Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Literary Feast Discussion: Hush, Hush (Chapters 13-18)
I know, I know, this commentary is a day late. But in our defense, somebody's [my] university email account keeps automatically putting somebody else's [Monica's] emails in the junk folder. IT also does this with my students' emails. Way to go, University. Way to go.
Any-hoo, lets not focus on the university's flawed email system. There is Hush, Hush to tear apart, I mean, discuss. (It would seem that as our feminist sensibilities are flaring up and causing both Monica and I to get a wee-bit...frustrated with the book. But more on that below.)
Shel: Wow, Nora wrote flirting tips on the back of her list of interrogation questions about Patch. While funny, you'd think that would be a clue that SOMETHING IS OFF!
Monica: I have decided to just try and suspend reality where she is concerned. It’s like she has gotten herself so enmeshed with this dude that she can’t even think straight. I would say she’s in a cult, or in an abusive relationship, only it’s not EITHER yet. She’s just stupid. Sigh.
Shel: Okay, so I'm with Nora on having trouble believing that Vee and Jules are together. I suppose she's just being manipulated into some grand nefarious plot.
Monica: We haven’t even *seen* Jules! Go Nora, go! Save your friend! Vee’s going to get into trouble, I can sense it all ready. And I really do like Vee; I don’t want her brains to be eaten when it turns out Jules is a zombie, or something.
Shel: Mmm, zombies. That would be a fun less-scary twist for this book. But on a more serious note, I like that Nora's mom tries to distinguish between "thinking your in love" and "being in love." I kind of wish that was explored some more.
Monica: Of course, since the moral of her mother’s story apparently was, “If you think hard enough about being in love it eventually turns into real love,” I’m not sure Nora will really benefit from it. “Hmm,” she will say to herself. “I don’t know if I love Patch, but according to Mom if we stick it out, we’ll end up in love! Yay!” No. No, Nora.
Shel: It is sadly hilarious that Nora thinks the guy who is "too nice" is creepy. It's a close step to the mentality that a girl should suspect something is wrong if her boyfriend actually treats her well.
Monica: Shel, has there been any discussion about what the author intended with this book? As I’m reading your comments, and my comments, there’s a definite pattern here of Weak Female Character Overwhelmed by Threatening Male Character, and I don’t like it. Plus, as mentioned above, the implication that Nora should not believe in her own instincts (don't worry if you're just "thinking you're in love," it will eventually become "being in love") is eerie.
Shel: Along those lines, I find myself writing 'WTF' or 'Ick' a lot in the margins. Am I alone in this?
Monica: NO. Well, sort of – I’m using sticky notes, since it’s a library book. But I definitely have comments like, “If my friend was saying this to me I would make her get counseling,” and “Is there no one sane in this novel?” and “Way to not give us any healthy relationships, author.”
Shel: Okay, I admit that I do like the thought of Nora taking the initiative and figuring out what happened with the hanging. Of course, she hasn't *done* anything yet....
Monica: No, but at least she’s all “Something bad! Something bad is coming!” And I like how she’s not immediately leaping to think it’s Patch; it’s sort of nice, I guess, that she can think of someone other than him every once in a while?
Shel: Maybe. But if a guy took me to his usual bar hang out (where a man had died previously) on a first date, I would steal his car to drive away and then torch the evidence.
Monica: I think it's official. We would totally be handling this entire book differently than the characters are choosing to. ;)
And with that, we'll leave you for the night. But we'd love to hear what you think of the book in the comments. That'd keep us busy until we can discuss chapters 19 to 24 on...Suuuuuunday-ish?