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

 

Bonnie_C, I keep thinking of the aphorism "there's no such thing as bad press." And then thinking that even if it wasn't true the public nature of the revelation could still have repercussions.

Bonnie_C wrote:

I'm not so sure that Lorraine's scene at the engagement party will make Clara a more sympathetic character as some readers have suggested.  The attendees at this event are all high society snobs.  I can't imagine that Clara's plight will generate any sympathy that will enter their diamond encrusted hearts.

 

 

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Sarah-W
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Re: Stand out sections

I also marked the spot where Clara kisses Marcus, he asks if she loved Harris Brown, 

 

"I don't love him," she says. "I don't think I ever really did. I didn't know what love was, back then. I think I wanted to feel things just for the sake of feeling them. But now I have a much better idea."

 

This is after she's told Gloria, "If you love someone, you have no regrets."

 

So does she or doesn't she regret what happened in New York? Did she or didn't she love Harris Brown? I know it's possible to love more than one person. And that even when someone loves another person very deeply that is possible to feel regret. Still, this stood out to me as a kind of contradiction, a sort of 'do what I say, not what I did' moment. 

 


DSaff wrote:

These two sections really stood out to me in this week's reading. I will be interested to hear what you all think or add.  :smileyhappy:

 

pg. 277 "All I did was sing. Is that such a crime?" Gloria glared at Malinda, then at every girl in the room.

"It's not that you sing," called a voice from the back -- Angela Desmond, that greasy haired cow -- "But whom you sing with. And that you lie about it. Because everyone knows there'd be only one reason to lie about singing love songs with a colored man --"

"That's quite enough, class," Miss Trimbal said, ringing the tiny bell she kept on her desk. "I will remind you not to air your dirty laundry in public. Doing so only makes the sinner feel self-important and--"

I know this was the attitude of the times, but I was really angry with the teacher. It is easy to see why the girls acted the way they did!

 

pg. 303 "And for the first time in her life, Clara had a true kiss -- one that wasn't about someone taking advantage of her, wasn't about her lying with her lips. It was about wanting to kiss no one else in the world. It was a kiss that shook her to her foundation and woke her up again, shook her alive."

Clara truly felt honest with this kiss and that it was reciprocated.



 

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

 

I agree! Both the revelation about Clara's past and the interracial romance were surprises for me in this book. They definitely make the book stand out! 

LerBear wrote:

I was completely shocked and caught off guard at the revelation of Clara’s past!  I never saw this one coming - way to go Jillian! 

 

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Tarri
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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."
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? 

Perhaps it is because I am much older than the characters in the book, but I don't agree with Clara.  Love is worth everything, but you can (and probably will if you are like most people) have regrets.  Of course, that doesn't mean I think you shouldn't follow your heart, because love is a wonderful emotion and even if it doesn't work out, the experience will help you grow. 
As to their chances of success, I think Clara and Marcus could have a wonderful and successful life.  I think Lorraine will grow into a bitter and lonely woman, unless she wakes up soon.  I really don't know about Gloria and Jerome, the obstacles are vast, but not unsurmountable. 

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 not surprised, as I didn't suspect Lorraine would betray Gloria, anyone else, but not Gloria.  I thought it could be Gloria's mother, who seemed unable to deal with all that was going on around her. 
Clara's secret didn't surprise me either, as I suspected it was something like that.  

 

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

I do believe in ‘no regrets’ regardless whether it turns out badly or not. At least you followed your heart and tried. I think the characters will follow their hearts, but there will be regrets. Gloria and Jerome’s chances of success with their relationship will not be good just because of the era that the book was set. Lorraine not revealing Gloria’s secret to Bastian was not a surprise to me. That’s not what changed my feeling for Lorraine. I just got tired of her whining and complaining. Some things of Clara’s past did surprise me. I liked her from the beginning and was very intrigued with her character. My views did not change about her.

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

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 thought for awhile that Lorraine had ratted out Gloria to Bastian when she "slept" with him. So I was a little surprised to find she hadn't. It really did suprise me when she drunkenly exposed Clara to the whole world. The only change in my feelings was that I disliked Lorraine more.
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 don't really agree with that statement. It cannot be true in every situation. I think in this story the characters will pursue their relationship. In this book their chances of having a relationship is pretty good, I think. In real life it would have been much more difficult.
Clara tells Marcus about part of her past. The fact that Marcus was so accepting of Clara and her past surprised me. Until then I wasn't sure what he was up to. I'm glad that he is turning out to be a good guy from that shakey beginning.
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Jillian-Larkin
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Re: Stand out sections

 


Sarah-W wrote:

I also marked the spot where Clara kisses Marcus, he asks if she loved Harris Brown, 

 

"I don't love him," she says. "I don't think I ever really did. I didn't know what love was, back then. I think I wanted to feel things just for the sake of feeling them. But now I have a much better idea."

 

This is after she's told Gloria, "If you love someone, you have no regrets."

 

So does she or doesn't she regret what happened in New York? Did she or didn't she love Harris Brown? I know it's possible to love more than one person. And that even when someone loves another person very deeply that is possible to feel regret. Still, this stood out to me as a kind of contradiction, a sort of 'do what I say, not what I did' moment. 

 


Hi there--I thought I'd comment on this. I'm not sure Clara's being contradictory, exactly. We have to remember that it has not been very long since Clara's romance with Harris Brown. I don't think you can really be sure whether or not you loved someone until you've had some time to get a little perspective. Clara's starting to get that, but she's not quite there yet. What she knows now is that whether or not she loved Harris, she doesn't regret the relationship and what she learned from it.

 

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lc_dakr810lire
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

[ Edited ]

Being a hopeless romantic myself :smileywink: lol, I do like the idea of love being worth everything but in reality, this is not always the case nor should it be. Some decisions I've made in my life I've come to regret. Clara reminds me of a girl who is simply fixatetd in the fallacy that love is all it takes to be happy with someone. I feel she needs to have someone set her straight about love.

Unofortunately, for the star crossed lovers, I think their chances of success are slim. I hate to be a downer but they are still young, they still have a lot to experience.

We read to know we are not alone.
- C.S. Lewis
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lc_dakr810lire
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

"Clara tells Marcus about part of her past. The fact that Marcus was so accepting of Clara and her past surprised me. Until then I wasn't sure what he was up to. I'm glad that he is turning out to be a good guy from that shakey beginning"

 

 

I completely agree with you. I was always wondering when the author was going to tie Marcus into the novel more.

We read to know we are not alone.
- C.S. Lewis
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SSDailey
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

I am a hopeless romantic myself so I will always hold to the belief that if it is a true love then it will last for eternity. But I also know that we all have to have a few speed bumps on the path to finding that true love. I can't regret any of the heartache in my past because it is what led me to where I am now, in a very happy relationship with my best friend.

 

Clara and Marcus remain my favorite pair in the book. Since the "second section" we read for this discussion, I have believed that Marcus' feelings for Clara are genuine and I think that he will be able to accept this huge secret that Lorraine has revealed to everyone. However, I do think that Clara will probably push Marcus away now that her secret has been revealed because she'll mistakenly believe that he won't want to be with her anymore. Also, I do find myself hoping that things will work out for Gloria and Jerome but the odds are so against them that it will be difficult for them to overcome it all.

 

Then there's Lorraine. Yes she is jealous and it has turned to maliciousness and she's all over the place, but I'm hoping that eventually (maybe in Ingenue...) that she'll get into a situation that will help her to grow up and change her ways. Though I don't like her much now, I do want to see all of these characters succeed in their lives. Lorraine is kind of the underdog in all of this. No one really expects much from her. I think if she stopped with this obsession with trying to act all mature and worldly then she could really surprise us all with how great she truly could be.

 

We haven't even finished this book and already I find that I am wishing that Ingenue was coming out really, really soon. I hate it when I fall in love with a book and then realize I have to wait a while for the next one.

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

Love is worth any price, but sometimes love also means sacrifice to protect, save, and defend the one you love.  With that in mind, I don't see much of a future for the stars crossed lovers.  Don't get me wrong....I would love to see Gloria and Jerome's love for each other trimuph, but give the time in which this book is set, I don't see how that is possible.  And the person who is taking the greatest risk in this situation is Jerome.  By even considering running away with him, Gloria endangers Jerome's life.  When she leaves, given her age and the prevalent prejudices of the time, it is Jerome who will be blamed and face serious consequences not Gloria.  I know that alot of people will probably disagree with me on this one, but I think if Gloria truly loves Jerome, she should let him go.  What is her own happiness in comparison with protecting the one she loves?

 

I am not really surprised that it wasn't Lorraine that tattled.  She seemed like a much too obvious choice to be the real informant, although I think that she is ultimately capable of such conduct.  It doesn't really change my opinion of her.  I've never liked her, and frankly, I have felt from the beginning of the book that she was only using Gloria to get close to Marcus. 

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


dhaupt wrote:

 


AIRKNITTER wrote:

How can these lovely ladies have "happy ever after lives"?

Well, Gloria and Jerome will move to Paris where he will blossom and so will she.

Lorraine will settle for a dull life as a bankers wife.

Marcus will convince Clara to wait for him. He graduates finally with a PhD in anthropology.

Aine


Loved this thank You

 


Dear AIRKNITTER , I love that scenario.as well..I am a hopeless romantic..I really hope Clara and Marcus do wind up together,,But only in "Ingénue" will we know,maybe..Gloria and Jerome..will need to leave NY and can flourish in Paris,where in the 1920's they would be accepted..Lorraine is a wild card..,Going to Barnard might be a good thing,but then again,,She will have so much freedom..Can she handle it?..Jillian has us wondering..as we wait for "Ingénue."...Susan 

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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DSaff
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Re: Stand out sections

While it does seem like a contradiction, I think Clara has figured out that what she thought was love really wasn't. Feelings often mimic each other especially when we want something so badly. She seems to have also figured out that there in heartache and regret when you put yourself out there with the wrong person. It may be that Harris didn't know about the baby, but Clara saw that she was just a fling to him - no love on his part. Now, she has met someone she truly cares for and we will have to see how things do, or don't, blossom with Marcus.


Sarah-W wrote:

I also marked the spot where Clara kisses Marcus, he asks if she loved Harris Brown, 

 

"I don't love him," she says. "I don't think I ever really did. I didn't know what love was, back then. I think I wanted to feel things just for the sake of feeling them. But now I have a much better idea."

 

This is after she's told Gloria, "If you love someone, you have no regrets."

 

So does she or doesn't she regret what happened in New York? Did she or didn't she love Harris Brown? I know it's possible to love more than one person. And that even when someone loves another person very deeply that is possible to feel regret. Still, this stood out to me as a kind of contradiction, a sort of 'do what I say, not what I did' moment. 

 


DSaff wrote:

These two sections really stood out to me in this week's reading. I will be interested to hear what you all think or add.  :smileyhappy:

 

pg. 277 "All I did was sing. Is that such a crime?" Gloria glared at Malinda, then at every girl in the room.

"It's not that you sing," called a voice from the back -- Angela Desmond, that greasy haired cow -- "But whom you sing with. And that you lie about it. Because everyone knows there'd be only one reason to lie about singing love songs with a colored man --"

"That's quite enough, class," Miss Trimbal said, ringing the tiny bell she kept on her desk. "I will remind you not to air your dirty laundry in public. Doing so only makes the sinner feel self-important and--"

I know this was the attitude of the times, but I was really angry with the teacher. It is easy to see why the girls acted the way they did!

 

pg. 303 "And for the first time in her life, Clara had a true kiss -- one that wasn't about someone taking advantage of her, wasn't about her lying with her lips. It was about wanting to kiss no one else in the world. It was a kiss that shook her to her foundation and woke her up again, shook her alive."

Clara truly felt honest with this kiss and that it was reciprocated.



 


 

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

AIRKNITTER wrote:

"How can these lovely ladies have "happy ever after lives"?
Well, Gloria and Jerome will move to Paris where he will blossom and so will she.
Lorraine will settle for a dull life as a bankers wife.
Marcus will convince Clara to wait for him. He graduates finally with a PhD in anthropology."


Aine

 

 

 

This was wonderful to read first thing in the morning, brought a big smile to my face :smileyhappy:

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flouncyninja
Posts: 78
Registered: ‎09-14-2009

Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

And some of the secrets start finally coming to light!

 

I think Harris showing up at the engagement party is a tiny bit more proof that he knows Bastian in some way, though perhaps politicians regularly crashed high society engagement parties for people they didn't know so they could have a free snack.  I think it's more likely that he knows someone other than Clara at that party and had a way in.

 

Poor drunk Lorraine.  I was really starting to feel for her in the last section, what with thinking Gloria had abandoned her and backing off on her need to destroy something/someone when Gloria returned to her as a confidant.  Now she's truly been abandoned by everyone (except maybe the mob?) and looking to go down in flames, taking as many other people down with her.  Her drunken outburst at the engagement party could have easily been laughed off by Clara and declared the drunken ramblings of a sad little girl, but I guess Clara isn't that good of an actor yet or was completely put off her game by Harris showing up out of a dark corner.

 

I really do like Marcus.  His reaction to Clara's back story was admirable.  He really does like her and isn't just trying to play along with the original plan of running her out of Chicago.  I don't think he would purchase expensive jewelry if he wanted to destroy her.  It should be interesting to see how he responds to the news that Clara had a baby.

 

Which then leads me into a brain twister on the time line.  I thought Clara was only in New York for a year, in which she became well loved by the party crowd of NYC, bouncing between rich men, modeling jobs, and parties.  She had three months to get established in that crowd before becoming pregnant or was she pregnant when she was arrested by the police and had the baby back in Pennsylvania before being shipped to Chicago?  Even back then, I'm not sure how highly the speakeasy crowd would have looked on a pregnant woman.  It definitely would have been difficult to pull off the boyish body that was fashionable at the time!

 

And if she had the baby in Pennsylvania, how was it such common knowledge in New York that Lorraine's contacts knew about it?  I think I need to go back and research a bit of Clara's personal timeline.

 

Jerome is so sweet and he is going to crash and burn.  It's sad.  I'm glad to know that he's 19 though; in my head, I was picturing him in his mid-20s, which gave the entire relationship another weird little spin.  Is Vera the girl in the prologue, taking the gun to protect her brother?  I still think it's going to be Gloria, but I'm starting to have a few doubts.

 

I'm thinking no one is getting out of this unscathed at this point, but who will be able to rise out of the ashes to have at least the illusion of a happy life?  Marcus can bail, though I think even this baby news won't run him off permanently.  I think Lorraine is done for, at least for this book.  Gloria is going to fall off the tight rope she's walking and there's not that many pages left to resolve that in a happy way.  Clara might lose her luster, but then again, perhaps she can spin it as naivete and turn Harris into the villian. 

 

Still really enjoying it and ready to see how this one all concludes.

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maxcat
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Re: Stand out sections

Sarah-W wrote:

 

So does she or doesn't she regret what happened in New York? Did she or didn't she love Harris Brown? I know it's possible to love more than one person. And that even when someone loves another person very deeply that is possible to feel regret. Still, this stood out to me as a kind of contradiction, a sort of 'do what I say, not what I did' moment. 

 

I really don't get the impression that Clara "loved" Harris Brown. She was young and on her own and wanted to be the rage of New York City. She was having fun and didn't realize that sometimes fun can go too far. Clara probably regretted the fact that she and Harris were carrying on when she found out she was pregnant. My impression of Clara now is that she is living with Gloria's family to redeem herself and live a normal life.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep, but I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep - Robert Frost
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pen21
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Re: Vixen Discussion: Part II thru p. 355

I think love can come with regret. But you never find out if it was true love or if you have regrets till much later. In my mind when Clara was talking to Gloria about pursuing true love at all costs, that Clara was asking Gloria to think if it was love or lust for Jerome. I think Clara looks on love different after being away from her cad and now being with Marcus. Gloria is very young and hasn't had the time with Jerome to know who Jerome really is. Gloria has led a very sheltered life. So much for Gloria to think about as her age.

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thewanderingjew
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Re: Stand out sections

Even though Clara's advice was to "follow your heart" and the rest would take care of itself, when she followed hers, it ended in disaster.

Perhaps she feels if it had worked out well, she would have been the happiest of people, but it didn't. I think her biggest regret was the loss of the child, not the pregnancy. She no longer wanted Harris which contradicts her advice that "love conquers all". Not only didn't it conquer all it didn't last long enough. It was romantic advice but not mature advice.

You know, it is a novel, maybe the author will make it all end well, when the series is complete. I am kind of ready for some happy endings.

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

Yes, very good points TWJ -

I love the idea of Jerome & Gloria living in Paris!


dhaupt wrote:

 


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

I was surprised it was not Lorraine who told Bastian.  I really didn't figure Jerome's sister into the picture at all.  Although Lorraine did many hateful things, I really can't help feeling sorry for her.  She obviously has no self-esteem, is looking for love in all the wrong places, and doing whatever she thinks it takes to get it.