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MKD: Marriage, lies and cheating


 
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jennifergg
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PostPosted: October 18 2006, 5:09 PM    Post subject:
MKD: Marriage, lies and cheating
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At the core of David and Norah's marriage is a lie, one that David told. But Norah's lies to David soon follow. Are there degrees in lies? Does the fact that David told the first lie somehow justify Norah's cheating? Does the fact that David's lie was supposed to protect Norah, and Norah's lies to David are supposed to protect him, balance each other out?

I am fascinated by the slow disintegration of their marriage. And by the fact that David fell in love with Norah at first site, which to me reiterates his focus on the physical and the surface. But this way of looking at the world really isn't working for him, is it?

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Suz
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PostPosted: October 19 2006, 5:27 PM    Post subject:
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That's a great point - about David looking just on the surface. I think that's why he became a photographer - he only looked at the physical and did not dig deep down.

I don't think the lies justified each other, but I certainly felt empathy for Norah as a protagonist, even when she cheated on her husband. Since she never knew about the secret about Phoebe, it wasn't in direct retaliation for David's lie, but I could totally see how she came to the place in her marriage where she just wanted someone to pay attention to her - hence the affairs.

I think their marriage died the moment David said Phoebe had died. It was just a long slow death.
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jennifergg
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PostPosted: October 20 2006, 9:17 AM    Post subject:
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Excellent point, Suz, about Norah not being aware of David's lie. And for the record, I don't think lies cancel each other out, or that there are degrees of lies.

I think of them like little ticking time bombs, waiting to go off when you least expect it. And I think the only thing that has any real power is the truth. So why "protect" someone from it? Given my feelings about lies, I think they are the things that need to be protected from.

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amante
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PostPosted: October 20 2006, 10:10 AM    Post subject:
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How about the fact that Norah didn't know or care to know about David's youth. Wasn't she in this perfect world also?

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jennifergg
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PostPosted: October 20 2006, 10:42 AM    Post subject:
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Excellent point too, Amante! There is such a thing as a lie by commission...meaning that Norah accepted, and perpetuated the situation. She is part of it, definitely!

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queenk
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PostPosted: October 20 2006, 4:37 PM    Post subject:
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I, too, felt sympathy for Nora as David shut down emotionally. Still, there was no excuse for what she did. It killed me to see how she hurt her son. It's a testament to there being no good end to deception.

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ME's mom
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PostPosted: October 20 2006, 9:29 PM    Post subject:
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I have to be honest, this was literally the most disappointing part of the entire book for me. I felt like it was a bit mellow dramatic. Yes he lied, but it was extremely disappointing to me that the author chose to make this woman a victim. I was expecting much more from the development of the characters. It felt like a shift in the character that was not in line with who she was before. And one thing I can say about grief, and let me tell you, I have had a lot of people to let go of in my life, we are who we are, and our grief enhances that person that we are. It did not fit for me. She was a gracefilled woman, yes she grieved, but it was not realistic. My sister lost a child at birth, so it is not as though I am not speaking from experience. It is extremely tough, but it felt, well, quite honestly, cheap to me. I was looking for substance. His grief felt real. But hers, the cheating the alcohol, just cheap, and would sell the book for a movie. Sorry, my humble opinion. I know, I will get lots of rasberries thrown at me for this opinion, but I have to be honest. It was a let down.


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jennifergg
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PostPosted: October 21 2006, 9:21 AM    Post subject:
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Thank you mesmom, for your post here and for your other comments.

I think I do disagree, a bit, in part because I know and have known people like Norah. Knowing them helps me see Norah's choices as a believable (though not admirable) reaction to loss and disappointment. I didn't see her as graceful (David's descriptions of her, mostly, I think) but as timid and scared. So her avoidance, and passive aggression, seemed right to me. (I would agree with you in all ways that this kind of behavior is cheap). So I think we can agree to disagree about this aspect, and definitely no raspberries from me. I appreciate your honest opinion; it has made me think about why I have mine, and for that I am grateful. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

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ME's mom
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PostPosted: October 21 2006, 12:45 PM    Post subject:
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I agree to disagree. Too cheap for me sorry.
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Suz
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PostPosted: October 21 2006, 4:23 PM    Post subject:
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Ah, there are so many people who have affairs and there is really never a true justified reason to embark on one. I think people do it b/c they don't want to look closely at themselves or their marriages - and affairs just 'numb the pain'. As does alcohol. People use these things because they are weak.

But sometimes I am weak, too, and I can see the allure of wanting to numb out bad feelings and make myself feel better. While I might stop short of having that second gin and tonic, or eating that whole box of cookies, some people get swept up and do things they should not do.

I thought it was clever of Kim Edwards to wait to introducing the affair until much later in Norah's life, instead of it being a reactionary measure soon after the twins were born.

I thought Norah did 'numbing' with other, less unhealthy things too - like arranging elaborate dinner parties, and immersing herself in her career.

Really, I felt they were measures to avoid herself. Sometimes I feel that way, too. That's why a glass of red wine or a nice bath do me wonders.

No raspberries here. Just respectful discussion. Our differences are what makes us interesting!
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ImperfectMe
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PostPosted: October 23 2006, 1:26 PM    Post subject:
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First of all, I don't feel the author made Nora a victim. I think it showed what her life became as a result of losing her daughter. I don't think there was an victimization, aside from the fact that she was lied to about her own daughter.

I don't believe there are degress in lies. I do believe that Nora many have never had an affair had the daughter not been sent away and the mother lied to about her demise. I think every character would have had a drastically different life had the child not been sent away.

I don't know if his lie was to protect her, or if it was to protect himself. He couldn't be honest with his wife. Maybe he wasn't honest with himself about why he did what he did.

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