Friday, March 25, 2011

In the Woods - Discussion #4

Welcome to our last discussion of In the Woods by Tana French. This covers the whole book with an emphasis Chapter 20 through the end. Spoilers will most likely happen. Any and all are welcome to contribute!

My thoughts
I'm a disappointed in the 'detective' and 'police' work that was done by both Ryan and Maddox. I think I was also a little disappointed in Maddox for falling for Ryan and then into bed with the other. Like she was so the anti-stereotype to begin with and then in last part of the book she falls into it faster than a dress comes of on prom night. (yeah you can groan at that) I am also mad that Rosalind played them all so well and that in the end she got off. Her poor father.

Lines I Liked
pg.745 "You had as good a chance as I did. I told you everything I saw, as I saw it at the time. And if that was in itself deceptive, remember, I told you that, too: I warned you, right from the beginning, that I lie."

pg. 763 "She informed me, matter-of-factly, that she was old enough to know the difference between intriguing and fucked up. "You should go for younger women," she advised me. "They can't always tell."

A word from Tana French
Q. In connection with her own near-molestation as a child, your detective Cassie Maddox observes that children find it almost impossible to resist the promise of marvels—the possibility of entering a magical world. Do you really think adults are all that different? Aren't most of us continually both ennobled and victimized by our willingness to believe and search for the fantastic?
I think that leap of belief, that capacity to respond to the mysterious unseen and unknown, is one of the most incredible human abilities—and how you respond to the unknown is one of the defining choices that make you what you are. That's a recurring thread in the book: how the different characters react when they have the chance to make that leap into an unknown world that could transform their lives forever, for better or for worse. Cassie, as in that childhood story, is willing to take huge risks for the chance of marvels. Rob isn't: every time he has the opportunity to take that leap, he runs as fast and as far as he can, and in the end that destroys him. On the other hand, there's one character who is destroyed—perhaps even more thoroughly—by his willingness to make that commitment to the unknown. Our ability to believe in marvels is an amazing thing; it's a crucial part of what makes us human, it's a crucial part of what makes life wonderful—but, like anything so important, it's dangerous and it doesn't come with guarantees.

Questions from Penguin
1. After sleeping together, Ryan and Cassie cease to be friends. Why do you think the experience of physical intimacy is so damaging to their relationship? Are there other reasons why their friendship falls apart?

2. How convincing is French's explanation of the motivating forces that lead to Katy's murder—forces that come close to a definition of pure evil? Are such events and motivations ever truly explicable?

3. Do you have your own theories about the mysteries that remain unsolved at the end of In the Woods? What are they?

4. What were your thoughts and emotions upon finishing In the Woods? If this book affected you differently from other mysteries you have read, why do you think this was true?

Thanks for participating in our March Group Read!! We always welcome conversation. Join us back in April for Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore!

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