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vivico1
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end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend

LauraMoriarity wrote:
"I am curious about what readers think of Eva. For me,she's the personification of gossip, which I don't think of as all bad. But Eva, like gossip, isn't all good either."
Laura posed this query on a different thread, so I thought we would give it a thread of its own for anyone to give their thoughts about Eva. She is worth a thread of her own. What do you think of her gossiping? Is gossip ever good? What role does she play in Leigh's life, good or bad? Is Leigh's perception of her different than the community's?
Vivian
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IBIS
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend

Thanks, Vivico, for starting this separate thread about Eva. I had posted these comments about Eva in another thread. Here they are in their rightful thread:

I was very glad that Eva continued to be Leigh's friend. Eva was Leigh's lifeline to the community. Leigh admitted that Eva made smalltown life in Danby much more interesting for her.
(p. 84) "Being her friend was like having hundreds of tiny microphones planted in people's homes and cars, the wires all reading to her ear."

And later in the book, Leigh considered that the things that Eva told her made her a better person. Eva told her about the boy bank teller who had tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists. The next time she was at the bank, when the boy waited on her, Leigh made certain to smile to the boy to smile and say thanks.

Later that year, he made a small mistake with her bank account, and she tried hard not to come down too hard on him; she was very understanding. If Eva had not told her about his slit wrists, she might never have noticed him.

Some of Eva's gossip was cruel (calling the Nuttings "blueberries"), but a lot of her gossip was positive. They helped Leigh notice her neighbors, and helped to connect with day-to-day small town Danby.

Another instance when Eva was very helpful was when Leigh struggled with the letter to the conservative parents who demanded that she change her reading list for the Honors English class. Eva helped her compose the letter which empowered Leigh to keep the books she wanted to teach.

As long as we can distinguish between the destructive gossip, and the helpful kind, we can all use a friend like Eva.
IBIS

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vivico1
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend


IBIS wrote:
Thanks, Vivico, for starting this separate thread about Eva. I had posted these comments about Eva in another thread. Here they are in their rightful thread:

I was very glad that Eva continued to be Leigh's friend. Eva was Leigh's lifeline to the community. Leigh admitted that Eva made smalltown life in Danby much more interesting for her.
(p. 84) "Being her friend was like having hundreds of tiny microphones planted in people's homes and cars, the wires all reading to her ear."

And later in the book, Leigh considered that the things that Eva told her made her a better person. Eva told her about the boy bank teller who had tried to commit suicide by slitting his wrists. The next time she was at the bank, when the boy waited on her, Leigh made certain to smile to the boy to smile and say thanks.

Later that year, he made a small mistake with her bank account, and she tried hard not to come down too hard on him; she was very understanding. If Eva had not told her about his slit wrists, she might never have noticed him.

Some of Eva's gossip was cruel (calling the Nuttings "blueberries"), but a lot of her gossip was positive. They helped Leigh notice her neighbors, and helped to connect with day-to-day small town Danby.

Another instance when Eva was very helpful was when Leigh struggled with the letter to the conservative parents who demanded that she change her reading list for the Honors English class. Eva helped her compose the letter which empowered Leigh to keep the books she wanted to teach.

As long as we can distinguish between the destructive gossip, and the helpful kind, we can all use a friend like Eva.


You think maybe thats why Eva has so many friends too and people who come to her parties and tell her things, because its not destructive gossip? Because for all her gossip, she certainly isnt ostracized by the community, she seems quite welcome there over all. I think its probably why. Now thats a fine tightrope to walk and maintain relationships, to be the gossip she is, but also to be liked and trusted with information like she is. Quite a talent actually.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Stephanie
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend

I don't know how much of a "gossip" (as we think of them) Eva really is. Doesn't she tell Leigh that she only tells Leigh all these personal things about people? That's hardly being a gossip - a person who runs around telling everything she knows about everyone to anyone who will listen.

I think people tell Eva things, or let her know things about themselves because it's apparent to them that she truly cares. She cares enough to really listen to the elderly people in her community-- they love her! Leigh, on the other hand, doesn't pay enough attention to even remember the ones she's met. Leigh is not a woman who has "girlfriends" and I think she really needs some. It's important to see who you are through your friends' eyes, and I was glad when Eva finally let Leigh see herself.
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LauraMoriarty
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend

Stephanie,
That is exactly the way I think about Eva. She likes to talk about people because she's interested in people. I think she's also a good foil to Leigh in that she is pretty comfortable with herself; she doesn't worry about people talking about her, and she isn't as dogged by insecurity as Leigh is. But I think she's also able to see the good in Leigh and hang in there with her. She's also a good enough friend to tell Leigh about her blind spots. I agree you could say the same thing about Gary. Neither Gary nor Eva is perfect, but I think they really care about Leigh, and I think they're both able to see that her intentions are good.


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kiakar
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend



Stephanie wrote:
I don't know how much of a "gossip" (as we think of them) Eva really is. Doesn't she tell Leigh that she only tells Leigh all these personal things about people? That's hardly being a gossip - a person who runs around telling everything she knows about everyone to anyone who will listen.

I think people tell Eva things, or let her know things about themselves because it's apparent to them that she truly cares. She cares enough to really listen to the elderly people in her community-- they love her! Leigh, on the other hand, doesn't pay enough attention to even remember the ones she's met. Leigh is not a woman who has "girlfriends" and I think she really needs some. It's important to see who you are through your friends' eyes, and I was glad when Eva finally let Leigh see herself.




Eva seems like a nice enought person, maybe alittle bit loose with the tongue but hey, how many of us have that problem? And she seems to care about others and seems obvious she cares alot about Leigh. I like the alitude she takes with her daughter. She doesnt forbid her not to have the operation on her breasts. Its easy to say no, absolutely no, to a teenager but there are conseguences to doing this. Being a caring person, I believe Eva talked to her daughter about what she was doing. I liked that part of the story. Not that I approve of this, but you can't disvalue a person's opinion of their self. Hopefully the girl will learn this is not the most important thing in the world. But sometimes you have to let them leep for their selves then get up again and walk slowly.
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Wrighty
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Re: end of book discussion: Eva the gossip/friend


LauraMoriarty wrote:
Stephanie,
That is exactly the way I think about Eva. She likes to talk about people because she's interested in people. I think she's also a good foil to Leigh in that she is pretty comfortable with herself; she doesn't worry about people talking about her, and she isn't as dogged by insecurity as Leigh is. But I think she's also able to see the good in Leigh and hang in there with her. She's also a good enough friend to tell Leigh about her blind spots. I agree you could say the same thing about Gary. Neither Gary nor Eva is perfect, but I think they really care about Leigh, and I think they're both able to see that her intentions are good.



Eva is the perfect foil for Leigh. She isn't as bad with her gossip as Leigh has always assumed and often she's just making conversation. She doesn't appear to spread harmful news and she is honest when Leigh really needs it. She gives her constructive criticism and offers her help. She shows her that the community isn't so critical and as judgemental as she thought. Eva knows she's trying and she really needs a friend.
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Bonnie824
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Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people

[ Edited ]
I know many people like this, mostly from work. They feel they are important because they know more about situations that others and feel compelled to tell what they know. Their sympathy about situations is usually fake IMO. She was probably a "fun" and "entertaining" friends to Leigh, but not a "good" one. Even when Leigh was facing overwhelming pain and fear, Eva seemed to get excited by it and enjoy the drama.

Message Edited by Bonnie824 on 10-23-2007 09:46 PM
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people



Bonnie824 wrote:
I know many people like this, mostly from work. They feel they are important because they know more about situations that others and feel compelled to tell what they know. Their sympathy about situations is usually fake IMO. She was probably a "fun" and "entertaining" friends to Leigh, but not a "good" one. Even when Leigh was facing overwhelming pain and fear, Eva seemed to get excited by it and enjoy the drama.

Message Edited by Bonnie824 on 10-23-2007 09:46 PM




Hey! That is a different way to look at it! She was excited by Leigh's troubles. I can't say I agree but hadn't thought about it that way.
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people

[ Edited ]

Bonnie824 wrote:
I know many people like this, mostly from work. They feel they are important because they know more about situations that others and feel compelled to tell what they know. Their sympathy about situations is usually fake IMO. She was probably a "fun" and "entertaining" friends to Leigh, but not a "good" one. Even when Leigh was facing overwhelming pain and fear, Eva seemed to get excited by it and enjoy the drama.

Message Edited by Bonnie824 on 10-23-2007 09:46 PM



Boy, do I know people like that! They live for chaos in other people's lives just so they can be the first to report it to everyone. In this story, do you really think Eva was like that or do you think that was Leigh's interpretation? I know she was a gossip but as the story went on and I saw how Leigh's insecurities often made her misjudge other people's intentions (like when she thought the whole community would hate them after the accident) I wondered if maybe Eva wasn't as bad as I first thought. Was she a cruel gossip about everything and everyone or did she gossip about some things as a way to make conversation (still not a good thing) but she knew where to draw the line? I wasn't sure at the end of the book.

Message Edited by Wrighty on 10-24-2007 01:37 AM
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vivico1
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people


Wrighty wrote:

Bonnie824 wrote:
I know many people like this, mostly from work. They feel they are important because they know more about situations that others and feel compelled to tell what they know. Their sympathy about situations is usually fake IMO. She was probably a "fun" and "entertaining" friends to Leigh, but not a "good" one. Even when Leigh was facing overwhelming pain and fear, Eva seemed to get excited by it and enjoy the drama.

Message Edited by Bonnie824 on 10-23-2007 09:46 PM



Boy, do I know people like that! They live for chaos in other people's lives just so they can be the first to report it to everyone. In this story, do you really think Eva was like that or do you think that was Leigh's interpretation? I know she was a gossip but as the story went on and I saw how Leigh's insecurities often made her misjudge other people's intentions (like when she thought the whole community would hate them after the accident) I wondered if maybe Eva wasn't as bad as I first thought. Was she a cruel gossip about everything and everyone or did she gossip about some things as a way to make conversation (still not a good thing) but she knew where to draw the line? I wasn't sure at the end of the book.

Message Edited by Wrighty on 10-24-2007 01:37 AM


I think your right, wrighty. I think we were seeing Eva through Leigh's eyes at first and lets face it, Leigh's judgment of about everyone was a bit off kilter. I don't think Eva was a fake about her friendship or just in it for the entertainment or excitement. I think Eva is just an upbeat person to begin with and yes she loves to know whats going on, but she is not malicious. She is THE best friend Leigh has and in the end, a good one. I thought just for the heck of it, I would look up the definition of gossip, because usually we do mean it as a negative thing, not to be endorsed at all. Here are two of the definitions, I find the second one intriguing as I would never think of it as a definition for gossip, but it more suits Eva than the others.
#1. A person who habitually spreads intimate or private rumors or facts.
#2. A close friend or companion.

Isn't that interesting? A gossip is a close friend or companion? We just dont use it that way at all, but in this case, I do think it fits Eva with Leigh. It just takes Leigh some time to really figure that out.
Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people



Wrighty wrote:

Bonnie824 wrote:
I know many people like this, mostly from work. They feel they are important because they know more about situations that others and feel compelled to tell what they know. Their sympathy about situations is usually fake IMO. She was probably a "fun" and "entertaining" friends to Leigh, but not a "good" one. Even when Leigh was facing overwhelming pain and fear, Eva seemed to get excited by it and enjoy the drama.

Message Edited by Bonnie824 on 10-23-2007 09:46 PM



Boy, do I know people like that! They live for chaos in other people's lives just so they can be the first to report it to everyone. In this story, do you really think Eva was like that or do you think that was Leigh's interpretation? I know she was a gossip but as the story went on and I saw how Leigh's insecurities often made her misjudge other people's intentions (like when she thought the whole community would hate them after the accident) I wondered if maybe Eva wasn't as bad as I first thought. Was she a cruel gossip about everything and everyone or did she gossip about some things as a way to make conversation (still not a good thing) but she knew where to draw the line? I wasn't sure at the end of the book.

Message Edited by Wrighty on 10-24-2007 01:37 AM




Sadly, Wrighty, the further I get in the book, the more I actually agree with Leigh's interpretation of people. I don't see her as misjudging them. (then again, I am probably socially insecure too, and maybe that is why I relate to Leigh more than anyone else in this story). "Sad for you" Kara would say. I didn't care much for her either!
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people


Bonnie824 wrote:
Sadly, Wrighty, the further I get in the book, the more I actually agree with Leigh's interpretation of people. I don't see her as misjudging them. (then again, I am probably socially insecure too, and maybe that is why I relate to Leigh more than anyone else in this story). "Sad for you" Kara would say. I didn't care much for her either!



How far are you in the book Bonnie? I won't say anything to spoil it in case you haven't finished it but I will say that things aren't always as they seem. Leigh does have reasons for feeling the way she does but there will be more revealed in the end. Let us know what you think when you finish it.
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Bonnie824
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people



Wrighty wrote:

Bonnie824 wrote:
Sadly, Wrighty, the further I get in the book, the more I actually agree with Leigh's interpretation of people. I don't see her as misjudging them. (then again, I am probably socially insecure too, and maybe that is why I relate to Leigh more than anyone else in this story). "Sad for you" Kara would say. I didn't care much for her either!



How far are you in the book Bonnie? I won't say anything to spoil it in case you haven't finished it but I will say that things aren't always as they seem. Leigh does have reasons for feeling the way she does but there will be more revealed in the end. Let us know what you think when you finish it.




I am only on chapter 11 Wrighty-I got a really late start. I am starting to see people differently. I like the way the characters in this book are "real" and three dimensional and hard to label.

Bonnie
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Re: Eva builds herself up by "knowing" things about people

[ Edited ]

Bonnie824 wrote:

I am only on chapter 11 Wrighty-I got a really late start. I am starting to see people differently. I like the way the characters in this book are "real" and three dimensional and hard to label.

Bonnie


I agree about the characters. Since it's told from Leigh's viewpoint you see the characters the way she does. It's hard to tell how accurate that is but I did change my opinions of some of the people by the end of the book. I hope you're enjoying the story so far. I liked it a lot even though it had a very tragic start.

Message Edited by Wrighty on 10-26-2007 02:56 AM
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