Reply
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

Some of the earliest scenes Esme shares with the reader are those from her childhood in India. What do they reveal about Esme, her family, and their place in time and society?

This thread is suitable for those who have just begun the book. Please be mindful of spoilers for later sections in the book.
Stephanie
Frequent Contributor
Pat_T
Posts: 27
Registered: ‎09-05-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

All of the episodes from Esme's childhood help in understanding her personality. She is a middle child with a sister who is 6 years older and a baby brother whom she loves very much. She doesn't seem to fit in within her family; her parents are always correcting her. The 3 traumatic events I found the most disturbing were when she was left alone tied to a chair (because she liked to crawl around under the table at meal times)when everyone inexplicably ran from the room, leaving her alone, and another time when she was left alone with her brother and ayah who both were ill and died. It seems she was found with the body of her baby brother in her arms and wouldn't let go. Add to that the fact that she, together with her family, was then moved to a very different country that was freezing cold and to a grandmother who was strict and unforgiving, and I'm not at all surprised that Esme had emotional problems. I haven't read much beyond this yet to know how it is resolved, but these early scenes made me feel so sorry for young Esme and surprised she was able to maintain her strength and resilience rather that letting all of this break her will.
Frequent Contributor
Cahill42
Posts: 53
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

I totally forgot about the incident where she was left tied to a chair and everyone left the room. I can't recall just how long she was left there, but Pat_T's right in that it must have at least left a lasting impression upon her. I also agree that Esme has an amazing amount of fortitude considering all that happenes to her throughout her life.

--Andrea
Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.---J.K. Rowling

I'm a leaf on the wind, watch me soar.---Wash
Contributor
Mizzyb
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

As for Esme's flights of fantasies [escaping her surroundings], I don't think they are that unusual for people in abusive environments. Also, I think she depicts an early case of hyperactive attention deficit disorder aggreviated by the neglect and abuse.
Inspired Wordsmith
Stephanie
Posts: 2,613
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
0 Kudos

Re: Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

Today the parents who tied a child to a chair would be locked up. I was astounded that the events of Esme's childhood did not discourage her from further adventures- I would have thought a child who had been disciplined for every wrong turn (imagined or otherwise) would certainly be more cowed.
Stephanie
Contributor
Mizzyb
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎10-27-2007
0 Kudos

Re: Early Book Discussion: Esme's Childhood

Dr. T. Berry Brazelton book, "The Difficult Child", explains with great clarity the genetic basis of temperment, the impact of a wrong fit for these children and their family. I found it to be a great resource as my children [and myself] have always marched to our own drum beat. The one size fits all approach usually doesn't work.
Users Online
Currently online: 53 members 1,061 guests
Please welcome our newest community members: