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Stephanie
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Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Which of the sisters resonates with you personally? Claire believes everything—everyone—is temporary. Sydney’s philosophy is “you can’t hold on to everything,” and so has a history of very temporary, noncommittal relationships. Are their outlooks two sides of the same coin? What is the nature of the shift that occurs for each of them?

This thread is appropriate for those who have read through Chapter 5. Please be mindful regarding spoilers for material in later chapters.
Stephanie
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worldbook1
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I can relate more to Claire and her need for organization and everything in its place. I also understand her feeling of "loss." Perhaps those two descriptors are related more than we think. Our need for routine is broken when we lose a loved one--by dying, moving away, or breaking off a relationship.
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suetu
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters



Stephanie wrote:
Which of the sisters resonates with you personally? Claire believes everything—everyone—is temporary. Sydney’s philosophy is “you can’t hold on to everything,” and so has a history of very temporary, noncommittal relationships. Are their outlooks two sides of the same coin? What is the nature of the shift that occurs for each of them?





IS Sydney's philosophy "you can't hold on to everything"? I wouldn't have put it that way, and don't believe she can be summed up nearly that simply.

Sisters are funny. I only have one sibling, a two and a half year younger sister. We are as opposite as two human beings can be. I follow my wanderlust and have moved from city to city. Now I'm 3,000 miles from home. My sister lives across the street from my parents.

You might guess that I relate to Sydney, and clearly in some ways I do. But I do understand Claire's deep need for permanent relationships, just not all the fear she's attached to that desire. I would guess most people have shades of both Sydney and Claire.
Susan
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butterflygirl
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I can relate to Claire because I, too, like routine and stability and I find myself having a hard time letting people or events into my routine. Sydney runs away from things, situations, and is non-committal. But suddenly, Claire finds herself wanting to include Tyler into her life, which would disrupt her routine and Sydney is finding that she is wanting to add stability and commitment to her life in her hometown.
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Stephanie
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters



butterflygirl wrote:
I can relate to Claire because I, too, like routine and stability and I find myself having a hard time letting people or events into my routine. Sydney runs away from things, situations, and is non-committal. But suddenly, Claire finds herself wanting to include Tyler into her life, which would disrupt her routine and Sydney is finding that she is wanting to add stability and commitment to her life in her hometown.


Your post makes clear what Sydney and Claire are both unaware of early on- they're more alike than they know.
Stephanie
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Eve_Morrigan
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I don't really feel like I am more like one or the other. I like Claire for making a home and her cooking. I like Sydney for doing the right thing for her little girl and always being a good mom. Just to say a few words about them.

This is a wonderful book so far. I'm just on Chapter 6 now.
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Stephanie
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I truly liked both sisters also- even though at the onset I was wondering if Sydney was going to be a problem for Claire, and if I shouldn't trust her too much. I held her at arm's length for a little while. Did anyone else feel this way?
Stephanie
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Eve_Morrigan
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Yes, I felt that way a little bit. She was so jumpy when she got there. I didn't know how she would take to being home.
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Monet95
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I have qualities of both sisters, though I would describe them a bit differently. I don't feel it is the way they look at relationships that is so different, rather the way they approach and respond to them. Claire simply refuses to let people in, other than Evanelle, of course. She is making a valiant effort so far with Sydney and Bay, but seems to be stepping way outside her comfort zone to do it. Once you're in, though, I believe, it would take major upset in the relationship for her to walk away from it.

Sydney, on the other hand, has no problem at all letting people in, but she is determined to be the one doing the leaving--she wants to leave you before you can leave her (understandable given her mother's abandonment).

Claire is (well, tries very hard to be) in complete control of who she allows to get close enough to her that they are able to hurt her and Sydney tries to be in complete control of whether or not she is ever again abandoned. Both behaviors appear to be tied to their mother and so it would seem they are two sides of the abandonment coin, though Claire's is a bit more complicated since it also involves the years leading up to Lorelei's return to Bascom.

Claire overcompensates for her fears by organizing, maintaining stability, and keeping things familiar. Sydney overcompensates for her fears by pretending they don't exist, almost taunting change and daring it to touch her, violently if necessary. Fortunately, Bay has given Sydney a reason to be a bit sensible, and Sydney's return gives Claire an excuse to at least consider taking a chance or two (we'll see). They are perfect compliments to each other. Well done, Sarah!
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Chomp
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Claire and Sydney do seem to be two sides of the same coin, as you stated, Stephanie. They are complementary -- the two of them completing a whole. It seems to me that what the book explores is how they both can become whole -- individually, but with one another's help.

Carol
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BBlume
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I've only just begun reading the book, but Sydney wanted to deny her background and I can relate to this. Running away is anoher very big thing for me. When things get to difficult I want to (or sometimes have) run away. Being older and wiser I now have learned/am learning how to deal with.
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hpthatbme
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I guess that I identify more with Claire than with Sydney. While I am not as organized, I have become somewhat closed off from people. I have a very hard time letting people in but when they are I don't want to lose them due to moves, death, or losing touch. I also don't do well with change and it takes me a great effort to make a change and I tend to be very upset and it takes a while to adjust.
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PBuermele
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

It seems to me the sisters' personality differences are expressing each one's issues with trust. In the early part of the book, we begin to see why Claire and Sydney question who and what to trust and it was the intrigue of how that would play out that kept me reading. Adding that special garden as the place for the sisters to work it out kept me from jumping to conclusions about where this story was going on its enchanting little garden walk.

I identify with both sisters, depending on my mood.
Paula Buermele
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Stephanie
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Paula,

True- I wasn't jumping to comclusions either- I think I was just enjoying the journey with the characters. Usually my brain is zipping along, trying to predict the plot and figure out what the characters are doing/thinking.
Stephanie
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erinmarks
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

I too would question whether Sydney's philosophy is really to not hold onto anything. While she doesn't really seem to hold onto anything I think it is more that she she is a thrill seeker, and is always on the prowl for the next adventure, to keep from handling her own issues. Once she feels like something is starting to harness her in, be it violent relationship or her hometown memories, she skips out. The final relationship for her, the one she is running from, that is what woke her up, to realize that she has to settle down and confront her past to truely obtain the freedom she wants.
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Stephanie
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Erin,

I agree, but the quote is directly from Sydney- it may not be her real truth, but it is her truth as she sees it in the beginning of the novel.

Often we can see so much more of a character because we have more information than they do. With Sydney, there's no point in becoming truly involved in a relationship because she knows from her past experience that relationships don't last. People don't mean what they say. So when the other person starts to expect something from her, she leaves. Nothing to stay for, because she has nothing invested.
Stephanie
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Jani0124
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters

Claire and Sydney aren't that different at all. The both desparatly want to belong somewhere. Claire has found that in being a "Waverly". Sydney also wants to belong somewhere and be accepted for who she is. They both just need to understand that being a Waverley doesn't solely difine them or limit them. It is part of who they are and who Bay is, but they can still choose any life they want, and don't have to run away to do it.
Jani
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Stephanie
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Re: Beginning Chapters Discussion: Sisters



Jani0124 wrote:
Claire and Sydney aren't that different at all. The both desparatly want to belong somewhere. Claire has found that in being a "Waverly". Sydney also wants to belong somewhere and be accepted for who she is. They both just need to understand that being a Waverley doesn't solely difine them or limit them. It is part of who they are and who Bay is, but they can still choose any life they want, and don't have to run away to do it.
Jani




Jani,

I think that's a great message for all of us!
Stephanie
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