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Bill_T
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First Impressions

If you're just cracking open Cage of Stars, tell us: what strikes you most strongly in the Prologue? Is it the spiritual tenor of Ronnie's words? The chilling idea of her hunt for a killer? Or something else? Who are we meeting, and what do we know about her?
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vivico1
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Re: First Impressions

The first thing that hit me is that we are not being told a story ABOUT a girl, but BY the girl,first person narrative. It is like you just sat down with her and she started telling you about how things came to be as they are now. You hear her talk of her struggles already in being that spiritual girl, spoken of in the description of the book, trying to come to grips with what has happened and how does she handle it and be right with God. We have her sisters names and what tugged at me already was hearing her refer to her father as "papa". I never had a relationship with my father and when i hear someone call their father "papa" it just ignites feelings in me of...there must have been a wonderful love there between father and daughter. I did not expect to sit down and have a teenager tell me her story in her own words and she does it so well, i felt like, ok, wait, let me get ready for this, whatever you are going to tell me.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Wrighty
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Re: First Impressions

The circumstances of this story are so incredibly tragic and sad. As a parent, it really bothers me to read about the deaths of children. It may sound strange but it almost made it easier to know at the start that their murders had already happened. The story was being told past tense and it wasn't going to build up to that moment. I was also impressed with the family and the community. They were people I wanted to meet.

I have to get back to my reading now. I only have a little left and I don't want it to end but I can't wait to finish it. :smileyhappy:
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kiakar
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Re: First Impressions



Wrighty wrote:
The circumstances of this story are so incredibly tragic and sad. As a parent, it really bothers me to read about the deaths of children. It may sound strange but it almost made it easier to know at the start that their murders had already happened. The story was being told past tense and it wasn't going to build up to that moment. I was also impressed with the family and the community. They were people I wanted to meet.

I have to get back to my reading now. I only have a little left and I don't want it to end but I can't wait to finish it. :smileyhappy:




You are so right, Wrighty. I can't read stories either that get right in the middle of a child's life and kill them off. That is so hurting. I guess we all can relate to the anquish that this terrible tragedy can bring to a family. We can feel it in our hearts and souls. This sort of thing is never acceptible to us as parents. If we just hear of this terrible ordeal and not live in the story with the child, we can accept it better. Jackie is a great writer and very brave to want to tell this wonderful story of distruction and trimph.
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Bill_T
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Re: First Impressions

It's a good point about the dramatic and gripping use of first person in this book. I wonder if anyone here has read any of Jacquelyn's novels for young adults?




vivico1 wrote:
The first thing that hit me is that we are not being told a story ABOUT a girl, but BY the girl,first person narrative. It is like you just sat down with her and she started telling you about how things came to be as they are now. You hear her talk of her struggles already in being that spiritual girl, spoken of in the description of the book, trying to come to grips with what has happened and how does she handle it and be right with God. We have her sisters names and what tugged at me already was hearing her refer to her father as "papa". I never had a relationship with my father and when i hear someone call their father "papa" it just ignites feelings in me of...there must have been a wonderful love there between father and daughter. I did not expect to sit down and have a teenager tell me her story in her own words and she does it so well, i felt like, ok, wait, let me get ready for this, whatever you are going to tell me.


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Wrighty
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Re: First Impressions


kiakar wrote:


Wrighty wrote:
The circumstances of this story are so incredibly tragic and sad. As a parent, it really bothers me to read about the deaths of children. It may sound strange but it almost made it easier to know at the start that their murders had already happened. The story was being told past tense and it wasn't going to build up to that moment. I was also impressed with the family and the community. They were people I wanted to meet.

I have to get back to my reading now. I only have a little left and I don't want it to end but I can't wait to finish it. :smileyhappy:




You are so right, Wrighty. I can't read stories either that get right in the middle of a child's life and kill them off. That is so hurting. I guess we all can relate to the anquish that this terrible tragedy can bring to a family. We can feel it in our hearts and souls. This sort of thing is never acceptible to us as parents. If we just hear of this terrible ordeal and not live in the story with the child, we can accept it better. Jackie is a great writer and very brave to want to tell this wonderful story of distruction and trimph.




That's it exactly. You expressed it just the way I feel.
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JackieM01
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Re: First Impressions/Papa

I always feel that same thing, and use that word to connote a special closeness and sense of mutual love and understanding between the child and the father. It's a tender word for a grown girl; but we realized quickly that Ronnie isn't so grown.
Jackie M.
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JackieM01
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

I don't always want to write sad stories; but I had been thinking bout this particular one for years. I tried to handle the deaths as delicately as I could; but no mistake, they were painful for me to write also, especially the bit before Ruth and Becky's funeral.
Jackie M.
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lepking
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too/funerals

Speaking from the experience of burying 3 children/step-children, the only feeling worse than sitting at your child's funeral, is sitting in a courtroom. Two of the three children's deaths involved criminal acts. The emotions are so strong, the bile builds up in your throat. At a funeral people speak of hope and love and the wonderful person lying in the casket. In a trial, there is resentment, hate, brutal pictures, descriptions, denials, accusations and as Ronnie experienced - a total lack of closure. lepking
lepking
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kiakar
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too/funerals



lepking wrote:
Speaking from the experience of burying 3 children/step-children, the only feeling worse than sitting at your child's funeral, is sitting in a courtroom. Two of the three children's deaths involved criminal acts. The emotions are so strong, the bile builds up in your throat. At a funeral people speak of hope and love and the wonderful person lying in the casket. In a trial, there is resentment, hate, brutal pictures, descriptions, denials, accusations and as Ronnie experienced - a total lack of closure. lepking





So you have lived this book. You have to be a very brave person to read this but since I have never been through what you have, maybe it helps put your memories in respective. I hope so. God Bless you! I was eight when I lost my father to a murderer but I know that was heartfelt at eight, it doesn't anywhere compare to a child or children. May your days become brighter, each and every one of them.
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hasenbein
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Re: First Impressions

I, too, feel that I'm actually listening to someone tell her story, almost as though she's now older, but is able to remember the feelings she had at the time, the perceptions, the colors, the smells. As she tells me, she's reliving the event. She's there again. And I can feel her joy, her sorrow, her terror, her anger, her disbelief, her doubt in herself. And she's feeling it all over again.

KathyH
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Wrighty
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too


JackieM01 wrote:
I don't always want to write sad stories; but I had been thinking bout this particular one for years. I tried to handle the deaths as delicately as I could; but no mistake, they were painful for me to write also, especially the bit before Ruth and Becky's funeral.
Jackie M.




Jackie,

I thought you did a great job with a tough subject. Delicate is a great way to describe it. You didn't bombard us with the ugly images of their deaths and you captured the emotions that everyone was feeling. It broke my heart but it really drew me into the story and made me want to know more.
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Wrighty
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too/funerals


lepking wrote:
Speaking from the experience of burying 3 children/step-children, the only feeling worse than sitting at your child's funeral, is sitting in a courtroom. Two of the three children's deaths involved criminal acts. The emotions are so strong, the bile builds up in your throat. At a funeral people speak of hope and love and the wonderful person lying in the casket. In a trial, there is resentment, hate, brutal pictures, descriptions, denials, accusations and as Ronnie experienced - a total lack of closure. lepking




I can't imagine having to go through that once but you've had to do it twice. I'm so sorry for what you've had to endure. You described the obvious differences between the funerals and the trials. Were you able to feel any kind of closure when that part was over?
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cindersue
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

ditto Wrigtly :smileywink:
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lepking
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

There is no such thing as closure. It is just moving to a new chapter. I took my anger/grief and channeled it toward speaking out against domestic violence at schools, churches, civic groups. I became an advocate for DV awareness. It has given me a way to put words to my grief by hopefully helping others to see the pitfalls and signs of violent behaviors. Make no mistake, I am not a hero. Just a mother trying to survive the best way I know how. That is what I meant by saying you feel like you have to do SOMETHING, just as Ronnie had to take physical action, though ultimately her actions did not injure anyone. I will never close the book on Lisa or Debbie's deaths, just keep adding chapters hoping someone will benefit from their deaths. Nothing happens without a reason. lepking
lepking
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vivico1
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

Lepking, check your private messages :smileywink:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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lepking
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

I don't know how to check private messages.lepking
lepking
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vivico1
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too


lepking wrote:
I don't know how to check private messages.lepking


Up at the right, right under the dark green bar where it says bookclubs, where you see an envelope, click on that.m :smileyhappy:
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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homereader
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Re: First Impressions/bothers me too

lepking..........your experience is tragic, almost beyond my imagination. You are doing something very positive by speaking to groups about domestic violence. What you say has got to make a strong impression on anyone listening. My best wishes

Janet aka homereader
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homereader
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Re: First Impressions

I joined in late. The book arrived Friday AM, 4/13. I read throughout the day, in-between carpool duty, making dinner, etc and finished around midnight.

First impressions.......riveting. What was really striking to me was how Jacki could convey the strong emotions, without going into a lot of detail about the murders. I also appreciated being able to wait a few chapters before I got to the gruesome facts.

I think it takes great skill to write in a way that conveys such strong emotion without dwelling on the graphic details.

Glad I read the book. I tend to stay away from tragic, gruesome stories, because there is so much of it in the world around us. I usually go more for lighter escapism when I am reading for leisure, but I have no regrets about reading this book.

Janet aka homereader
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