Friday, January 7, 2011

The Weight of Water - Discussion #1

It goes without saying, this will have some spoilers. This discussion is over pages 1-64. Feel free to jump in with thoughts/opinions/questions!

Quick Overview of the Section
We are introduced to the main characters Jean, her daughter Billie, husband Thomas, his brother Rich and Rich's girlfriend Adaline who are all staying on Rich's boat while Jean takes photos of Smuttynose and surrounding areas.

It is obvious there is marital strife between Jean and Thomas, as she keeps hinting towards it and that she is quite disturbed by it.

We also get to start reading the account of Maren Hontveldt, the only survivor of a horrific murder and the reason Jean is taking her photos.

My thoughts and notes

Words/Names I had to look up
pg. 7 bowsprit - a spar projecting from the upper end of the bow of a sailing vessel, for holding the tacks of various jibs or stays and often supporting a jib beam

pg. 10 dory - a boat with a narrow, flat bottom, high bow and flaring sides

pg. 16 - Childe Hassan - American impressionist who grew up in Boston

pg. 32 Fallon Pearse - is a poet Thomas mentions but I cannot find a poet under this name using google.

Random thoughts
"her body plump and delicious, often salty if I lick her warm." pg. 11 WTF?? Anyone else think this is a rather odd observation from a mother about her daughter???

It seems contradicting that she mentions sea air being prescribed as a tonic and that the kids on the Isles of Shoals are not allowed out all winter and the house air becomes stale and putrid by March. - pgs. 13-14 However, the flow of the book is sometimes confusing and jumping so maybe the point is that it is a mass of confusion that isn't supposed to make sense?

Maren and Evan have a very close sibling relationship. What events from their childhood fostered this attachment? Is there evidence that their relationship goes beyond that of brother and sister? (taken from reading group guides)

What do you think we will learn from Maren's account?

Do you think Adaline and Thomas are having an affair?

Why do you think Thomas never allows Jean to photograph him?

Okay, the comment section should allow everyone to comment and add on to each other. Here's to hoping it works. If you want to add any of your questions/thoughts/words you looked up do so in the comments. If you want to submit any before next week's Discussion on (pgs. 65-135)
email them before Thursday night. Here is a link to the discussion dates/pages covered if you have forgotten.