Round Rock New Neighbors is a social organization of women welcoming women in the Round Rock area since 1978. Both "new" and "old" neighbors are welcome. For more information: rrnewneighbors.org [Barnes & Noble requires that RRNN's book club be open to the public, so you do not need to be an RRNN member to attend book club, and both men and women are welcome and do attend. ]
The Friends of the Georgetown Public Library’s Hill Country Authors Series events will be listed here.
Round Rock Public Library Book Group meets monthly at 7:00-8:30 PM. Check the library website for more information, or ask Carla.
Monday, April 15, 2013
Do You Like Being Left "In the Woods"?
Caution - SPOILERS. If you didn't read In the Woods, by Tana French, and you plan to read it, you might want to wait until later to read this post.
Among the 15-20 of us at the meeting, most had read and liked the book. Some of us noticed and appreciated the quality of the author's writing style, and all enjoyed the way the book kept us interested.
Carla asked thought-provoking questions to run the meeting. If I had a tablet at the meeting, I could get more of your thoughts into writing more quickly... Don't worry! I don't have a tablet, and I don't plan to invite electronics to the meetings. Actually, you probably feel that I get enough or too much of your discussion contributions into this blog!
What really happened to the children? Shirley and Lydia thought the author was encouraging the possibility that Adam had killed the others. We batted that around a bit and decided that there wasn't much of a physical possibility there. Dennis reminded us that both Adam and Sandra had memories that alluded to the possibility of some kind of animal or monster. That would allow the reader to imagine a mystical force at play, and one could run with the idea all the way to the destruction of the woods and establishment of the new road and then wonder whether the evil force would be eradicated by forever changing the archeological site.
What did we think about the Ryan/Cassie relationship? Jay felt that it was still unresolved at the end. The group asked Carla whether the relationship continued or changed in the next book by author Tana French, The Likeness. Carla explained that French takes some characters with her but doesn't move forward on their story. She did tell us that there was no indication in the next book that Cassie had actually married Sam. (I told you there would be spoilers!) Phyllis felt that Adam's being taken in by Rosalind indicated problems in his relationship with Cassie. Certainly, his "fight" with Cassie that seemed to be a turning point in their relationship had Rosalind in the middle of it. Had Adam not been strongly attracted to Rosalind, would he have trusted her word over Cassie's intuition? Pam was disturbed by the pain Adam inflicted on Cassie, which, of course, was just what the author wanted. I thought the relationship was very strongly portrayed by the author, complete with realistic angst and difficulties and frustration that can cause relationships to fail. Although it was later in the discussion that Carla quoted me as saying in an earlier conversation with her about the book that "the characters were not just flawed; they were painfully flawed," I see this topic as exemplifying the flaws in these characters. (Not flaws in the author's creation, but flaws that the author purposely created.)
Other insightful comments included Rhonda's sharing that she has noticed that her memories of events that she recalls from childhood seem to be very different from her mother's memories of the same events. This surely was a theme in the book! Frank had not read the book but was able to characterize the mystery. He said that the formula for a mystery is that there is chaos and a detective brings back order. Even the flawed detectives in this seemingly outside-the-box mystery brought order to chaos.
We discussed the theme of whether we like or dislike a mystery with unfinished business, without everything all tied up neatly for us at the end. Marla suggested that the reader is made to feel some of what the parents of the 2 missing children and Adam might have felt by not knowing what had really happened. We thought a bit about how many real crimes remain unsolved. We were all disturbed about the unsolved mystery, but it seemed to work for the book!
I am moved to bring us out of the world of fiction and mention here that on this particular day as I write this, I am extremely gratified that the Boston Marathon bombers were identified.