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Book club discussion going on now!

Book club discussion going on now!

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  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 03-27-06 | 11:09 PM
  • Please join us in the chat room!
  • MrsPook MrsPook's Avatar 03-28-06 | 12:13 AM
  • So sorry no one else could make it! Rudi and I had a great discussion. Hope to see more people participate next month!
  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 03-28-06 | 12:14 AM
  • Transcript of our discussion:
    [rudolphia] So what was your initial impression after finishing the novel? What jumped out at you?
    [mrspook] it was honestly nothing like i expected at all!
    [rudolphia] What did you expect?
    [mrspook] i assumed that the entire book would take place at the "private hotel" - that the main character would be some poor girl down on
    [mrspook] her luck struggling to make a living as a call girl or whatever
    [mrspook] i mean i guess that is sort of true but it was interesting how she ended up there
    [rudolphia] Charlotte was an odd duck wasn't she? I had a hard time getting into her skin. I didn't identify with her at all.
    [mrspook] i felt the same way! i kept trying to imagine being in her shoes.
    [mrspook] ok i get leaving your husband cause you spy him cheating on you and obviously no love between them really
    [rudolphia] She was so passive and unable to speak up for herself. I think it must have been because she grew up an orphan. But do you think
    [rudolphia] there was really no love between them? It was weird love, but some kind was there just the same.
    [mrspook] well i think she was happy to have someone pay attention to her and the inital thought of joining a big rich family appealed to
    [mrspook] she was extremely passive which i guess was not that uncommom in those times but i thought being an orphan, she would have
    [mrspook] learned to take care of herself a little more
    [rudolphia] You'd think so. The scene in which Hays courts her is almost like somebody picking out a puppy at the pound.
    [mrspook] exactly! his family was an odd bunch of characers themselves
  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 03-28-06 | 12:15 AM
  • [rudolphia] There were very few conventional relationships in the novel. Even Aunt Lilly and Uncle (can't remember) - she's off getting laid
    [rudolphia] at the hotel several nights a week - what's up with that?
    [mrspook] lol yeah that was quite interesting! not sure where that came from. i guess the men in that family expected subserviant women
    [mrspook] and the woman were choosing not to comply
    [rudolphia] Charlotte is I think a more conventional woman for the times than Lilly or the painter upstairs. There are a lot of strong women
    [mrspook] she being a big time doctor and all was totally against typical 1900 era stereotypes
    [rudolphia] who don't fit with the times in this book.
    [rudolphia] IA totally.
    [mrspook] were you surprised charlotte slept with arthur?
    [rudolphia] Yes and no. Yes, because it's so taboo. No, because Charlotte just falls through life and doesn't decide anything. She let him d
    [rudolphia] ecide
    [mrspook] i agree. at first i was shocked cause even thou she left hays i kinda thought maybe she would go back after awhile. but like you
    [mrspook] said she just follows everyone so when arthur asked she said ok!
    [rudolphia] I think the one step Charlotte takes that's active is choosing to help the couple with the bakery. What do you think is the
    [rudolphia] significance of that act?
    [mrspook] umm embarrassed here but refresh my memory what you are referring to???
    [rudolphia] The bakery that makes everybody sick because the pans they got had some sort of contaminant. She lent them money to buy new pansand
    [rudolphia] and helped them sink the old ones in the lake so they wouldn't be found.
    [mrspook] oh yeah duh ok
    [mrspook] to be honest i am not sure. she obviously cared about others. i mean the way she loved her horses. waht is your take on it?
    [rudolphia] It was like she could speak out for other people who didn't have a voice, but she had no voice herself. She lets Hays speak for
    [rudolphia] her.
    [mrspook] oh yeah ok very well put
    [rudolphia] Charlotte lives in a world of privilege, but she identifies with the lower classes. She seems to form relationships only with
    [rudolphia] people like Dickie the cop (who was a poor kid) or the maid who went to work at the hotel (can't remember her name, sorry)
    [rudolphia] People like her husband and his relatives are a mystery to her
    [mrspook] very true. i don't think she ever allowed herself to fit in to her new class. she preferred to stay with the lower class.
    [rudolphia] So who was your favorite character? Did you find anyone to identify with?
    [mrspook] ohh that is hard. there were so many interesting characters in the book. arthur, moaxley, the painter lady upstairs, the drunk
    [mrspook] drugged up wife next door. so colorful!
    [rudolphia] I liked Dickie the best. He seemed the most at peace in his own skin.
    [mrspook] as far as identifying myself with one character, no not really
    [rudolphia] He also seemed motivated to rekindle the friendship with Charlotte and to help her understand her origins
    [rudolphia] So few people in this book had any motivation at all!
    [mrspook] yes true. he kinda seemed like the bridge between her past, the present, and leading to her future
    [mrspook] most of them just did as they pleased.
  • rudolphia rudolphia's Avatar 03-28-06 | 12:16 AM
  • rudolphia] What do you think the future holds for Charlotte? Will she make things work with Hays, do you think?
    [mrspook] at the end she was going back to him right? without any questions about who the woman was or anything?
    [rudolphia] It seemed like it. By coming to get her, he's proven to her that he chooses her and wants her, so she's going back. But will she
    [rudolphia] stay? Will getting her own house separate from his family be enough?
    [mrspook] i am not sure. if she could get pg and they lived in a seperate house, i think she would just slip back into her old life
    [mrspook] without thought. i really can't see her making sneak trips into the city to stay at the hotel!
    [rudolphia] No, the hotel seems to be a different world. I may be on crack, but when I finished this book, I got the distinct feeling that
    [mrspook] but getting thru that illness and long bed confinement you would think change her more but it only did for a brief time and then
    [mrspook] she was back to her old subserviant self. honestly that disappointed me. i thought she would grow as a character more.
    [mrspook] unless i missed something
    [rudolphia] I think she did grow a bit, though. By betraying Hays, she kind of evened the score, and by going with Dickie to find her
    [rudolphia] bio parents but choosing not to meet them she actually makes a choice. I think there is some movement, albeit slow.
    [mrspook] true. baby steps i guess. i mean all of this really did happen in a short period of time right?
    [rudolphia] And she DOES insist on her own home. I think that's the biggest thing. I think the book takes place over the course of 1-2 weeks
    [rudolphia] Anyway, the weird impression I got was a parallel with Alice in Wonderland. It's like seeing Hays kissing the other woman sends
    [rudolphia] Charlotte plummeting down the rabbit hole, and she ends up at this hotel where everything is weird.
    [mrspook] lol OMG that is great! well done rudi!
    [rudolphia] Lilly is like the white rabbit that leads her there. There's so much farce - the baby races, the weird "tea party" at the painte
    [mrspook] wow! were you an english lit major in college or something?? not my best subject i assure you . . .
    [rudolphia] r's house. Sorry - English major going nuts here!
    [mrspook] no no go on! you are so right! lol
    [rudolphia] And Arthur is kind of like the Mad Hatter - misleading and talking in riddles. And by finding her own parents and being confront
    [rudolphia] ed by Hays, she gets back to her real world. Am I on crack?
    [mrspook] wow i am so impressed i can hardly contain myself! totally not on crack at all! i agree 100%!
    [mrspook] but never could have come up with that on my own! lol
    [rudolphia] Oh, stop!