Reading for Week 4

July 24, 2007 at 2:35 am | Posted in Perfect Match Week 4 | 2 Comments

In order to give everyone a chance to catch up (and allow me to go on a scrapbooking retreat this weekend), I suggest that we take the next week and a half to read Chapter 6.  I will post my thoughts and opinions on Friday, August 3.

Perfect Match – Week 3; Chapters 4 & 5

July 24, 2007 at 2:31 am | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 3, vigilante justice | Leave a comment

Sorry this is late!  I haven’t had enough face time with a computer at home.

I have a huge, huge problems with what happens in Chapters 4 and 5:

First of all, there was physical evidence that had yet been completed and reported upon.  That physical evidence could prove with very little doubt that Father Glen was the perpetrator (0r not – I still believe that he’s innocent).  Why not wait until that comes in before taking justice in your own hands?  Until it’s proven that the man is guilty, is it really justice?  Or is it just something that Nina can do to feel like she’s an active participant in something that isn’t about her at all?  She wants to believe that she’s protecting her son, but isn’t she really trying to purge the guilt she feels?  Nina is really a control freak I’ve decided.  She just can’t handle it when she’s not the one calling the shots (pun intended).

Second, how exactly is having your mother potentially imprisoned for the rest of her life any better than facing the man who abused you?  Certainly, it would be difficult, especially for a five-year-old, to testify against someone who has hurt you in the most terrible way while that man/woman is sitting in front of you.  I don’t discount that for one minute.  Isn’t it the responsibility of the parent to frame that for the child to let him/her know that she is brave and doing the right thing.  It seems to me that having the opportunity to speak out against that person may, even if it is down the road, give that child the sense that he/she actively took part in saving his/herself by speaking up.  Now, won’t the child feel as though he/she made Mommy go to jail on top of the rest of the shame?  Yes.  As we witness in Chapter Five, Nathaniel, who is not old enough to know any better, blames himself for his mother’s arrest at the grocery store.

Finally, by pretending to be insane or mentally incapacitated, I think that Nina is doing exactly what she thinks Father Glen is doing – trying to get away with a heinous act.  Nina is betting her life and the well-being of her entire family on the fact that she can outwit the system to get herself acquitted of killing the accused without coming off as so crazy that she is hospitalized.  Did I mention before that I think Nina’s a control freak?  Can I say that I would not want this mother to be my mother-in-law?

To sum up my feelings, Caleb and I are on the same page.  In the same situation, I would not have shown up at her arraignment or rushed to pay her bail.  Caleb may have wanted to do the exact same thing that Nina did, but not following such hot impulses is what sets humans apart from animals.  If everyone was like Nina, we would not live in a civilized society.  What happened to her son was not about her.  What she did, no matter how hard she tries to sell it, was not about him.  For her sake, I hope that Father Glen was the man responsible for molesting Nathaniel.  If not, I have no idea what will happen to her or her family.

Reading for Week 3

July 13, 2007 at 8:10 pm | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 3 | Leave a comment

Let’s read Chapters 4 and 5 for next week.  I don’t know that I could stop myself after just one chapter this week. 🙂

Perfect Match – Week 2; Chapter 3

July 13, 2007 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 2 | 1 Comment

Whoa!  What an exciting place to end this week’s reading!  My sneaking suspicion was right.  After Nina slapped her husband, Caleb, and barred him from his home and from contact with Nathaniel, Father Glen, the priest at the Frost’s parish, was arrested for molesting Nathaniel.  Not long after he was able to find the hand sign for “priest” and his dad came home that Nathaniel began to speak again.  What I had not suspected, although I should have based upon the prelude, was that Nina would sneak a gun into Father Glen’s arrangement and shoot the priest four times in the head.

 

I’m not sure what to think about this drastic and extremely dramatic turn of events.  I do not doubt for one second that a parent would want to kill a person who molested their child.  However, after falsely jumping to the wrong conclusion about her husband, I find it a little strange that Nina would murder the man before the available physical evidence proved Father Glen’s guilt.  When she thought about to the day that Nathaniel was molested, she remembered there being two visiting clergy.  Did it not occur to her that one of those men could have been responsible?  I’m beginning to wonder if this was a woman teetering on the edge of sanity to begin with.  Had she always been so prone to be overly aggressive in the pursuit of whatever she wanted?  It was a wonderful thing to teach Nathaniel sign language to help him communicate, but I am in complete agreement with Caleb that Nina was almost forcibly trying to get her son to lay the blame on another person so that she could find an excuse to stop blaming herself.

 

Another thing that is bothering me about Nina is that for such an accomplished woman, she certainly has all of her bases covered.  No matter where she is or what she’s doing, there’s is a dependable, strong man available at her beck and call.  Still, they are never good enough, either.  Both Patrick and Caleb have been imploring her to simply be Nathaniel’s mother and she can’t.  Instead of trusting people who could be depended upon, she takes matters into her own hands.  As it turns out, she was the least clear-headed and capable person to take charge.  I wonder if she ever took the time to think about the impact it could have on her son to have her imprisoned for 20 years.  If children abused by a parent feel guilty for breaking up the family, how much more guilty is Nathaniel going to feel about that?  How much more will he be haunted by this if Father Glen wasn’t the responsible party and he is now dead anyway?

 

I said that I would throw the book across the room if the perpetrator ended up being the/a priest.  I did not throw the book across the room and I think that was because my assumption included Caleb rotting in jail for a long while before it is discovered that he is innocent.  Thankfully that is not at all how it is going to play out.  Instead, Nina’s most likely going to spend a good portion if not the rest of the book in jail.  It should be interesting to see this all play out.

 

I can’t wait to hear your points of view!

Reading for Week 2

July 8, 2007 at 10:54 pm | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 2 | Leave a comment

Since it is fairly long, let’s just read Chapter Three this week.  I’ll post my comments on Friday.  I am looking forward to everyone’s comments!

 P.S. If you would like to post your own comments, please send me an email at speedhaven@gmail.com.

Perfect Match – Week 1; Chapters 1 & 2

July 6, 2007 at 5:05 pm | Posted in Book Club | 4 Comments

I have three thoughts so far:

  1. The first part about Nina’s mother-guilt was perfect.  I cannot remember how many times I’ve been questioned by Danny about taking one or both of the girls to school only to reply that they are fine.  To me, the assumption feels as if it is my responsibility to care for them when they are sick even though we both work.  That’s not necessarily the intent of the question, though.  I guess you try to give your mother-guilt a point of origin outside of yourself when you can.  Also, I would suggest giving a possibly sick child ibuprofin before daycare – it buys you more time if you need it. 😉  However, if you have a child allergic to ibuprofin like I do, Tylenol is the next best thing.
  2. I got a little pissed off reading the portion where Nathaniel was being examined by the doctor.  To him, Nina didn’t “act like a mother” until she slunk down on the floor in fetal position and lost it.  Are mothers only capable of breaking down when their children have been abused?  Why wasn’t Nina acting like a mother when she questioned the doctor about the procedure, using anesthesia, and his results?  Does he not like women who are informed enough to know what he’s doing?  Does the whole world watch women to determine whether their “acting like a mother” – more specifically a good mother?
  3. If the person responsible for Nathaniel’s molestation is who I think he is going to be, I don’t really want to read the rest of this book.  Hopefully I’m falling for a huge red herring and will be proven wrong.  Amen I say to that.  Otherwise, this book will go sailing across my room when I’m finished.

What are your thoughts?

Let the Games Begin!

July 1, 2007 at 9:22 am | Posted in Book Club, Jodi Picoult, Perfect Match Week 1 | 1 Comment

Today is the big day!  I hope that you will have had a chance to curl up some place cozy to begin reading the first two chapters of Jodi Picoult‘s Perfect Match.  I will be posting my comments by Friday.  If you would like to share your insights, please send me an email with your WordPress account name (not password) and I will provide you access.  I can’t wait to see how this works!

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