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The Gravity of Birds
"A complex web of jealousy and heartache." - O, The Oprah Magazine
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The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

Created: 08/18/13

Replies: 18

Posted Aug. 18, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

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The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

The story is told from multiple perspectives: Alice, Finch, and Stephen, but never Natalie or Thomas. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? What does each person’s point of view contribute to the story? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 92

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I liked having the story told from different perspectives. It made it more interesting and more accessible to me. I'm not sure why the author chose to leave Natalie out but I felt that Thomas's perspective was given early in the book before he had his stroke, when he called Finch and Stephen to his apartment.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Violetta

Join Date: 06/10/11

Posts: 7

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I like the multiple viewpoints and perspectives. I think Natalie was left out because she was such a vile person we would have disliked her even more than we did if we could have gotten into her head. Also, it might have given away the awful deed she did of denying Alice her child.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I do enjoy reading books that use different points of view. I also am not sure why Natalie did not have a voice. I actually thought it was a flaw in the book to leave it out


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
bonnieb

Join Date: 09/11/11

Posts: 92

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

On second thought, I think that Natalie's voice is left out because it would have given too much away too early on in the story. The information about Agnette comes in later on in the book. The same goes for Thomas. Had he been given a voice we might have found out about Stephen early on in the book. These are two secrets that needed to be revealed over time and not early on.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 154

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I agree that giving Natalie and Thomas a voice would have given away some of the book's secrets, but I think it also might have made them more sympathetic as characters, and the author wanted them to be seen as cold and unloving. The multiple perspectives made it possible to know more about more characters. I think it was a good idea for this book because the characters weren't connected to each other at the beginning.


Posted Sep. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
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rosannes

Join Date: 01/29/13

Posts: 21

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I think it was a good idea too. I agree I don't think the author wanted to promote any sympathy for Natalie. Thomas was a bit different because his character didn't much care about what others thought of him.


Posted Sep. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shelbyl

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 22

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

The story being told from mutilple perspectives added layers to the story. I agree that keeping Thomas's and Natalie's voice silent allowed for the mysteries of the book to evolve at the appropriate time in the story.


Posted Sep. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 56

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I liked having the different perspectives, partly because just when I'd get fed up with whoever was telling the story, a new chapter started with a new narrator. I think the author probably left out Natalie and Thomas' voices because they held most of the secrets.


Posted Sep. 10, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cathyw

Join Date: 07/29/11

Posts: 3

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

The multiple perspectives added to the suspense of the story. The absence of the voices of Natalie and Thomas fueled the mystery. I would have preferred that the character of Natalie be a little more developed.


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 24

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

Keeping Natalie silent kept the reader from having any compassion for her. But it also was helpful in developing the plot. We, the readers, were just as shocked and appalled at the horrible things she did as Alice and the other characters were. If we had known Natalie better, it may not have been such a surprise.
Thomas' character was revealed just enough in the beginning of the story to set the ball rolling. His stroke and subsequent inability to speak also help to set up the surprise. If he had been able to talk, he may have revealed more and thus not as much drama in uncovering all the facts.


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 36

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

The multiple perspectives kept the novel interesting, never losing momentum. It also added depth to the story. I believe that Thomas and Natalie were left out to add to the mystery and underlying secrets.
Also, adding to the pace of the novel. It kept the reader guessing?


Posted Sep. 11, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathrynk

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 31

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

It didn't bother me and in fact it added to the mystery. Not knowing Natalie's story (her voice) created the void. The innocence of Alice drove the mystery. And yet we witnessed her manipulation with more and more clarity as the story progressed. I think the author did a masterful job in keeping the reader hooked.I loved the way the relationship with Phinneaus hampered the progression of her RA and enabled Alice to deal with what she eventually learned. How do you think things would have worked out for Alice if he hadn't come into her life when he did?


Posted Sep. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

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RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I tend to like stories told in multiple perspectives since they seem to keep it more interesting. When told from a single point of view it seems I am being led by only one mindset and sort of spoon fed whatever that character wants me to know. Since the people in this story are all from totally different geographical locations as well as occupations it offers more diversity and room for more personalities to be developed.
I think I disliked Natalie enough that giving her a voice might have been too much. As far as Thomas, he really did not need a voice since he was connected to all of the main characters and was portrayed pretty well in each of their voices.


Posted Sep. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
asha

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 28

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

As a reader who enjoyed the book, I feel that had Natalie been given a voice, the story would have lost some of its nuances and mystery. Natalie became a malcontent figure that the reader could easily "dislike". That being said, I believe that as the story stands, Natalie seems to be a someone left out for the reader to interpret according to his/her own internal compass of morality.


Posted Sep. 15, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marciac

Join Date: 09/04/13

Posts: 4

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I like the multiple perspectives because I think that it gives the story more depth. I think it's interesting that I never missed Thomas' or Natalie's voice while I was reading the book. It wasn't until I read this question that I realized that their perspective wasn't given. I felt their presence so strongly all along.
For me, their characters really moved the action in the story even though they didn'thave a "voice."


Posted Sep. 17, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 22

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I've always enjoyed books from multiple perspectives as long as the author is able to keep the pace of the book and there isn't lots of confusion. In this particular book, I did enjoy how one narrator would sort of drop a bombshell and then a new narrator would come in. I didn't find going back and forth in time hurt either. And, then the author subtley brings the story into the present. I really did enjoy reading this book.


Posted Sep. 20, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

Posts: 23

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

I liked the multiple perspectives & different time lines. It added layers to the story, kept the mystery alive & the suspense moving forward. I think by keeping Natalie's point of view silent we could keep the story going without too much sympathy for her. She must have been a more complex person than we are led to believe from Alice's point of view. I did want to understand her better but never enough to fault the author. As for Thomas ~ I knew enough about Thomas that I think knowing more would have wasted my time.


Posted Oct. 02, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 33

RE: The story is told from multiple perspectives. How does this narrative style affect your reading experience? Why do you think the author chose to leave out the voices of Natalie and Thomas?

Great question! I think the multiple perspectives definitely added to the story, but that is also what made it hard for me to get into at first. I agree with marganna's point that keeping Natalie silent made us less sympathetic toward her - it also might have made the story even more complicated! Toward the end of the novel, I learned so much more about her, which made the story so much more compelling.


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