Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Book Club Discussion 1: Question #3

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As the story of the reunion weekend unfolds, another story is revealed --- the tale Agnes is writing about Innes Finch. Why do you think the author chooses to tell another story within the story? What is the significance of the Halifax tragedies to Agnes at this point of her life?

My answer:

As Anita Shreve said in her interview with the Republican on October 2, 2005. She started this novel after 9/11, I think it's the author's way to channel her feelings about catastrophes at the time. As she said, she was just trying to capture "the sense of the democracy of catastrophe", which knows no class or race.

As far as the significance of the Halifax tragedies to Agnes, well, the story was set at a time shortly after 9/11, so the character Agnes, like any American at the time, was deeply affected, was still feeling the shock, the loss and trying to make sense of why and what really happened in the world. I think Agnes wrote the story to answer questions that she was having, as a result of 9/11. She also wrote the story as a way to feel that she was in control since she obviously had none in the long-term relationship she was in. I feel that Agnes wanted to write the story to tell the same pain, agony and conflicting feelings she was going through at the time as a result of her love life.

If you are reading this book, please participate in this discussion by posting on your blog your answer and a link back to this post. Then put a comment below to let us know where your blog post is. If you don't have a blog, just put your answers in the comment box. Thank you for particpating in this book club discussion.

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