I first heard about this book when Bonnie posted about the books that were chosen for the club, and my interest in the it peaked when I literally could not get my hands on a copy of it. I finally had to give in and have it shipped to me (I hate paying shipping fees on books when I could just go to a library or buy one from my local booksellers). I am going to be linking up with Bon to discuss the book, which means there are spoilers ahead. If you really want to read the book, hold off on reading my discussion below, then come back and share your thoughts with me!
+ The book is told from the viewpoint of three women. Which women did you like the most and why? Whom did you dislike the most and why?
I didn't have a favorite character. Quite frankly, Celia kinda annoyed me with her perfectness, and it wasn't until she was grappling with trying to figure out the right thing to do and started to fall apart at the seams could I really connect with her as a character and feel for her.
Rachel drove me nuts, I know that she lost her daughter and no one will ever be the same after going through something like that, but the way she treated her son and daughter in law
I didn't like Tess' story line at first and looking back on the book, I'm not quite sure where she fit into the big picture; however she was better to read about than Rachel in my opinion.
+ What would you have done if you had found out the secret that Celia did? Did you agree with the way she handled it? What is the "right" thing to do in a situation like that?
Now THAT is a tough question and I found myself asking that a lot while I was reading this. What would I do if Dave did that? What if we had children? I don't think there is a right answer here. If Celia gave up John Paul (side note, was anyone else incredibly annoyed by his name?), she wouldn't be just punishing him, she would also be affecting her own life and more importantly the lives of her three girls. It isn't fair to them to have to have their whole world turned upside down over something that happened so long ago. However, it also isn't fair to Rachel to never know what really happened to her daughter. I think knowing the whole story, including the epilogue, I wouldn't have done anything either.
+ Do you believe the bike accident was adequate "penance" for what John Paul had done?
Yes and no. No because why should poor little Polly, who could have been an awesome tennis player, have to pay for something that someone else did (well technically didn't do but thought they did)? But yes, because now Rachel knows the truth and can hopefully find some peace and still have to live with the fact that she allowed her hatred to ruin another persons' life and maybe John Paul and Celia can find peace in the fact that they technically did "pay" for the crime that John Paul committed.
+ Did you like the resolution of the book? Did you feel there was enough closure?
The epilogue was hands down my favorite part of the book. I loved how Moriarty answered "what ifs" with little side stories and explained the real cause of Janie's death. It was like she wrapped an already excellent story in a neat little package and tied it with the perfect bow. I've never read an ending like that and it was so satisfying.
+ What nots...
The question of the point of the Berlin Wall segments came up a few times in a few other girls' posts and whether or not it needed to be in there. I thought about this, and came up with a possible conclusion. What if Moriarty put the Berlin Wall in there for symbolic reasons? At the start of the story, the wall is up, and all the characters in the book are all trapped in their own little countries, then by the end of the story, the wall is coming down and so do all the metaphorical walls of all the characters.
I really hated Felicity and Will. When Tess chose Will over Conner I wanted to barf, but then again I don't have children so I don't know what it's like to have to "stay together for the kids".
Doesn't Connor pretty much seem like the real victim in this whole story (besides Janie)? He loses his first "love", gets used by another, has some crazy old lady accusing him of murder for 25 years and then tries to mow him down, and she ends up running over the little girl that he was purposely ignoring when she tried mowing him down. Seriously the guy can't catch a break.
Did you read the book? What are your thoughts?