Monday, May 20, 2013

Week Three discussion of Friendship Makes The Heart Grow Fonder



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Now let's get to our discussion for week three




Week three discussion of
Friendship Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Well we’ve come to the end of the novel so let’s talk about the last part

I only have a couple of questions for you in this section as I want to encourage each of you to ask a question of your own, something that perhaps you think I missed or avoided or just something you wondered about on your own.
So without further ado let's get to week three.


First resolutions:
Did the girls accomplish what THEY wanted individually and for the group?


Second let’s talk about the future: ( you know I’m (in)famous for this question)
Set the clock for these characters ahead five years where are they?






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23 comments:

  1. I'm not ready for part three yet, I'm just beginning Ch.11. But I wanted to say that Becky's experience in the Catacombs was really scary. Once my glasses broke and I didn't have contacts then, and I felt frustration, fear and stupid (because I had mistaken things and people).
    Judy's experience reminds me of things we did in our youth may have seemed so naive and safe, when as adults the reality sinks in and we realize how dangerous things can really be. Now, I think back when my mom wouldn't allow me to go certain places or do certain things, which I thought were perfectly fine. Wisdom and experience is what youngsters lack...
    And Monie, I'm in her pre-empty nester stage... I wonder if when my time comes, will I feel like Judy or as I think now, when it will be a great time for hubby and me to enjoy a different phase in our lives, with a more positive outlook. For the record, I am a worry wort in regards to my kids, I don't think I'll ever stop missing them, wanting them to visit frequently.

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    1. Thanks Lorelei for the comments
      I'm a post empty nester and not like Judy at all
      we'll talk more when you're ready :)

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  2. Did the girls accomplish what THEY wanted individually and for the group?

    By the end of the trip and the end of the bucket-list, Monique learned that there could still be joy without Lenny. The rush of the air over the hood of the Porsche and hysterical laughter with her friends while speeding down the autobahn proved she could have fun and laughter without Lenny. Doing the 13th item of the bucket-list taught her to stop being afraid of risk and being afraid of returning to the things she once loved. Judy taught her that in regards to our children, "We birth them and feed them and raise them and give them hell, and, when it's time, we just let them go. She was finally ready to let Kiera go off to UCLA. Becky helped by supporting her during the dangerous bucket-list items and explaining Lenny's reasons for the bucket-list.

    Judy was able to finally come to terms with her empty-nest self by planning to help Becky with her baking and teaching French and German classes. She planned to give her holiday decorations and summer pool to Becky for her young family to enjoy. She is also planning to take her husband on a two week trip to Italy for them to enjoy alone.

    Becky learned how to cope with the loss of her eyesight. She is now building a map in her head to use as her eyesight loss progresses. She is learning to communicate better with Marco and practicing better intimacy with him too. She has promised Marco that she will not ignore the phone when he calls.

    It seems to me that the trip has made them a better cohesive group who will continue to look out for each other.

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  3. Set the clock for these characters ahead five years where are they?

    Five years ahead, I see Monique busy with the baby she will adopt and possibly planning Kiera's wedding. I don't think Monique will marry again but possibly be dating. I think if she were to marry, she would totally feel as though she has abandoned Lenny. With such a perfect first marriage, chances are she would be afraid of not finding that again.

    I see Judy still busy with helping Becky and teaching the French and German glasses but also finding more time to travel with hubby. I see many grandchildren too.

    I see Becky adjusting more and more to her loss of eyesight but coping very well. I see her approaching the empty-nest but continuing to do the baking but with more help from Judy. I see her marriage to Marco getting better as the children get older.

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    1. okay Eadie, I never saw the adoption coming from any angle I anticipated :)
      What great and thoughtful thoughts
      Thank you so much for the wonderful comments and thoughts throughout this my debut :) blog feature.

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  4. Debbie, what a great question! -- "Set the clock ahead five years where are they?" That's something I hadn't considered when I was writing the novel. It's an interesting thing to consider now, when it has been two years since I typed "The End" for this book.

    As an aside, that's one of the weird things about traditional publishing--the story has to be finished a good year before it's release date, sometimes longer. By the time the book actually comes out, I've already moved on to the next book (which I'll be typing "The End" to tomorrow!). So it's a funny, disorienting kind of experience to re-visit the characters again. They're familiar and new at the same time.

    As for my girls . . . I think you're right, Eadie, Monique would adopt one of the abandoned babies from the neonatal unit. I'm not sure she'd marry, though. She's a strong woman who'll always have Lenny in her heart.

    I think Becky will adjust, in degrees, to her fading eyesight, and the act of surrendering some control of her world will bring her closer to Marco. She's an artist at heart, so I see her switching from sketching to sculpture, taking a joy in the tactile act of using her hands to form playful magical creatures out of clay.

    Judy's eventually going to be THAT teacher, the one all the teenagers love, inspiring in them an adoration of language and a drive to learn. She'll spend her summers traveling, partly with Bob, and partly with anyone she can rope into coming with her. Then again, she may just save up for a Porsche. ;)


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    1. Thanks Lisa, it's actually a question as you may have noted that I ask quite a bit. I tend to get rather involved in the lives of characters I love that I want to know "where are they now" I guess that's why I love series so much.

      I love it that your answering the questions too!!

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  5. First I was very surprised by #13! (That's obvious if you read my predictions from week two.) Now to the accomplishing of goals. Becky and Judy accomplished their goals, definitely. Becky learned to savor each moment, to experience things in new ways and to reach out to friends and to her family for help during the difficult times. In five years she will be, once again, happily married and discovering new coping strategies and new simple pleasures every day! Judy learned that the excitement she still craves won't be found through reliving her youth, but that the craving must be satisfied in new ways if she is to continue to grow and be a happy person; she can no longer "sacrifice" herself for her family. In five years, I, like Lisa, that Judy will be THAT teacher. I think that she and her husband will be traveling each summer; they may even lead student trips to Europe!

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    2. Edie thanks for the comments I love how you progressed Judy :)

      I agree with your assessment of Becky too and I hope that she and Marco can work things out, they're too great a couple to not succeed even with all their trials

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  6. My jury is still out on whether or not Monie accomplished her goal. Assuming that her goal was simply to move on with her life, I guess she accomplished that. I desperately wanted her to feel Lenny's presence at the end--not to NEED his presence or to seclude herself from the rest of the world to seek his presence, but just to feel him and smile, recognizing that he is a part of her. A side story here-- I am dating a man who lost his wife to a terrible accident several years ago. They had a wonderful marriage. Sometimes when he feels her presence or something reminds him of her, he smiles. If I see the smile and ask, he will share the moment with me. It is a good moment for both of us. I wish that for Monie. I have trouble imagining her adopting a child as a single mother. Is the child a replacement for Lenny? Something for her to lavish all her love on? In five years, I would hope that she has begun dating.

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    1. You know until it was mentioned before I never realized the lack of Lenny in Europe.

      You and your friend must have a great relationship Edie, my husband wouldn't be able to share a feeling like that with someone else I think it's because of his age and his upbringing and not to show emotions.
      Thanks for sharing that with us.

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  7. Ha! I reached the end of Ch 13, and I LOVED Judy's move! Lol! You almost had me fooled. Okay, I just had to share that happy moment! I'll be back to answer the Questions when I get to the end ;) ( or maybe I'll be back in another "aha!" moment!)

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    1. Lorelei, what a trooper you are Yay, you get an award at the end just because you've kept at it.
      I know that you mentioned to me that you're not a fast reader and I know that you're caring for a recuperating mom so you're free time is limited and I'm just pleased pink that you've kept on.
      We'll have to invent some sort of badge for you. :)
      Thanks and I look forward to your responses.

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    2. Aw, Thank you Deb! Squee! I'm almost done! I think I only need two more chapters. I carry the book everywhere with me, to finish it soon. I'm forming my answers as I read along. I have had appointments all week! Now, I'm off to another one. ( I read while I wait ;) )

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    3. You're very welcome Lorelei :)

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  8. Let's keep on the subject of 5 years forward

    Where do you think the relationship between Becky and Gina is and between Gina and Marco?

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    1. Clarify something for me, please. Is Gina Becky and Marco's older daughter or is she a step-daughter to one of them? I'm thinking she is Gina's step-daughter, but not sure why I think that. So I need to be filled in on the correct relationship before I plunge off the deep end here.

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    2. Gina is the stepdaughter who came to live with Becky and Marco as a troubled youth I think she was 12

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  9. What a great read. Here goes:
    Did the girls accomplish what THEY wanted individually and for the group?
    Yes. Monique learned to "let go", even though Becky is the one to become blind, it did seem that Monie had been blind all along in terms with what Lenny wanted to convey to her through the bucket list.(and denial) Becky being the youngest of the 3, I found that to be special, almost extra-censorial in a way. How she was the one to make her see that, and not Judy.

    Becky not sharing her problems with the girls I kind of thought it was right. Couples tend to always have issues and when others find out about it, rather than wanting to help, they tend to judge the husband, but when things are resolved between the couple, others will not forgive and forget and may hold judgement against him in the back of their minds. But then again, these are Becky's best friends and I'm glad they gave her good advice and BELIEVED in their relationship. Some couples tend to give up too easily. We have to think it's not only going to be hard for Becky, but for Marco, too.
    Judy, what a lady. You could tell that Bob is her Rock. Made her feel strong and able to raise those 5 kids and have a great life. She wasn't prepared for that empty nest so soon. Had always been so busy. Now helping Becky and going back to school will fill her days. She doesn't want to live in the past and be the young spirited girl she once was, she wants to enjoy the woman she is now, with her husband. The past were good times, she just wants to be sure she can still enjoy it in the future and adapt to this new stage in life.

    For the group, I think they did bond more and will be there for each other for sure.

    Set the clock for these characters ahead five years where are they?
    Monie will probably adopt that baby, having to focus on the her/him will help not miss missing Kiera so much. Maybe she'll date, but I don't see her remarried.

    Judy will be teaching and helping Becky with the kids and baking pastries, but throughout the whole story Becky always had the urge to draw the beauties she saw on the trip, before going blind.
    A question that came to mind was, Why is she drawing to capture the imagines if she won't be able to see them once she's blind? Maybe because, for example,when we write it sticks in our minds better? In 5 years I'd say she'd continue drawing, and eventually have a bakery shop with the help of Judy and Marco, I would display most her drawings so people could enjoy her artwork.
    Even Gina will turn around and change her ways and may even help at the shop if she's going to college nearby. I think Gina's and Becky's relationship will improve because Becky always had that in her heart, to get along with Gina. It's Gina who has to bring that wall down, and I think she will.





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  10. Lorelei, what great comments and you know I never thought about Becky and Marco in your terms that's very intuitive and I totally agree because you're right we do almost always take the friends side and are rarely neutral.

    Thanks so much for being with us for this read :)

    deb

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  11. Sorry I'm so late posting this. I finished the book (and loved it!) earlier this weekend and haven't had time until now to chime in.

    I think all the girls accomplished so much more than they ever thought they would when they set off for this trip. As a group when the women set off for their trip, their collective goal was to accomplish all the things Lenny had written on the bucket list. Monique and Judy were also hoping to take Becky's mind off her recent diagnosis. As the trip continued, each of the women came face to face with areas in their lives that needed improvement. Monique realized it was okay to move forward in her life and Lenny would have wanted it that way. Judy began to understand how lost she really was after all her children were grown and away from home and knew she needed to find something to fulfill her days. Becky saw how fractured her marriage with Marco had become and got a sense of how becoming blind was going to force her to lean on Marco and her friends more. This two week trip was eye opening for them all. It made them better people and brought them all even closer together.

    I loved how this book ended with a chapter dedicated to each of the women to show how they were planning to make changes in their lives after they got back from their trip. I thought this was a great way to end the book and I loved seeing how each of the women were ready to start the new chapters that lay ahead in their lives.

    In five years I see Monique having adopted the abandoned neo-natal baby. I think Kiera loves that her mom has adopted a child. It makes it easier on her being across the country knowing that her mom has someone that loves her and needs her. I believe that Monique's bond with Lenny is still too strong for her to consider dating yet though.

    I see Judy filling her days by helping Becky in any way she can. Driving her and the kids wherever they need to go, helping Becky with her baking business. Judy has finally found herself in teaching her students. Her job as a mother of five has prepared her for a successful job in teaching.

    As for Becky even though her eyesight is deteriorating I think her spirit is upbeat and she takes it one day at a time. Her marriage with Marco is mending and she and Gina are working on their relationship. They have a lot more in common than either one had thought. With the help of Marco, Judy and Monique, Becky is continuing with her scones and muffins and is finding new ways to nurture her artistic side.

    April

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    1. April, thank you for the great comments.
      You know what I was wondering if anyone else thought that Gina and Becky were two peas in a pod.
      So glad you were here with us this month.
      Speaking of deliveries can we say congratulations to you to!!!

      deb

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