Book Of The Month Club - November 2019

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rubysmama

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I finished Watch Me Disappear last night. Looking forward to seeing what everyone else thought of it.
 

Mia6

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We'll post the questions for discussion on Thursday evening, the 21st, then discuss it from the 22nd -28th. Hope those of you who read it enjoyed it or are still reading it.
 
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rubysmama

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I think/know I am going to skip this month. The book looks good, but have not had much of an opportunity to read- just too busy.
It's a busy time of year, so understand it's hard to find time to read. And I suspect December will be even busier for everyone.

We'll be starting the discussion of "Watch Me Disappear" on the 22nd, so I guess anyone who is going to still read this book in the future should beware before reading any new posts.
 

Mia6

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QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION FOR WATCH ME DISAPPEAR (These were written by the author, Janelle Brown)

We're not certain how many or any of you read the November book. If you have, we hope you enjoyed it! :thumbsup:

Answer as few or many as you'd like.

1.
Is it natural for a mother to want to leave her family sometimes, even if most don’t act on it? How would the story be different if Jonathan had been the one to disappear?

2. How do you think the author meant to portray Jonathan? Did his relationship with Harmony change the way you saw him?

3. Do you believe there was genuine love in Billie and Jonathan’s marriage? To what extent is some degree of secrecy a normal, even necessary, part of a marriage?

4. Olive felt that she was receiving psychic messages from her missing mother. Do you think this really was something paranormal? Part of a mother-daughter bond? A neurological condition? Have you ever felt some kind of unexplained communication with a parent or child or someone you love? If so, did you experience it on your own --- as a dream or an experience of heightened intuition --- or with the help of a psychic medium, like the Sharon Parkins character in the novel?

5. How does Olive’s growing self-awareness and the revelation that comes with it fit into the novel’s larger theme of searching for one’s true identity? Discuss the ways other characters have sought to discover --- or change --- their personas.

6. Throughout the novel, you get to see Billie through different perspectives --- from her daughter, her husband, her friends and more. After finishing the novel, do you feel like you know who Billie really is, or do you still find her to be a mystery?

7. Is Billie a classic femme fatale? Why or why not? Is she a feminist character?

8. As you read, there are clues that suggest different possible endings for Billie. Were you surprised by the ending? If you were, how did you think it would end and why?

9. How do you get to know someone who lies to themself? Can you ever really know a person?

10. Were you surprised by the ending?

THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE CAME UP WITH

11
.. How would you rate the book on a scale of 1-5 *****?

12. Who was your favorite character?

13. Did you have to force yourself to get through the book, or were you unable to put it down?

14. Would you read another book by the same author?

15. Did you learn something you didn’t know before?

16. Did you find the characters believable?

17. Is there any part of the book you would change?

18. Were there any points of view you felt the author had that you disagreed with?
 
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rubysmama

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Just wanted to post and let you know, Mia6 Mia6 that I will be answering some of the questions over the weekend.
 

Mia6

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The ending surprised me.To put it bluntly, I thought Billie was a selfish, cruel person who only cared about her needs. Leave your 13 year old daughter?? Fake your own death, stealing from your husband?? Good riddance!
 
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rubysmama

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Reading the author's questions, and trying to think of answers, is a bit like being back in High School English class. :lol:

1. Is it natural for a mother to want to leave her family sometimes, even if most don’t act on it? How would the story be different if Jonathan had been the one to disappear?

I would imagine most mothers feel they need a break from time to time, though not sure if very many would want the break to be permanent though.​

2. How do you think the author meant to portray Jonathan? Did his relationship with Harmony change the way you saw him?

Not really. And at least he didn't cheat on his spouse.​

3. Do you believe there was genuine love in Billie and Jonathan’s marriage? To what extent is some degree of secrecy a normal, even necessary, part of a marriage?
not sure​

4. Olive felt that she was receiving psychic messages from her missing mother. Do you think this really was something paranormal? Part of a mother-daughter bond? A neurological condition? Have you ever felt some kind of unexplained communication with a parent or child or someone you love? If so, did you experience it on your own --- as a dream or an experience of heightened intuition --- or with the help of a psychic medium, like the Sharon Parkins character in the novel?

Except for the fact that Olive had the first vision before running into the wall, I would have thought they were caused by the brain trauma/concussion. And since Billie wasn't dead, it wasn't like she was sending messages from beyond. And considering she up and left her daughter, I doubt she was sending psychic messages from Denmark.​

5. How does Olive’s growing self-awareness and the revelation that comes with it fit into the novel’s larger theme of searching for one’s true identity? Discuss the ways other characters have sought to discover --- or change --- their personas.
not sure​

6. Throughout the novel, you get to see Billie through different perspectives --- from her daughter, her husband, her friends and more. After finishing the novel, do you feel like you know who Billie really is, or do you still find her to be a mystery?
Maybe she had some redeeming qualities, but after finishing the novel I was left believing Billie to be a self-centred, selfish woman.​

7. Is Billie a classic femme fatale? Why or why not? Is she a feminist character?
not sure​

8. As you read, there are clues that suggest different possible endings for Billie. Were you surprised by the ending? If you were, how did you think it would end and why?

I guess I was surprised to learn she was in Denmark, but not that she was still alive, and the clues throughout the book pointed to that, not to mention the title of the book did as well.​

9. How do you get to know someone who lies to themself? Can you ever really know a person?

You probably never get to know someone who lies to themselves.​

10. Were you surprised by the ending?
I was surprised by some things, like the adopted daughter.​

11.. How would you rate the book on a scale of 1-5 *****?
Probably 3 out of 5​

12. Who was your favorite character?
Hmmm... don't know if I had one.​

13. Did you have to force yourself to get through the book, or were you unable to put it down?
Neither. I didn't find it a page turner, but also didn't find it boring or difficult to continue reading.​

14. Would you read another book by the same author?
Probably would.​

15. Did you learn something you didn’t know before?
Don't remember. Guess I should really start taking notes as I read these books.​

16. Did you find the characters believable?
I guess so, because even though I don't know anyone who's faked their death, I'm sure it happens.​

17. Is there any part of the book you would change?
If I'd been writing this book, I probably would have left out the part about Olive's romantic life, only because I didn't get how it added to the story, other than to make her more isolated and alone.​

18. Were there any points of view you felt the author had that you disagreed with?

Don't think so.​
Ok, so I realized as I tried to answer the questions, that I'm horribly out of practice in writing book reviews and/or analyzing books. Wonder if there's a online refresher course I can take.;)
 

Mia6

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If I'd been writing this book, I probably would have left out the part about Olive's romantic life, only because I didn't get how it added to the story, other than to make her more isolated and alone.
Just when she needed Billie the most, the selfish b**** was oven in Denmark. Last lines of the book were Billie's words,
Leave and they'll hate you, Die and they'll love you forever.

So she disappears so she can save Olive from herself because she was trying to turn Olive into herself??
She thought she was not a perfect mom, she wasn't, she had flaws, don't all mothers, don't all people?
Billie had no idea about Olive being gay and I think if she did, she would've stayed. Well, I think Olive and
Jonathon will do just fine.
 

Mia6

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6. Throughout the novel, you get to see Billie through different perspectives --- from her daughter, her husband, her friends and more. After finishing the novel, do you feel like you know who Billie really is, or do you still find her to be a mystery?
During the first reading of this book I missed some things. One of which was Jonathon remembering how Billie would have a friend for a short time, then end the friendship and when he would ask why, her answers were critical of the ex-friend. What I really think is that Billie wanted to start her live over, without the baggage of Jonathon and Olive. One of her most bizarre acts was sleeping with Sean and telling Harmony, "You're too good for him." after Harmony found Billie's bra in their bed or bedroom.

When I read the book for the first time I really liked Billie at the beginning. Boy, was I wrong. I don't find her to be a mystery at all. Just a person who stole from her husband and then ditched them.
 
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rubysmama

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I liked Billie in the beginning too. But that changed the further I read. I know we don't know anything about what she's doing in Denmark, but I feel sorry for anyone she meets, because you know for sure she'll be running away yet again.
 

Boris Diamond

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I disliked Billie so much from the beginning that I quit the book at 5% read.:dunno: It's hard to read a book about a character you dislike that much.

The description said Billie was charismatic. Maybe I should not have read the description, as that gave me false expectations. On the first page she calls her husband a monkey for running his hands through her hair? She seemed hateful from the beginning. Then she shows what I consider ignorance by calling Huckleberry Finn a racist rag. I suppose it was racist, in that it was about race. But the point of that book was that Huck and Tom met crazy and crooked white folks all the way down the river. But who was by far the best person they saw in that time? Jim, the escaped slave who was called that terrible word the book is criticized so much for. That was the point. Similar to Blazing Saddles, where Sheriff Bart was called that awful word even though he was far superior to the clods who called him that. Excuse my straying from discussing the book we are reading, but with only 5% read, that's all I got. :p
 
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rubysmama

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Boris Diamond Boris Diamond : So we're 0 and 2 so far for choosing a book you like. :ohwell: I think maybe you'll like our next choice better. :crossfingers:

BTW, if you disliked Billie that much in the beginning, you would have absolutely despised her by the end of the book.

For anyone reading, our next book of the month was originally going to be in December but we've re-scheduled it for January 2020 after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
 

Boris Diamond

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Boris Diamond Boris Diamond : So we're 0 and 2 so far for choosing a book you like. :ohwell: I think maybe you'll like our next choice better. :crossfingers:

BTW, if you disliked Billie that much in the beginning, you would have absolutely despised her by the end of the book.

For anyone reading, our next book of the month was originally going to be in December but we've re-scheduled it for January 2020 after the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
When I was in sixth grade, a cousin who had acted was helping me with a role I was playing. She looked at me and said, "I don't like slice of life." I did not know what she meant at the time, but I do now and agree with her. I must admit that the books I enjoy tend to be escapist literature, sci-fi, fantasy and the like. I am willing to try book of the month books that the library has, but I probably won't like what everyone else does. It's just a matter of taste and no criticism is intended. There's no accounting for taste. De gustibus non disputandum est. On ne discute ni des goûts, ni des couleurs.
 
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rubysmama

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I am willing to try book of the month books that the library has, but I probably won't like what everyone else does.
It's great that you're at least giving them a shot. And I hope eventually we choose one you like, as you would definitely add a lot to the discussion, based on what you wrote this month after reading only 5% of the book. :)

I must admit that the books I enjoy tend to be escapist literature, sci-fi, fantasy and the like.
We'll have to get some suggestions from you if/when we are looking for that type of book for a monthly book choice.
 
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