those days? Well maybe not a commercial, there was no TV, but how about a model dressed in underwear on a billboard?

Today, it is no longer considered shameful to have a child out of wedlock. Actually, it has become quite an acceptable, common practice in some cases.

There are far more interracial, as well as interreligious, relationships and couples can largely live much more easily and comfortably anyplace, anywhere. There are still pockets of hate but most of us are far more comfortable with ourselves and others, regardless of our race or religion.

As a Jew, I know that there may be places and people that will still not welcome me into their community. I am sure people of color find the same thing exists for them, today. Yet, there are far more places open to us than ever before. So there is hope for a better future for everyone.

However, I do think that racisim is still alive and well as we see evidence of it more and more, everyday. Although many of us thought the election of our current President would erase all vestiges of it, it has in some way, perhaps, even encouraged more. Hopefully, we will evolve into more accepting people as time goes by. One can only hope...

 


Sarah-W wrote:
...To close our discussion I'm interested in your overall thoughts about the book. I'm especially interested in hearing your thoughts about similarities and differences between the Roaring Twenties and now. What is the same? What is different? Why? And what had to happen to make things change?...

 

 

Wordsmith
Tarri
Posts: 457
Registered: ‎02-26-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

What a great book and discussion.  Thanks Sarah for the great questions and everyone else for the insightful answers. 
Sarah-W wrote:

 

Jillian Larkin's Vixen ends on several cliffhangers: Will Gloria give up her society life in Chicago to follow Jerome into the jazz world of New York? Will Lorraine get the love and attention she desires without finding herself trapped in a dark bargain with one of Chicago’s ruthless gangsters? Can Clara find the courage to face her past and make a new life with the man she loves? Vixen ends with murder, romance, and intrigue, revealing the identity of the gun-toting vixen in the prologue and Vera's role in the events of the book. 

The cliffhangers make me want to read the next book as soon as possible. So hurry and write, Jillian. 
I think Gloria will go to New York with Jerome; however, I think once she gets there and gets a little bit of a career going, she will go it alone.  I don't think Gloria is strong enough to deal with the racism that she is sure to encounter, especially because she is so young. 
I think Lorraine has a lot of heartbreak to deal with before she lands on her feet, and I think her rich family will rescue her before she gets in too deep. 
Clara and Marcus will be together and I think she can forgive herself for her past. 
As I said above I really enjoyed Vixen.  In fact, I've already recommended it to a lot of people, I probably should have told them it won't be in stores for another three weeks.  I think this series will be very successful and can't wait until the next installment comes out.  
Jillian really brought the 1920s back to life.  It was interesting to read about the different ways people "hid" their alcohol and the ways to get around Prohibition (my grandma made bathtub gin to make ends meet, no kidding). I think that the 20s were like the 60s were like the 90s, and then we had the 30s and 50s and 2000s to contrast.  For every decade of change, we then have a decade of pulling back and a return to "morality". 

 

 

Distinguished Correspondent
salander_9277
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎07-07-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

I really enjoyed the characters of this book, which always makes for a great series.  I enjoy this era and haven't read much from this particular time period before so that was interesting to me.  I put the sequel title on my list for 2011 and will be looking for it!

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life. ~W. Somerset Maugham

http://greatexpectationsbookreview.blogspot.com
Frequent Contributor
cubicleblindnessKM
Posts: 28
Registered: ‎10-07-2010

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

I'm especially interested in hearing your thoughts about similarities and differences between the Roaring Twenties and now. What is the same? What is different? Why? And what had to happen to make things change?

 

I was just sitting here thinking who I would want to play the roles of these girls in a movie or tv show. And the first thought that came to mind is who acts most like these girls in the Media today? Now that thought alone brings me to answer this question...there are too many similiarities to list. People will always be the same no matter what decade, we role with what our environment/laws gives to us. We will always want the things we are told not to have for example in this book drinking is a big theme. Family status is always important, you want your friends, neighbors, cities to view you as respectable, tax paying citizen. I found it harder to find things that were different that similar. As will all changes in society it's our leaders that have made the changes that we as voters have enticed them to do. Judges, cities, senators, mayors etc.

Plus I do believe that women got the vote, and that just might have been the thing that has changed the most since the 20's. Our opinions and choices over the years slowly build to a different country every day....

            ugh that's not like me...guess this question got me thinking.

 

Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 


Bonnie_C wrote:

This book was a true delight to read.  From beginning to end I found myself looking forward to reading what was on the next page.  Well done, Jillian.

 

However, I did have some exasperation over Gloria at the end of the book.  She and Jerome have the confrontation with Carlito.  Jerome has to leave town.  He invites Gloria to come with him.  She goes by Bastian's apartment and overhears him telling Carlito to take care of Jerome while he takes care of Gloria.  She hears Bastian give Carlito Jerome's address.  Now I do realize that this was before the age of texting, but I would like to  think that after Gloria steals the gun she would make like the wind and go to Jerome's to tell him to get the heck somewhere far away ASAP because he has one mad gangster after him.  But instead she goes back to her house and packs and then puts on her flapper dress and make up before going to Jerome's.  Once there they take time to make out.  Not smart Gloria.  Hopefully she and Jerome will be smarter in NYC or they will not last long.

 

Thank you again for this most entertaining read.

 

Bonnie


I wanted Gloria to hurry up and let Jerome know what was going on. Gloria seemed like the world would wait til her makeup was on.  I totally agree with you here.

 

Moderator
Sarah-W
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

I agree with your comment here. The law now protects people instead of punishing them for their differences, but there are still places not all people are welcome. Sometimes I think the president's election has brought a lot of hidden feelings to the surface.

thewanderingjew wrote:

 

As a Jew, I know that there may be places and people that will still not welcome me into their community. I am sure people of color find the same thing exists for them, today. Yet, there are far more places open to us than ever before. So there is hope for a better future for everyone.

However, I do think that racisim is still alive and well as we see evidence of it more and more, everyday. Although many of us thought the election of our current President would erase all vestiges of it, it has in some way, perhaps, even encouraged more. Hopefully, we will evolve into more accepting people as time goes by. One can only hope...

 


Sarah-W wrote:
...To close our discussion I'm interested in your overall thoughts about the book. I'm especially interested in hearing your thoughts about similarities and differences between the Roaring Twenties and now. What is the same? What is different? Why? And what had to happen to make things change?...

 

 


 

Moderator
Sarah-W
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎10-29-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

Thank you! I've appreciated your responses to the book. You are very articulate in your viewpoints!


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

It has also been a pleasure having you as the moderator. Thank you!

 

Sarah-W wrote:

 

 

 
This is the last week of the Vixen First Look discussion. You've all been wonderful participants! It has been such a pleasure to read a book with people who are so open and engaged....

 


 

Moderator
Sarah-W
Posts: 526
Registered: ‎10-29-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

Vera may not have to worry about Bastian, but Bastian might have to worry about Vera!

Atreyu59 wrote:

TO NikiGunn . . . 

 

I don't think Vera has to worry too much about Bastion; he will likely try and stay out of her way because of what she can do to his reputation and his society life, even though she is a black women in the '20's he would not want to cause the tight-knit black community to come down on him afterall he is making hugh profits in his "speak-easy" life-style .  Plus I think he has more to lose than Vera does.

 


 

you said . . . . . 

        Lorraine knows more about Bastian and she does come from a wealthy family, too. Vera's also put herself in a bad place with Bastian.


 

Contributor
LorettaP
Posts: 15
Registered: ‎10-05-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

The ending for Vixen took me completely by suprise. I would have never thought that Gloria and Jerome would leave for New York together. Gloria shot someone to protect Jerome!  I hope that they do find happiness in New York. Maybe Lorraine will use her new connection with the mob and presuade them not to search for Gloria and Jerome in New York. I think that Lorraine will find that attention she gets to be lacking. A ruthless gangster is not going to give her the attention and love that she is trying to find. I think with Marcus by her side Clara will be able to face her past. I would love to see these two young people make it.

 

 

I think life now compared to the 1920's is totally different. Women and African Americans have more freedom. Interracial relationships are not considered taboo anymore. A typical household in the 1920's solely relied upon the income of the father. In modern times, that particular type of household is hard to find. Single parents as well as households with both working parents are becoming more prevalent.

Correspondent
Atreyu59
Posts: 303
Registered: ‎08-02-2010
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

Your right on with your wishes for a 'get-away' like Josephine Baker did.  I loved her music and the movie about her life; what a hard life, but she was a special type of women and was not going to be tied down by societal pressures of race relations; she was on a mission.  

 


thanks twj for posting the pic of Josie Baker.

 

Reading . . .is LIVING in true color
Frequent Contributor
nfmgirl
Posts: 36
Registered: ‎04-20-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

I found this to be a really enjoyable read. It actually kept me guessing, which doesn't happen very often. It gave me a taste of what it was like to live in the "Roaring Twenties". A time with some kids choosing to grow up quite quickly and opting to live life in the fast lane (not so different from today).

 

Usually I hate cliffhangers, but I actually kinda liked the way that this book ended, leaving a bit to the imagination in how things would end for Gloria and Jerome, Clara and Marcus, and Lorraine.

 

I didn't really like how it ended with Vera and Bastian. It turned out that I was right about Vera being behind Bastian knowing about Gloria and the Green Mill, but I felt that this area of the story was loosely woven. I wanted more richness in the tapestry building up the relationship that existed between these two, and a more solid ending for how Vera handled the situation.

 

All in all a very good debut novel, and I'm glad that I decided to join in on this First Look!


Heather
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/
Distinguished Correspondent
flouncyninja
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎09-14-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

While I still really enjoyed this book overall, I have a giant complaint, and this is something I've noticed with a lot of the young adult books I've read this year.  They don't end.  I realize there is more money in creating a loyal audience to a series, but it's still possible to set up a sequel while still creating a satisfying ending to a complete story.  By the time I got to the last page, it made me say "You've got to be kidding me!" and not in a good way.  It didn't feel like anything was wrapped up except for Clara's storyline.  Everything else was left open ended so that it felt like I hadn't just read a book, but only half a book.

 

I've found that more and more young adult series are written like episodic television instead of movies.  There's a cliffhanger ending that leaves you hanging for the next book, but instead of getting some sort of resolution the next week, you have to wait an entire year or more to get the next installment, which will inevitably end in the same cliff hanger manner.  It's getting frustrating and putting me off of young adult series completely.  By the time the next book has come out, my head will be filled with all the stories I've read in between, not the cliffhangers of this book.

 

Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series does a great job of closing out a story line while leaving little hints of what's coming next.  I felt like I got a complete story and it just so happened I would get to jump back into her characters' lives again to have more adventures.  And this was with her novels coming out every four or five months!  There was never a long wait between books, but she still told complete stories with satisfying endings.

 

I think the last YA series I've read that was conceived as a series, but still written as individual books was Harry Potter.  It had the helpful construct of each book taking place in a school year, which has a beginning and end by default, but each book told its story while still adding new pieces to a larger, continuing story.  But they all had conclusions!  I like conclusions...

 

Sorry, I'll stop complaining and try to form rational thoughts about the end of the story now.  :smileyhappy:

Distinguished Correspondent
flouncyninja
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎09-14-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

While I wasn't entirely surprised by any of the twists the last bit of the novel took, I still found the journey enjoyable.  I like that the characters act like irrational teenagers because they are irrational teenagers with maybe the exception being Clara.  Coming clean despite all the reporters and photographers took some guts, but it was really the best she could do, painting Lorraine as the vililan she has quickly become.  That she keeps ending up in the clutches of Carlito is not boding well for her future and I hope that she can tear herself away from the speakeasy scene long enough to finish school and make it to New York for college.

 

Clara got a satisfying ending.  She's going back home, but she has the bright light of potentially moving in with Marcus in a few months.  Though that struck me as a little odd.  It's the 1920s and cohabitation isn't something that's generally looked down upon?  Or was that some sort of casual proposal?  I didn't think cohabitation became less taboo until the 60s.  I wouldn't think landlords would go for it.

 

Gloria shot a guy.  I really like how that scene was written with her hazy recollection of what she'd just done and the total shock and confusion that came afterwards.  I thought that was a realistic way to completely shatter whatever shreds of innocence she might have still had.  That Carlito ran away instead of fighting back seemed a little out of character, but maybe he only threatens violence and never gets his own hands dirty.

 

Vera is not very smart.  It made me a little sad that she turned out to be not very smart.  What did she think was going to happen when she got a rich, connected white guy involved in a situation with her brother?  That he would just kindly request Jerome back off from his fiancee and maybe look Gloria up in her room?  Of course he has connections to the mob or at least knows people with connections to the mob.  He's desperately in need of money.  He doesn't care who gets hurt.  His father's gambling debt was probably with the mob and now Bastian has a (dangerous) give and take relationship with them.

 

Now everyone is going to end up in New York for the next book, taking place some few months later when Marcus and Lorraine are at college, Lorraine most likely tangled in the mob so that she's acting as eyes and ears in the New York scene.  Somehow Clara is going to move in with Marcus, though I wouldn't think her parents would be so keen on that idea.  And Jerome and Gloria are going to be on the run from just about everybody all while sticking out any place they go.  And the drama keeps growing....

Distinguished Bibliophile
pen21
Posts: 3,648
Registered: ‎03-23-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I enjoyed the book. I thought it presented an accurate view of the times and turmoil that existed in the twenties. As well as being an interesting read, it provides an easy way to introduce young people to the history of that era.

The morality of today has eased considerably from what it was in the Roaring Twenties. Can you imagine a Victoria Secret commercial in those days? Well maybe not a commercial, there was no TV, but how about a model dressed in underwear on a billboard?

Today, it is no longer considered shameful to have a child out of wedlock. Actually, it has become quite an acceptable, common practice in some cases.

There are far more interracial, as well as interreligious, relationships and couples can largely live much more easily and comfortably anyplace, anywhere. There are still pockets of hate but most of us are far more comfortable with ourselves and others, regardless of our race or religion.

As a Jew, I know that there may be places and people that will still not welcome me into their community. I am sure people of color find the same thing exists for them, today. Yet, there are far more places open to us than ever before. So there is hope for a better future for everyone.

However, I do think that racisim is still alive and well as we see evidence of it more and more, everyday. Although many of us thought the election of our current President would erase all vestiges of it, it has in some way, perhaps, even encouraged more. Hopefully, we will evolve into more accepting people as time goes by. One can only hope...

 


Sarah-W wrote:
...To close our discussion I'm interested in your overall thoughts about the book. I'm especially interested in hearing your thoughts about similarities and differences between the Roaring Twenties and now. What is the same? What is different? Why? And what had to happen to make things change?...

 

 


Very good description of the book. I really felt I learned more about this era. And the comparisons were well discussed here. The way women were treated in that era can seem so alien to us. Jillian did a great job at bringing all this to us to think about.

 

Wordsmith
Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

These are very good points about the similarities and differences between now and the 1920's!

Lizard16 wrote:

 

The Roaring Twenties are not all that different from now in that people still look for that perfect love, that they get into uncomfortable positions, and they are also trying to grow up too fast.  However, in many ways it is different as well the lines between races and economic backgrounds have blurred quite a bit and it is more common to see people together from different races and economic backgrounds and alcohol is no longer illegal.  I believe people have opened their minds to accept more than they used to.  I believe that people pushed those boundries and lead to the opening of peoples minds. 

.

 

 

 

 


 

Wordsmith
Deltadawn
Posts: 311
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

 

What an amazing ending to a great book! The suspense is killing me! :smileyhappy:
I do believe that the ending of the book implied that Gloria jumped onto the train with Jerome to travel to a new life in New York.
I do not believe that Lorraine will find love & attention without finding herself ensnared with Chicago's ruthless gangsters. However, she does seem to perhaps want that kind of life - from what we see of her at the end of the book. I do not feel optimistic about her future!
I believe that Clara will find the courage to make a new life with Marcus. I believe she will go to NY and that they will have a good chance of building that life together. With Gloria and Jerome heading there, I believe that they will all meet again for more adventures in the next installment of this series - and I am so looking forward to it!

I have enjoyed the book and these First Look Discussions so much - and will most definitely recommend it! :smileyhappy:

 

Thanks to Sarah, Paul, and Barnes & Noble for this opportunity! Also many thanks to Jillian Larkin for sharing this riveting novel with us here! And thanks to my Fellow First Look Members for the great discussion, as always! Wishing everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Frequent Contributor
quiltedturtle1
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎09-02-2009
0 Kudos

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II through the end of the book

What a great story. The ending makes me hope the next book comes out soon. The author really captures your attention with her characters and descriptions.