10-31-2007 11:58 AM
Helen's two daughters, Emily and Sarah, are very different from each other, at one point reminding Helen of polarized magnets (page 80). Helen also tells Jake that "You left the girls . . . I may not have been perfect, but I didn't take off . . . " (page 167). Do you think Helen was a good mother? Was she a better mother to Sarah than to Emily? How do you feel her daughters would respond to that question?
11-01-2007 10:26 AM
I do think Helen was a good mother and also a good daughter. I sympathize with her because I too had a somewhat agoraphobic mother (though not to the crippling extent of Helen's mother. Mine would go to the store and visit her children and would not cover herself when she left the house). And my mother lived through my brother and I since she had no true life of her own. It was traumatic for her when I left home at age 22 because she lost her only friend. So I know that mothering of this type can be like a millstone around one's neck. I loved my mother but aspects of the relationship were not healthy. I think overall Helen and her daughters have a healthy relationship but not so with Helen and her own mother.