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GReba
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Well, as I haven't exactly had that experience myself it's more of a supposition, but in theory...I still think you could have regrets even if you are madly in love, just perhaps the glory of the actual thing outshines those lesser feelings.  As for the impact on the characters....

 

Lorraine not having spilled the beans DID surprise me, after all...she was a bit tipsy last time she met up with Bastian.  Didn't change the way I feel about her though....she'll still trying too hard and letting everything she had slip right through her grasp because of it.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 

I don't know if it is my age that makes me see the answer to this question differently, or not, however, I think love at all costs, is a losing proposition and works best in novels and poems.
In real life, love's failure sometimes has a terrible cost, even for those rich enough to defy current mores. As examples I cite Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith. Can we really say that the punishments heaped upon them, ending in their eventual deaths,  because of the way they loved, were worth it? Was President Kennedy right in following his heart? Was President Clinton? Shouldn't the people affected by their decisions have been considered? How about the frivolous examples of love we read about everyday when it comes to movie stars, athletes, politicians? Did Tiger Woods wife expect her life to turn out as it has? Was Tiger merely following his heart? What about Eliot Spitzer, Senator Edwards, etc. Do you feel they were right to follow their hearts and hurt their families to satisfy themselves? What about the effects on the children in these families because they followed their hearts?
Of course, these are extreme examples, and some are selfish examples, but...to me, they "followed their hearts and lived incidentally". Can most average people afford to actually follow their hearts without any other consideration? Romance is marvelous, especially when you are young but a certain amount of thought has to accompany the pangs of the heart so that the consequences are considered and some thought is given to protecting the prospective victims as well as to your own happiness. We don't live in a vacuum.
There was no place that Jerome and Gloria could be safe or happy in the 1920's. I know for a fact that there was no place where a black man and white woman were that safe as late as the 1960's. I can recall being chased through a park in Saratoga, NY, because I was walking hand in hand with a black man. It is easy to fantasize about our ability to surmount all obstacles with love, but love won't feed a family or fight prejudice or poverty. Love will make our hearts soar, our spirits rise and fill us with hope, but it will never guarantee it so, for me, I think it should be carefully considered with all its ramifications. I think it is part of maturing. As we age, we realize, we really can't have it all. Life is about more than idealism, it is about choice and we should try to make good ones and consider the future and how it not only effects ourselves, but also others.

Sarah-W wrote:

 

Part II starts with a quotation from Zelda Fitzgerald, "I don't want to live, I want to love first, and live incidentally." Love is a major theme for this part of the book. Gloria admits her feelings to Jerome and they start making plans to runaway together.....edited by twj

 

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dhaupt
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 


thewanderingjew wrote:

 

I don't know if it is my age that makes me see the answer to this question differently, or not, however, I think love at all costs, is a losing proposition and works best in novels and poems.
In real life, love's failure sometimes has a terrible cost, even for those rich enough to defy current mores. As examples I cite Marilyn Monroe and Anna Nicole Smith. Can we really say that the punishments heaped upon them, ending in their eventual deaths,  because of the way they loved, were worth it? Was President Kennedy right in following his heart? Was President Clinton? Shouldn't the people affected by their decisions have been considered? How about the frivolous examples of love we read about everyday when it comes to movie stars, athletes, politicians? Did Tiger Woods wife expect her life to turn out as it has? Was Tiger merely following his heart? What about Eliot Spitzer, Senator Edwards, etc. Do you feel they were right to follow their hearts and hurt their families to satisfy themselves? What about the effects on the children in these families because they followed their hearts?
Of course, these are extreme examples, and some are selfish examples, but...to me, they "followed their hearts and lived incidentally". Can most average people afford to actually follow their hearts without any other consideration? Romance is marvelous, especially when you are young but a certain amount of thought has to accompany the pangs of the heart so that the consequences are considered and some thought is given to protecting the prospective victims as well as to your own happiness. We don't live in a vacuum.
There was no place that Jerome and Gloria could be safe or happy in the 1920's. I know for a fact that there was no place where a black man and white woman were that safe as late as the 1960's. I can recall being chased through a park in Saratoga, NY, because I was walking hand in hand with a black man. It is easy to fantasize about our ability to surmount all obstacles with love, but love won't feed a family or fight prejudice or poverty. Love will make our hearts soar, our spirits rise and fill us with hope, but it will never guarantee it so, for me, I think it should be carefully considered with all its ramifications. I think it is part of maturing. As we age, we realize, we really can't have it all. Life is about more than idealism, it is about choice and we should try to make good ones and consider the future and how it not only effects ourselves, but also others.



You make some wonderful points here twj especially about there being no where to live in peace for the couple. I however sort of envision them living somewhere very bohemian like Paris or somewhere else in Europe like the UK where after WWI is was common for a white woman and a non-white male to marry. Later on that changed but I think they could have hid in plain sight in Europe around that time.

 

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juliewu
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

I thought this section was very good. I am sad to see that there are so few pages left, but so many more questions I want answered. I think that if Gloria and Jerome continue their relationship that they would have to do it secretly or move away from their current environment. In the 1920s interracial relationships were not thought highly of, especially in the upper class. By leaving the current environment filled with family and friends, Jerome and Gloria could pursue their relationship with less constraints. 

 

When Lorraine revealed the information about Clara's past life my jaw dropped. I did not see that coming. I was also amazed by the reaction of the crowd. It seemed almost too good to be true that they would forgive for such a large event. I felt really bad for Lorraine. I was hoping her life would not come to this but she turned out to be kind of a train wreck. Her plan backfired in a way that even I found surprising. 

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cubicleblindnessKM
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 

 

I think that in this situation Clara gave Gloria very good advice (because bastian is mean). It's going to impact the characters a lot. Gloria really did chose an interesting person to fall in love with, and their love will be more difficult than most. But so did Clara, and it's Clara giving the advice. The impact will be a new life for Gloria, she will be poor for awhile if not the rest of her life, it will change Bastian and Gloria's family's deal and their reputations. I think Gloria and Jerome's chances of  success are slim.

 

I was surprised to learn that Lorraine did not tell Basian. I felt bad for Lorraine's situation here, because not only did not deserve some of the judgment, but in a way she really did deserve to have the guilt. I hated that she had to do it at the party in front of the press. If she really wanted to save the friendship at all, she would have thought that out instead of drinking. I was not expecting to hear the final blow of Clara's situation, that came completely out of now where. I thought that the big secret was just the man, but then there was this added depth to the secret that wowed me. And to top it off Bastian dissapears instead of comforting Gloria

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 

It is funny that you should say hiding in plain sight...I think that is why i really liked the quote about the fact that in the dark, we are all the same...maybe paris was like a dark stairwell, a netherworld where people could be themselves.
dhaupt wrote:

 

You make some wonderful points here twj especially about there being no where to live in peace for the couple. I however sort of envision them living somewhere very bohemian like Paris or somewhere else in Europe like the UK where after WWI is was common for a white woman and a non-white male to marry. Later on that changed but I think they could have hid in plain sight in Europe around that time.

 


 

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bookrooted
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Part II starts with a quotation from Zelda Fitzgerald, "I don't want to live, I want to love first, and live incidentally." Love is a major theme for this part of the book. Gloria admits her feelings to Jerome and they start making plans to runaway together. Clara tells Marcus about part of her past. And Lorraine reveals Clara's secret to everyone---including the press---at Gloria's engagement party.

 

Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree? How might this impact the characters in this story? How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success? 

 

-I agree. Though I'm only a young teen with no "love of my life" I can understand looking back on your life and not regretting that decision. Because you will be left with the haunting thought of "what would have happened" and your mind would linger on that person. It's better taking the risk and working through the troubles than take the easy way out. I think the characters in the story understand that-they want to be bold, courages, and daring, they just aren't to sure how without much experience. I'm hoping for success, but theres always that feeling of doubt-especially in books-that something just wont turn out right.

 

We also learn that Lorraine did not reveal Gloria's secret to Bastian, even as she does expose Clara's reasons for New York. Did either of these revelations surprise you? Did they change the way you feel about any of the characters?

 

-I was shocked it wasn't Lorraine, yet I still lost my hope for the girl. At the beginning i wish she would make a good decision, see the wrong of her ways, but she just got overwhelmed in her small society and personality to lash out, and she saw it was best by humiliating someone else. I actually think the outburst of Clara backfired on Lorraine, making people pity her more, and have bitter feelings towards her than Clara, were they felt sympathy and compassion. I just hope Lorraine could still grow up a bit and realize that though things aren't always about her, she can change and start fresh somewhere else.

 

 

----------------------------------------------
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DSaff
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

More great questions, Sarah! I had a very hard time stopping on pg. 355. I really wanted Lorraine to grow up, but instead she has just shattered the worlds of most everyone around her. In her search for acceptance, I think she has just totally ostracized herself and I fear what she might do next. She was the one I was pulling for to change and grow, and instead I want to slap her. Obviously she knew what she was doing was wrong and would have horrible consequences because she used "liquid" courage instead of the real stuff.

 

Gloria has admitted her feelings for Jerome and wants to be with him. Yet she is still playing the game with Bastian. Neither man seems right for her, not in this time and place, but I keep pulling for her to go with her heart.

 

Clara and Marcus are a true couple here. Their interactions feel real, and Clara's ability to tell him some of the truth shows me that she really wants a break from the NY girl. I thought the part she didn't tell Marcus was that she had an abortion, not that she had the baby. I now have the questions of where is the baby? and did she give it up for adoption or do her parents have the baby? I don't think that Harris has it, but who knows? I am hoping that Marcus can accept this news and stand beside her.

 

I don't agree that with love there are no regrets if things turn out badly. Love in the wrong setting or time can lead to more trouble and pain than warm and fuzzy moments. I think that the only ones here that have a chance are Clara and Marcus, but he will have to stand up for her. Gloria needs to stand up for herself, but there will be heartache and loss if she makes her relationship with Jerome permanent.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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avalonpriestess
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

[ Edited ]

Sarah W wrote:

Part II starts with a quotation from Zelda Fitzgerald, "I don't want to live, I want to love first, and live incidentally." " Love is a major theme for this part of the book. Gloria admits her feelings to Jerome and they start making plans to runaway together. Clara tells Marcus about part of her past. And Lorraine reveals Clara's secret to everyone---including the press---at Gloria's engagement party.Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree? How might this impact the characters in this story? How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success? 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I am absolutely loving this book!!  I must admit, I am more a skeptic than a romantic.  I think Clara's advice was flawed.  Love is worth everything in romance novels.  In real life I'm not sure. 

Clara loved Harris but had regrets...or did she really love him?  I find Clara to be the most interesting of all the characters.  She's been my favorite since the beginning.  The events at Gloria's engagement party just made me think even more of her (and even less of Lorraine).

 

I hope Gloria and Jerome can find happiness together.  Unfortunately I don't really see this happening.  Between what is socially acceptable, Gloria's mother and Vera's disapproval, I don't see the two of them actually running away together.  I don't know what will happen with Lorraine.  She's the wild card in all this action.  

 

I'd like to see Bastian the jerk get ripped to pieces...

 

Can't wait to finish this book.  

 

Donna

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heatburg
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

[ Edited ]

I wasn't particularly surprised by any of the revelations in this section of the book.  They seem pretty standard-issue.  That Lorraine was not the one who revealed that Gloria was singing in the club seemed so obvious to me that I was a bit confused everyone in the book jumped to that conclusion.

 

While I agree that Clara and Gloria are more likeable characters, I find myself having more sympathy for Lorraine as the book goes on (though she did behave appallingly at the party).  It's hard to be surrounded constantly by people who attract more attention than you do.  Clara and Gloria are both basically superstars, and Lorraine is not.  She feels like she's losing Gloria.  Marcus is in love with someone else.  Her parents are basically absent from her life.  No wonder she acts the way she does--she's just trying to get attention from someone, somehow.  No, she doesn't go about it the right way.  But she's a teenage girl.  How mature can you really expect her to be? 

 

Speaking of which, I often thought while reading that the whole story plays out like the characters are in their early to mid-twenties rather than their mid- to late-teen years.  That's not necessarily a criticism, but a few times when Gloria and Lorraine went to school, I was like, "What the...?" and had to reorient myself.

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Zia01
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree? How might this impact the characters in this story? How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success? I think they have a rocky road ahead of them to be honest. In the era we are talking about, I don't see anything being easy at all for them.

 

We also learn that Lorraine did not reveal Gloria's secret to Bastian, even as she does expose Clara's reasons for New York. Did either of these revelations surprise you? Did they change the way you feel about any of the characters? I haven't changed my opinon of Lorraine at all. I just don't like her. She's spiteful and mean hearted. I know some might say she's misunderstood, but everything about her rubs me the wrong way.

 

 


 

 

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MissShopaholic
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Even if it turns out badly, at least you know what it was to love.  For some people, love Is worth everything... so yes i do agree.

 

I'm not surprised that Clara wasn't the one who told Bastian because it doesn't make sense... she doesn't have a motive or anything to gain and doesn't seem like her style.

 

I couldn't put the book down, so i finished it last week. :smileyhappy:

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narcisse
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

[ Edited ]
Part II starts with a quotation from Zelda Fitzgerald, "I don't want to live, I want to love first, and live incidentally." Love is a major theme for this part of the book. Gloria admits her feelings to Jerome and they start making plans to runaway together. Clara tells Marcus about part of her past. And Lorraine reveals Clara's secret to everyone---including the press---at Gloria's engagement party.

I think the secret coming out might (later) be a relief for Clara who can now be free from her pretending in order to find her happy medium between "country Clara" and "flapper".  The combination of Lorraine's intolerable behavior and appearance and the fact that Clara had a miscarriage ended up causing more sympathy than shame for Clara.  People see her as someone that experienced something awful and is trying to fix her life.  Lorraine ends up looking like a vindictive degenerate.

 

Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree? How might this impact the characters in this story? How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success? 

I agree that Gloria and Jerome should try to make things work.  They love each other and would regret it forever if they didn't at least give the relationship a chance for success.  That being said, I think that it will be extremely difficult on both of them.  I think that they have the willpower and stubbornness to succeed without putting too much stock in other people's opinions.

 

We also learn that Lorraine did not reveal Gloria's secret to Bastian, even as she does expose Clara's reasons for New York. Did either of these revelations surprise you? Did they change the way you feel about any of the characters?

I didn't think that Lorraine was the one who revealed the secret.  Lorraine might be insanely jealous of Gloria, and is obviously affected and makes poor decisions at times, but I don't think that she would ever purposely connive against Gloria like that, at least not at that point in the story.  She was still too guilt ridden over kissing Bastian to worsen her chances of retaining her BFF by completely destroying her dreams all together.  Her attack on Clara was meant to be revenge, and in defense of Gloria.  She was just misguided in her assumptions.  I feel really sorry for Lorraine because she doesn't have anyone to say, "Hey, you're acting like a fool. Stop before you embarrass yourself."
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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 

I'm still trying to figure out how Lorraine did all the work to discover that there had been a baby? Who do you suppose knew? Who did she ask? 

AnnieBook wrote:
 
I'm still on the fence about Lorraine.  She's trying so hard to be a good friend to Gloria but you definitely see her evil streak when it comes to Clara.  Her revelation of Clara's past w/ Haris really blew me away!  I did not see that coming!  I'm curious if Clara ever told Haris she had his child?  Or did she hope to hide it and escape NY for a fresh start?

 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

This is a little OT, but your Tennyson made me think of the Sara Teasdale's 'Barter' from from her book Love Songs (1917):

 

Life has loveliness to sell,
All beautiful and splendid things,
Blue waves whitened on a cliff,
Soaring fire that sways and sings,
And children's faces looking up,
Holding wonder like a cup.

Life has loveliness to sell,
Music like the curve of gold,
Scent of pine trees in the rain,
Eyes that love you, arms that hold,
And for your spirit's still delight,
Holy thoughts that star the night.

Spend all you have for loveliness,
Buy it and never count the cost;
For one white singing hour of peace
Count many a year of strife well lost,
And for a breath of ecstasy
Give all you have been, or could be.

 

Our Vixen girls could've read Teasdale, just like they very well might have read Edna St. Vincent Millay! (I think it was VermontCozy who pointed this out a last week.) Clara, certainly, is quite the reader. 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

 

I was wondering who would be the first to bring this up! Gloria certainly seems to be feeling this way, even if she has the most at risk in terms of monetary value!

ponkle wrote:


This is totally random but as I read the earlier questions and answers the link from a song sung by Janis Joplin and written by Kris Kristofferson keeps going around in my mind :"Freedoms just another word for nothing left to lose"


 

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

I have been thinking about the characters in the book. Everyone seems to be a kind of bully, even Gloria's mom. Is there any character that anyone feels has redeeming qualities? They all seem preoccupied with lying, cheating, stealing, sneaking around and/or forcing their will upon others in order to achieve, among other things, security, independence and popularity.

At first I thought, it is the stage of life but Gloria's mom has certainly passed that stage. Then I had this awful thought; Is it that all of us have the potential to be bullies?

 

 

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kristyn711
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree?  Looking at my own life, I agree with that statement.  This reminds me of the saying "Better to have loved and lost then never loved at all."  I believe that some people enter ours lives for short periods of time, others for long periods.  No matter how long, they impact our lives and help shape who were are or will become.  Love is one of the few things I have personally jumped headfirst into without much thought.

 

How might this impact the characters in this story?  I think things will turn out badly for Jerome/Gloria or Clara/Marcus.  This seems like foreshadowing to something turning out badly.

 

 

How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success?   As much as I want things to work out for them, I am worried.  They have so many obstacles to overcome.  Aside from race/poverty, Gloria has a fiance, and I feel like he is not going to let her go easily, as he has shown he is a cad and not to be trusted.  He is also motivated by her money, and his lack-thereof, so I think he will always be the reason they have to look over their shoulder (if she chooses Jerome).

 

 

"A room without books is like a body without a soul." ~ Cicero

"My test of a good novel is dreading to begin the last chapter." ~ Thomas Helm
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KiwiMerrill
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

[ Edited ]

I really love Clara! She is my favorite character by far. It took me a little bit to warm up to her, only because she was playing a part in the beginning... but then, so was everyone else.I wasn't surprised about the pregnancy. I didn't expect a miscarraige, but I did suspect a pregnancy.

 

Raine, I didn't like from the get go. She is too needy and clingy for my tastes and she seems very destructive. Especially because she doesn't realize how needy she is, it makes her more "dangerous" in a destructive way.

 

As much as I do not like Raine though, I really hope that nothing horrible happens to her. I don't want her mixed up with gangsters, even if she seems to want to be. After what happened to Maude, I want Raine safe and far away from Carlito...

Anyone who says they have only one life to live must not know how to read a book. ~Author Unknown
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NikiGunn
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

Clara tells Gloria, "I'm no more expert on the subject than any other girl. But this much I know: Love is worth everything. If you really love someone, you'll have no regrets. Even if it turns out badly." Do you agree? How might this impact the characters in this story? How do you feel about our star-crossed lovers chances of success?


I think Clara feels better about her situation because while her situation ended badly, she came out stronger. I agree that doesn't make her an expert. Clara and Gloria's romances are completely different. Gloria might regret never trying with Jerome, and though she's better off without Bastian, Gloria has a few more obstacles. Race relations in the 20s were poor, they've been working for gangsters, they're working in the fickle entertainment industry, and I think Gloria's mother was much more forgiving of her niece than she would be of her daughter's situation, especially with her own divorce looming.


We also learn that Lorraine did not reveal Gloria's secret to Bastian, even as she does expose Clara's reasons for New York. Did either of these revelations surprise you? Did they change the way you feel about any of the characters?
 

I knew Lorraine didn't tell Bastian about Clara. I'm not really surprised about Clara's secret either. It is too bad Lorraine let her jealously make her act like she did at the party and reveal Clara's secret. Telling someone's secret usually doesn't go well for the person, even when intentions are good. Telling it as Lorraine did will probably play much better for Clara because people will be so disgusted by how Lorraine was acting. They didn't see Clara in New York, so they see her as she has been since she arrived and then they see Lorraine, drunk and belligerent. This is just going to make Lorraine's jealousy worse; Clara and Gloria are still wonderful and she's the one who looks bad.