The End of The Emperor’s Children

November 7, 2007 at 8:37 pm | Posted in Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children | Leave a comment

In two words: it sucks.  Let’s move on to something else.  How about the Wildacre series by Philippa Gregory?  I’m up for anything that isn’t like this book.


Week 5 Reading

October 16, 2007 at 4:01 am | Posted in Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children | Leave a comment

Chapters 28 – 36

I hate to mention that we don’t even get out of July by the end of week 5’s reading.  God help us.

TEC ~ Week 4+, Chapters 21 – 27 (Or Death by Character Development)

October 16, 2007 at 3:58 am | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, Our Next Book, TEC Week 4, The Emperor's Children | 1 Comment
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  1. Marina might get a job with the Australian’s publication.
  2. Danielle still doesn’t know what she wants with Marina’s father or the Australian.
  3. Murray Thwaite’s writer’s block is just as bad as Marina’s. He is trying to get into Danielle’s pants as slickly as possible.
  4. Bootie is now Murray’s secretary.

Is it in poor taste to hope that September 11, 2001 comes quickly in this book? That way, at least something will be forced to happen. I thought that there was over much character development in The Way the Crow Flies, but 1) it was somewhat interesting character development and 2) it didn’t take half the damn book for the plot to get into high gear.

I demand that only interesting books with some humor in them be suggested for the next book. Do you hear that, Literatehousewife?

Oh, Yeah…

October 5, 2007 at 7:14 pm | Posted in Claire Messud, TEC Week 3, The Emperor's Children | 1 Comment

Is it just me, or does no one have a sense of humor in The Emperor’s Children?

Week 4 Reading

October 5, 2007 at 2:17 am | Posted in Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children | 1 Comment

For next week, we’re reading Chapters 21 through 27.

Believe it or not, I’ve actually finished the reading, so I’ll be able to post about it over the weekend.

TEC ~ Week 3+; Chapters 14 – 20

October 5, 2007 at 2:14 am | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, TEC Week 3, The Emperor's Children | 1 Comment
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This section of reading has me wondering what in the world is going on with Julius.  He confuses me.  It’s very possible that he confuses himself.  Is this a classic case of “Wow, I’ve got what I want, but do I really want it?”

Actually, there doesn’t seem to be a single character confident in who they are, what they can do, and what they want.

  • Despite what Bootie might imagine, Murray Twaite is about as lost in how to proceed with his book as his daughter is.  I may be missing something, but not being able to concentrate on a book for fear that someone might walk in seems like a lie you’ve told yourself.  In the end, isn’t it easier to start an emotional affair with his daughter’s friend?
  • Marina…  Can’t write a book, can’t make a life on her own, can’t be moved to take care of her “beloved” cat when it dies.
  • Danielle may have a career as a documentary film maker, but I’m not sure how.  From what I can gather, making films requires some gumption.  For example, there is a spectacular documentary about Mark Borchardt, a young man who would do anything to be a film maker.  His potential may be questionable to some, but no one can doubt his absolute drive.  Danielle doesn’t have it.  Did she ever?
  • Bootie knew that he wanted to get to New York, but now that he’s arrived what’s next?

There actually is one character who seems to know what he wants – as least as filtered by Danielle ~ Ludovic Seeley.  I am very interested to see what becomes of him and his paper.

TEC ~ Week 2; Chapters 7 – 13

September 21, 2007 at 2:40 am | Posted in TEC Week 2, The Emperor's Children | Leave a comment

I enjoyed my reading for week 2 better than I did for week 1.  When there was dialog or action, the reading went fast.  There was less character development in this installment.  The plot points that we were looking for during week 1 have started to take shape similarly to the way an eye chart does:

  • Even though we may seem to have it all together on the outside, we don’t.
  • We don’t really always want what we think we want.
  • Everyone is converging on New York City (assuming they weren’t already there).

I think the character that I’m most interested in at this point is Bootie.  I don’t know why, other than that I just have to root for someone who tries to make his own way.

TEC ~ Week 1; Chapters 1 – 6

September 10, 2007 at 8:35 pm | Posted in TEC Week 1, The Emperor's Children | 3 Comments

With the exception of “Car Talk,” I tend to find NPR on the stuffy, if not stuck up, side.  I never listened to it until I moved to Virginia.  My husband listens to the news and “Fresh Air” on an almost daily basis.  Over the years, as my politics has moved toward the center, I’ve not minded listening to the news programs as much.  I still feel like it is aimed at the upper crust despite and/or over educated being called our nation’s public radio.  It is from this source that I first heard of The Emperor’s Children.  After reading the first six chapters, I’m beginning to think that my instincts are correct.  I’m crossing my fingers that b*babbler’s enjoying this one!

When I first began reading, I couldn’t really concentrate.  This is most definitely attributed to the double eye infection I was developing.  Still, Claire Messud’s writing style is frankly hard for me to follow.  I’m not used to having to reread sentences so often.  To me, they are choppy and needlessly lengthy.  I have started scanning pages, anxiously counting the number of paired em dashes.  I have nothing against the em dash, either.  I just don’t like the way that Messud has been using them.

I’m going to cut this book some slack, though.  This is only the beginning of the book and she had her main characters to introduce.  I can’t say that I like any of them other than Danielle – I think.  That being said, I could completely relate with Marina’s home alone paranoia.  I can just think about the theme music to “Unsolved Mysteries” and freak myself out.  I would have called my token single, gam male friend over myself.  Perhaps as the story picks up the em dashes will work…

Your thoughts?

The Emperor’s Children ~ Reading Schedule

September 2, 2007 at 5:33 pm | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, The Emperor's Children | Leave a comment

I finally got my copy of the book in the mail yesterday. I am so excited! I looked through the book. Since it’s just over 450 pages, I thought it would be easiest to break it up by chapter in 50 +/- pages each week. Here is the reading schedule:

  1. Chapters 1 – 6
  2. Chapters 7 – 13
  3. Chapters 14 – 20
  4. Chapters 21 – 27
  5. Chapters 28 – 36
  6. Chapters 37 – 43
  7. Chapters 44 – 52
  8. Chapters 53 – 60
  9. Chapters 61 – EOB (end of book)

I hope that this seems manageable to everyone.

I’ve also thought about the option of having people write their own posts versus commenting on my posts. What do you think about the idea of keeping it to comments? If there is a line of discussion that seems to stand out, that can then become it’s own topic. I will lead for this book and will post my opening comments on or before Monday, September 10. Then, if there is someone who would like to lead the next book, we can set that up. Sound good?

Now, let’s start reading The Emperor’s Children ~ On your mark, get set, go!

Two Weeks and Counting

August 27, 2007 at 3:08 am | Posted in Book Club, Claire Messud, Our Next Book, The Emperor's Children | 2 Comments

The Literate Housewives seem to be happy to be finished with our book club’s virgin (yeah, right!) voyage.  Just because we’ve collectively destroyed at least 3 copies of Perfect Match doesn’t mean we’re down for the count. On Monday, September 10, we will begin our next book:


The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud

Please join us!

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