Friday, October 15, 2010

TG&SS Part II Lessons 43

Part II Lessons

Part II chapter 1
In the heat of youth, humans do reckless things
If a reckless act causes gossip or disrepute, it is hidden and denied
After escaping a close call, most people are grateful only for a moment

Part II chapter 2
A false calm frequently occurs after a traumatic event, but the trouble often is merely incubating
Parents don't make good press agents
Nasty news has a way of squirming out into the open, especially if gossip is present already.
The fear of being an outcast makes people ruthless

Part II chapter 3
Life goes on, but it is often subtlety scarred by the past
There is little compassion for the formerly beautiful
The names children are given often tell a story
Most people will squeal eventually if pressured expertly
The motives for charitable giving can be byzantine and murky


  1. i was truly moved by Carolyn's murder/suicide. reminded me of somebody who i think, THINK, has escaped the fate. Within the context of the story however, she seems like she took the honorable way out.

    i think you can add to one of these lessons--there is little compassion for the formerly beautiful, especially if that's all they were.

  2. oh, and one more--parents' pride in their children is a result of self-love: what a statement to our good parenting our children are! Thus they miss what's below the surface.

    Sorry, not very pithy.

  3. Carolyn's crime of infanticide, followed immediately by her own suicide, are haunting. It's genuinely horrific. It is also haunting, because, if Carolyn was right, then a grown child would have given an important numerical advantage to the Jaff. So it's an edgy, hand-wringingly clever plot device from Barker.

    Look at how BAD a job Joyce does with Jo-Beth and how lousy Fletcher is with Howie when these two parents find out that their children are in love! And these are the 'good' parents!

    The good, nay, GREAT, child, Raul, will appear again later...

  4. I agree that Arleen was MERELY beautiful and therefore sympathy for her is largely locked out.

  5. i think there's a lesson somewhere in the widower who got into it with Carolyn, but i can't articulate it yet. something about "detached" sex maybe? Or male loneliness?