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Rachel-K
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Stories within the story

I feel that the reader gets to live a lot of lives through the course of this novel! What are your favorites? And how do you think she handles the transitions between stories and time periods?
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Rachel-K
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Re: Stories within the story

Thinking more about my own question, I think "favorites" is the wrong way to ask. There is so much suffering within these stories, that the word just seems inappropriate. I would say instead, who captures you most?

How do these stories contrast with Hanna's story?
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bentley
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Re: Stories within the story



rkubie wrote:
Thinking more about my own question, I think "favorites" is the wrong way to ask. There is so much suffering within these stories, that the word just seems inappropriate. I would say instead, who captures you most?

How do these stories contrast with Hanna's story?




I think that what captures me the most is that her characters are "fully human". They are all believable and you can identify with them and with their human frailities. You can understand the problems between mother and daughter and you can see Hannah's hand in it. You can understand the woman trying to get ahead in a man's world. You can understand the painter not wanting to be blind and living if he lost his passion. You can understand the rabbi trying to be perfect yet masking his addiction. You can understand the priest trying to live a lie and drinking to anesthetize himself. There were so many parallel stories and all of them showed a fully developed character who was dealing with inner struggles. And all of these people were people of the book..and the book somehow survived even longer than the humans who had touched or were touched by it in their lives.

I am absolutely loving this book.
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BookWoman718
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Re: Stories within the story

I think, for me, the story of the Moor was the most intriguing;  she was one of the most original characters in the novel, and her story enlightened us about the book's creation and its reason for being.   Her story tied up a lot of loose ends, as it were.

I also am a big fan of Hanna, despite her problems with her mother.  She's had to make her way with too much secrecy in her life, and too little unconditional love and approval.   (The depiction of the mother is one of the few characters I found a bit unbelievable.  Her motivations for the decisions she's made with regard to her  daughter just aren't convincing to me.)   But I love the way, by the end, we realize that Hanna, too, has become one of the 'People of the Book' whose interaction with it has become one of its secrets that future historians will revel in understanding. 

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Fozzie
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER

[ Edited ]


BookWoman718 wrote:

But I love the way, by the end, we realize that Hanna, too, has become one of the 'People of the Book' whose interaction with it has become one of its secrets that future historians will revel in understanding. 



SPOILER
 
Yes! 
 
Just as a conservator in the next century, or the one after, would find the seed I dropped into the binding of the genuine haggadah, between the first and second quires.  A Morton Bay fig seed, from the fruit of the big twisty trees that line the shores of Sydney Harbour.  (pg. 368)
 
Perfect ending!


Message Edited by Fozzie on 02-14-2008 02:41 PM
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Stories within the story



bentley wrote:

I think that what captures me the most is that her characters are "fully human".

True.  I hadn't thought of the characters in such an all encompassing way, but this thought does tie the people of the book together nicely.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Stories within the story



BookWoman718 wrote:

I think, for me, the story of the Moor was the most intriguing; 


That part of the book reminded me a bit of My Name is Red.  A very good book, but not easy reading.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Fozzie
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER



rkubie wrote:
 I would say instead, who captures you most?


SPOILER

I was quick to come up with my answer --- Lola, but not so quick to answer why.  Maybe because she was a survivor.  I did like that we heard more from her late in the book.

Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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Rachel-K
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER

Isn't it interesting that we go backwards in time as Hannah's story progresses forward? I love the way that sustains the mystery and suspense of the book's making for us, until we feel truly engrossed in all of the stories at once.
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HannibalCat
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER



rkubie wrote:
Isn't it interesting that we go backwards in time as Hannah's story progresses forward? I love the way that sustains the mystery and suspense of the book's making for us, until we feel truly engrossed in all of the stories at once.



I agree. I enjoyed the way she played with the progress of the stories. I not only wanted to know what was going on with the haggadah, but also the people in each of the stories. I found myself unable to put the book down as each part of the story developed. Thank goodness for changing stories. Otherwise I would have had a mutiny on my hands.
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Carmenere_lady
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Registered: ‎11-05-2006
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER



HannibalCat wrote:


rkubie wrote:
Isn't it interesting that we go backwards in time as Hannah's story progresses forward? I love the way that sustains the mystery and suspense of the book's making for us, until we feel truly engrossed in all of the stories at once.



I agree. I enjoyed the way she played with the progress of the stories. I not only wanted to know what was going on with the haggadah, but also the people in each of the stories. I found myself unable to put the book down as each part of the story developed. Thank goodness for changing stories. Otherwise I would have had a mutiny on my hands.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hi HC,
 
  I don't have the opportunity to read at long stretches of time so I'm still working on completing the book.  About 2 or 3 chapters to go.
  The stories of the haggada are fabulous, Brooks always left me wanting more. It's unusual to become so emotionally involved with a new set of characters every couple of chapters, but I suppose that's one of Brook's many skills.
 

 
Lynda

"I think of literature.....as a vast country to the far borders of which I am journeying but will never reach."
The Uncommon Reader


"You've been running around naked in the stacks again, haven't you?"
"Um, maybe."
The Time Traveler's Wife

It is with books as with men; a very small number play a great part.
Voltaire
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Fozzie
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Re: Stories within the story - SPOILER



Carmenere_lady wrote:

 It's unusual to become so emotionally involved with a new set of characters every couple of chapters, but I suppose that's one of Brook's many skills.
 




I agree.  I am not a short story person, preferring novels.  I think because the stories were connected to the present by Hanna's discoveries and to each other in the past by the book itself, I thought of the book as a novel about the journey of the book and not short stories from different points during history.
Laura

Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.
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