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May Book Club Selection: ABANDON!


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#1 admin_ann

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 12:37 PM

I am in the enviable position of getting to read Meg's books before they come out in stores. (I know!) Actually, it's really HARD to be in that position sometimes because it means I have to wait to share them with you. I have been SO EXCITED for months for you all to read Abandon so we can discuss it here. Let's get started, shall we?

And remember to hide your spoilers.
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#2 DianaSF

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:06 PM

I finished the ARC early last month, and it's been hard keeping my thoughts about Abandon to myself since then. I'm glad the book is officially out, and I have someone with whom to discuss it.

I loved the book! I first read the myth of Persephone in seventh grade language arts class. It was one of my favorites. I liked it so much that for a while, I thought that if I ever have a daughter, I'd like her middle name to be Persephone. Not sure if I would still want Persephone as a middle name for a child, but the myth remains a favorite.

I usually prefer happy, light-hearted books, but even though the tone of Abandon was darker and more mysterious, I could not put it down. I just had to know what was going to happen to Pierce, who John really was, and why he was hanging around so much.

Like I said on the Abandon thread, even though Pierce's dad's company
Spoiler
there's something about him that I like and find amusing. I hope he'll play a bigger part in the future books and that I'm not totally off in thinking that he's a good guy.

So far, Seth Vector and his cronies seem like tools to me. I have a feeling we'll be hearing more from them in the future.

Spoiler


Spoiler


Now, about that wild thing, John Hayden. :P He was one of my favorite parts of the book! Meg has this great ability to write believable, interesting characters, and I swear, if I didn't know better, I'd think she had a room in her house where cute teenage boys and men lived because how else does she write such awesome heroes (though in John's case, he could be considered an anti-hero, too)? He's so mysterious, and what girl doesn't like a guy who's tall, dark, and not-classically-handsome-but-handsome-in-a-dangerous-I-can-easily-hurt-you-but-I-won't-unless-you-truly-deserved-it-way who wants to protect her? His past is really fascinating, and I look forward to learning more about it.
Spoiler


I love that the book stresses Pierce rescuing herself. As much as John wants to protect her, I have a feeling that Pierce will have to do something epically awesome on her own to attain the true happiness that seems to be eluding her.

Not all my questions about the book were answered, and I didn't expect them to be since Abandon is, after all, the first book in a trilogy. I cannot wait to read Underworld next year!
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#3 starberry

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:18 PM

I loved Abandon. I thought it was a great start for what looks to be a promising trilogy. And I'm glad we're discussing it this month.

Like Diana I'm interested in Pierce's dad.
Spoiler


John was just awesome. Usually I've notice Meg does the good boy routine. Which is fine I love her good boys. I'd take Michael Moscovitz any day. But I like the dark brooding nature that John has, that he's more of a Byronic hero then any of Meg's other heros. Sort of reminds me of Batman, lol.
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Pierce was a different sort of Meg heroine that's for sure.
Spoiler


M :)
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#4 DianaSF

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:39 PM

starberry, I'm a sucker for happy endings, so I hope
Spoiler


I don't remember much about Demeter and Zeus's relationship, so I just looked them up on Wikipedia. Okay, ew, they were siblings. Probably not a big deal for gods to hook up with siblings, but still. No wonder Persephone had so many problems.
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#5 starberry

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 04:20 PM

From what I know about Greek mythology it was pretty common place for the gods to hook up with their siblings though to a modern society it's extremely gross. I think the Egyptian gods were sort of similar to the Grecian gods in that sort of way as well. Sighs. Interesting enough, I read another retelling of the Greek myth Persephone Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test recently which addressed this issue and made it a bit more stomach-able to read.

One more thing to note,
Spoiler



M :)
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#6 DianaSF

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:13 PM

From what I know about Greek mythology it was pretty common place for the gods to hook up with their siblings though to a modern society it's extremely gross. I think the Egyptian gods were sort of similar to the Grecian gods in that sort of way as well. Sighs. Interesting enough, I read another retelling of the Greek myth Persephone Aimee Carter's The Goddess Test recently which addressed this issue and made it a bit more stomach-able to read.

One more thing to note,

Spoiler



M :)


Maybe pomegranate seeds will make an appearance in the next book. ;)

I read Antigone in seventh grade language arts class and don't remember being too grossed out that she was the offspring of Oedipus and his mother (or maybe I was and just don't remember), so I really shouldn't be that shocked that Demeter and Zeus had a child together. All this talk about Greek myths makes me want to check out Edith Hamilton's Mythology.
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#7 admin_ann

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:10 PM

Hello Abandon readers!

You can also post questions to Meg about Abandon here, and she just might pop in to answer some of them.
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#8 Spartan Girl

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 02:25 PM

I finished Abandon all in one day and I already want the next book!

I loved the twist about the necklace and how it connected to Hades/Persephone. And like the rest of you, I'm interested in Pierce's dad, and I don't think it's completely fair that her mom blamed him for the accident, especially since it was revealed that
Spoiler


Questions for Meg:

1. Will we get to see Pierce's dad in another book? And will Pierce's mom
Spoiler


2. When should we expect Underworld?
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#9 starberry

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:46 PM

I finished Abandon all in one day and I already want the next book!

I loved the twist about the necklace and how it connected to Hades/Persephone. And like the rest of you, I'm interested in Pierce's dad, and I don't think it's completely fair that her mom blamed him for the accident, especially since it was revealed that

Spoiler


Questions for Meg:

1. Will we get to see Pierce's dad in another book? And will Pierce's mom
Spoiler


2. When should we expect Underworld?

I think I read that Underworld is coming out in 2012 on Goodreads ( I would imagine probably this time next year). Regardless, it's going to be a very long wait indeed. I feel like we just got a taste of what is going to be a very interesting, rich tale.

I agree with you that
Spoiler


The
Spoiler


The necklace reminded me a bit of the Hope Diamond http://en.wikipedia....i/Hope_Diamond. Wonder if that was intentional or not ;)

M :)
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#10 writerluv

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 06:35 PM

If my memory serves me correctly, the Furies were mythical creatures (there were three of them) that killed people who committed horrible crimes. The most famous story of them was when they tried to avenge the deaths of Clyemnestra and her lover by killing Orestes, her son. Though, Orestes had to kill his mother and her lover since they killed his father (Agamenon),and according to the laws of acient Greece, the son must avenge the murder of a loved one. And, on top of that, his father's ghost ordered him to. But it is also illegal for people to kill their family members. Eventually, Athena, the goddess of wisdom, asks the Furies to hold off on their revenge and to hold a trial. Orestes was then absolved of all charges since he was only doing his filial duty. Athen then convinced the Furies to give up their ways of avenging the dead (since guiltiness can be grey at times) and instead use their powers to protect the innocent. From then on, they became known as "Erinyes".
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#11 DianaSF

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 10:01 PM

Glad to hear others on this board are also hoping for more of Pierce's dad in the upcoming books.

Just read an interview with Meg where she revealed some interesting things about the upcoming books and talked more about Pierce's parents.

http://novelnovice.c...thor-meg-cabot/
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#12 DianaSF

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 11:14 PM

Meg, here are a few questions for you.

1. Will Pierce's dad play a more significant role in the next two books in the trilogy? I hope there will be more interaction between him and Pierce's mom.

2. Will we learn more about the cemetery sexton, Richard Smith, in future books? I find his relationship with John very, very fascinating. In some ways, Smith reminds me of Father Dom from the Mediator books. Father Dom knew a lot about ghosts, and Smith seems well-versed in death deities.

3. Have you ever witnessed for yourself the high school kids in Key West participating in Coffin Night? I bet it's a sight to behold. Do most of the Key West residents who don't partake in this high school tradition find it amusing or an annoyance?
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#13 starberry

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 11:34 PM

OOh interesting article, Diana, and great questions, by the way. I agree with you that Smith was a pretty interesting character he did remind me of Father D is a weird way. He was probably my favorite character in a way, after John of course. I really enjoyed his prickly nature. Here are a couple questions of my own:

1) Obviously, there is something more to Isle Huesos that meets the eyes. Would it be wrong of me to assume that there may be other characters that are involved in the paranormal aspects/activities of the island?
2) Will we find out more about how
Spoiler

3)Your version of the Underworld is so vividly described and eerily beautiful what inspired you to depict it this way instead of the usual gloom and doom that is seen in other various media?

M :)

Edited by starberry, 01 May 2011 - 11:34 PM.

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#14 DianaSF

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 11:51 PM

I can't help thinking about the Hellmouth from the TV show Buffy the Vampire Slayer when the Underworld comes up, though Meg's Underworld is a dreamier and less frightening place than I remembered the Hellmouth to be. I think the non-presence of the Master in the Underworld helps. John is definitely better-looking than the Master. ;)
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#15 writerluv

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:28 PM

Fun Fact of the Day!:

The lake that Pierce saw when she was in the Underworld is most likely called Avernus. Avernus, at least in the Aeneid anyways, is the entrance to the Underworld and is very stinky.
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#16 writerluv

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:30 PM

Also, I would like to know what is up with tassels? Her grandmother knitted her the scarf with tassels, and her teacher had tassel-ed shoes; also, every time she talks about one of these events, she kind of ends with "tassels...".
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#17 lakewallywhat87

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Posted 04 May 2011 - 09:41 PM

I went to Fairfield U which is near Westport CT so I loved all the Westport references and particularly the Bridgeport reference. I burst out laughing at that. This book is amazing. John is amazing. He kind of reminds me of Rob, but much more guarded. I love how Pierce refers to him like a hurt/wild animal that is afraid to get close to you. I'd rescue John. haha. I can't wait for the next book in this series! I loved how different it was from everything else Meg has written. Sometimes when I read a lot of books by the same author they get very predictable. Not Meg. The ending blew me away. I actually screamed WHAATTTTTT out loud when the big twist was revealed. Sooo good!!
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#18 MegCabot

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 12:50 AM

Meg, here are a few questions for you.

1. Will Pierce's dad play a more significant role in the next two books in the trilogy? I hope there will be more interaction between him and Pierce's mom.

2. Will we learn more about the cemetery sexton, Richard Smith, in future books? I find his relationship with John very, very fascinating. In some ways, Smith reminds me of Father Dom from the Mediator books. Father Dom knew a lot about ghosts, and Smith seems well-versed in death deities.

3. Have you ever witnessed for yourself the high school kids in Key West participating in Coffin Night? I bet it's a sight to behold. Do most of the Key West residents who don't partake in this high school tradition find it amusing or an annoyance?


Hi! Am on a little break from touring (more next week!) so I have a chance to answer some of these!

In answer to question number 1, oh yes.

Number 2, yes.

Number 3, yes. I left out a LOT about Key West's Coffin Night that for various reasons--mostly because it's going to come up in later books, but also because a lot of what happens on the Key West Coffin Night is either very illegal or very dirty--is therefore not really usable in a children's book. They do everything that is mentioned in Abandon, but also worse. Here is a photo of last year's juniors, who captured the seniors' coffin, and posted a picture of themselves on Facebook to taunt the seniors (after defacing the coffin). Retaliation was severe (pelting of cars with frozen eggs). There were several arrests, from what I understand (not of the people pictured below, who were just involved in the coffin-napping, and whose identities I blurred).
Posted Image
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#19 DianaSF

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 01:03 AM

I find this Coffin Night tradition very fascinating because there's NOTHING like that here. Meg, the picture that you posted is funny. I gather that "Bleep you, seniors!" is the main message from that photo. :P
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#20 Venus

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:21 AM

You Wanna Know What Happened?
Well, It Doesn't Matter, I'll Tell You Anyway.
So, I Bought Abandon And Got Home, Super Excited, Put It On My Bed, And Went To Have A Shower.
When I Finished, I Went Back Into My Room, And My LITTLE MONSTER OF A DOG WAS CHEWING IT UP.
I Am Not Kidding. He RUINED It!!!
It Now Looks Like A Deformed Melting Puddle Of Paper And Brown Ink.
I AM GOING TO KILL MY DOG!(Not Literally, Guys, Don't Worry)

THAT DOG INFURIATES ME
! :biting:

-Venus :mad:
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#21 starberry

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 05:55 PM

Meg, why do I have a very bad feeling that the coffin night that is going on in the Abandon trilogy is going to get a lot more sinister..... I have my own theory about it, but it's sort of dark and it's on pure assumption only.

writerluv: Thanks for all the info. Most of my Greek mythology information is pretty limited and is mainly based off of Edith Hamilton's book and the various Greek dramas I was forced to read throughout high school/college. So it's interesting to have some more insight into the matter. I didn't even know there was a lake in the underworld, I only thought there were the rivers. Then again, the main portrayal of the underworld that I have seen has been in Disney's Hercules and well Charmed.

M :)
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#22 DianaSF

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 06:23 PM

Also, I would like to know what is up with tassels? Her grandmother knitted her the scarf with tassels, and her teacher had tassel-ed shoes; also, every time she talks about one of these events, she kind of ends with "tassels...".


I did not notice that tassels were mentioned more than once. That must mean something!
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#23 starberry

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 08:38 PM

I did not notice that tassels were mentioned more than once. That must mean something!

The funny thing is when I read that I distinctly remembering one of Meg's other characters hating tassels, I want to say it was Mel from The Boy Next Door. I think I remember her having an email conversation with her friend in the book about tassels. I might be wrong though. But tassels were definitely mentioned quite frequently, it could be a red hearing though. I think it was said in the book that Pierce suffered from some type of fixation disorder- so it might have been a subtle showing device on Meg's part to show Pierce's disorder. Still though, the tassels thing makes for some interesting conversation.

My personal feeling on tassels, I hate them especially on pillows because they're always going to get ragged looking after awhile (lol). So I guess I'm like PIerce in that aspect.
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#24 lakewallywhat87

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:40 PM

I feel like the tassel's are kind of a warning sign. Similar to when her necklace changes color, whenever she notices tassels it usually surrounds someone who wants to do her harm:
Spoiler

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#25 DianaSF

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Posted 05 May 2011 - 09:53 PM

My personal feeling on tassels, I hate them especially on pillows because they're always going to get ragged looking after awhile (lol). So I guess I'm like PIerce in that aspect.


I don't think I own anything with tassels, so I guess I'm not partial to them either. :P
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#26 DianaSF

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Posted 06 May 2011 - 09:23 PM

The necklace reminded me a bit of the Hope Diamond http://en.wikipedia....i/Hope_Diamond. Wonder if that was intentional or not ;)


starberry, Meg talks about how the necklace in Abandon was partly inspired by the Hope Diamond:

http://www.parajunke...uring-mega.html
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#27 starberry

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 11:38 AM

That is too cool about the Hope Diamond. I'm glad I wasn't thinking a little too out there when I thought about that,lol.

So I was reading some of the interviews that Meg did about Abandon and found the remark about how Persephone represents an almost female empowerment figure amongst captive Greek maidens rather interesting since most of the other girls that were loved by the gods were turned into trees or what not once they decided they were finished with them, either that or they give birth to demigods who usually for the most part find themselves getting killed. It's something I really didn't think about until I read those interviews, but it definitely adds a new dimension to the whole Persephone myth. Also-it might be because I'm rather rusty on my Greek mythology- but the Persephone myth is really the only myth I remember that Hades had a starring role in. For the most part, he pretty much was a background god which gives him an air of mystique. Zeus and Apollo seem to be the gods that most of the stories I have read focused on (of course Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite are also prominently featured most infamously in Homer's Troy and there are other myths about them as well) especially concerning these myths about girls being turned into trees or what not.

M :)
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#28 DianaSF

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:10 PM

As I said in a previous post in this thread, I think it's really cool that the book stresses Pierce rescuing herself. As much as John wants to protect her, I have a feeling that Pierce will have to do something pretty awesome on her own to attain the true happiness that seems to be eluding her. I'm glad that Meg has pointed out the female empowerment aspect in relation to the Persephone myth. I don't think I'd be as excited about these books if Pierce were portrayed as a totally helpless female. Yes, John has appeared numerous times in Abandon when Pierce has needed him, but I think the next two books will focus more on what Pierce herself can do to protect and save herself and her loved ones.
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#29 starberry

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 03:35 PM

Exactly! There would not be as much appeal to these books if Pierce was like a damsel in distress/Bella Swan type figure. I sort of like the fact that you can tell she has potential to be a strong character, but that occasionally she has to rely on help despite the fact that she would most likely argue that she doesn't. It makes her appear very realistic though I have to say I sort of found in funny that everyone thought Pierce had all these rage issues when she was saving lizards from drowning in the pool and that she was only indirectly related to the
Spoiler


M
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#30 kylie

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Posted 07 May 2011 - 05:14 PM

I wont read any of the posts yet, but I just bought my copy of Abandon and I'm loving it so far! <3
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#31 DianaSF

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 08:12 PM

The Abandon page has been updated with frequently asked questions and discussion questions.

http://www.megcabot....abandon/faq.php

http://www.megcabot....ssion-guide.php
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#32 starberry

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:26 AM

Those new sections are pretty kicking. The FAQ's are really informative.

Someone mentioned this in another thread but Pierce's mom...I think there something wrong with her. I don't think she's possessed by a fury or what not, but I do think there was something else to her breakup with Mr. O (
Spoiler
Speaking of Pierce's grandma, I wonder just how strong of an affect she had on her kids I personally think that
Spoiler


Oh anyone think that
Spoiler


M :)
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#33 DianaSF

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 12:53 AM

Ooh, I didn't think about
Spoiler
Fascinating!

The more we discuss Pierce's parents, the more I get excited about learning about their background and history. Can't wait to see how they're similar and different from Zeus and Demeter. I'm pretty sure
Spoiler

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#34 starberry

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:12 PM

Diana I think you might be onto something about
Spoiler

M
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#35 Spartan Girl

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:14 PM

I already posted this in the other Abandon thread, but I thought I'd put it here too:

Am I the only one that didn't really like Pierce's mother? Don't get me wrong, it's obvious that she loves Pierce a lot, but...I don't know. Given the way she was so quick to cut Pierce's dad off and blame him for Pierce drowning (true, he was careless but it was an accident) and for the environmental disaster, and in that one part where she was looking at Pierce silently asking "Don't mess (my new life in my old hometown) up for me" she kind of came off as this bitter woman who was trying to reinvent her life and relive her youth.

I think starberry might be right:
Spoiler

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#36 starberry

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 02:54 PM

Spartan Girl my feelings towards Mrs. O right now are indifferent. As previously stated, I don't think the split was just about
Spoiler
. Be that as it may, I wish she would accept a little responsibility for PIerce's accident
Spoiler
I think a lot of her motivations for coming to Isle Huesos is she's trying to right the wrongs in her life that she attributes to her husband. But I think Mr. O
Spoiler


M
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#37 DianaSF

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 06:29 PM

I agree that
Spoiler

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#38 kylie

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 04:18 PM

I thought something weird was up with Pierce's grandma when
Spoiler

That just totally threw me off!
Spoiler

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#39 starberry

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Posted 13 May 2011 - 05:04 PM

All I have to say is Pierce's grandma
Spoiler
I wonder if there's something that predisposes someone to be susceptible to
Spoiler

M
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#40 writerluv

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 09:21 PM

So, I would like to know is

1.
Spoiler


I mean, is it just determination or is there something more fundamental?

2. Also, how long has
Spoiler


3. How long has she been a you-know-what?

4. And how can her
Spoiler


5. Also,
Spoiler

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#41 DianaSF

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 10:12 PM

writerluv, I edited your post by adding the spoiler codes.
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#42 kylie

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Posted 17 May 2011 - 05:37 PM

Hhaha, Starberry. So true about Grandmere! Mia thinks she has it tough.
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#43 bubba97

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 06:30 AM

Writerluv,


I don't think that
Spoiler







And I think that
Spoiler



And Richard Smith... I don't trust him...

Must be the tassels..

Am I the only one?
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#44 DianaSF

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 09:18 AM

bubba97, I'm not too suspicious of Richard Smith at the moment.
Spoiler
disparaged him, so in my eyes, he's a-ok at the moment. I figure anyone she doesn't like can't be too bad. Was Richard Smith wearing shoes with tassels? I really need to reread to pick up on all the references to tassels.
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#45 kylie

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 05:06 PM

I loved all the tassels references.
As i was reading, I noticed tassels were coming up a lot, then I started to click it all together and was like, whoa.

Spoiler

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