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How to Tell Toledo from the Night Sky
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Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Created: 06/22/14

Replies: 14

Posted Jun. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 503

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Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Do you think that the ending for Bernice is fair? What about for Sally? Does either get what she deserves?


Posted Jun. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 28

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I wish Bernice could have come to terms with her alcoholism and sought recovery. However, it is a disease that kills, nothing fair about it.

I was very surprised at Sally's reaction when Bernice came out to her. They had been friends for so many years and knowing who Bernice really was shouldn't have been such a shock. I know it was necessary to the plot of the novel, but I was personally disappointed by her bigotry. And why should she visit her sense of wrongness onto Irene? Irene is a totally different person, not a carbon copy of her mother.


Posted Jun. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I totally hated seeing what happened to Bernice. I think Sally did know - or at least suspect - that Bernice was a lesbian and loved her. I also think it was awful that Bernice sunk into the bottle & neglected her child. It's too bad she didn't have someone who cared enough about her to get her some professional help. I thought she really suffered from a lack of self esteem.


Posted Jun. 26, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I did not think the ending for Bernice was at all fair, and i was disappointed that Netzer stooped to an out-dated stereotype of an unrequited lesbian love having no recourse except to the bottle. Bad enough no one cared enough to intervene for Bernice, but that she didn't care enough about herself to get help was her tragedy. Sally the high-powered lawyer with the hair-trigger temper (remember the reported scene in which she punched a client in the nose?), married to the indifferent Dean, was for me more of a survivor and more adaptable. While I didn't particularly like her, for me she was the more believable character of the two mothers.


Posted Jun. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I was satisfied with the endings for both Bernice and Sally. Are they fair? For me, yes. But it's a personal decision.


Posted Jun. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
BJ

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 13

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Life is not "fair" or "unfair" -- what a strange notion, especially applied to a piece of fiction. Do you think the author's designed endings were reasonable? warranted? effective? inevitable? Those questions make sense to me. Anyone want to respond to one of those adjectives?


Posted Jun. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Bernice: Sadly, inevitable, once she was turned into an unrecovered alcoholic. See my comments above about what I thought of that fate for her.
Sally: I think perhaps both reasonable and effective.


Posted Jun. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 123

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

@BJ - I do think that the "is life fair" question is valid, because, while you're right, life isn't fair, when people ask the question I think they're really asking if you personally feel the ultimate result of something was reasonable or warranted. It's just not a very precise way of asking the question. (In other words, your point exactly.)

This book left me feeling oddly unsettled about everyone's fate, to be honest. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the book very much; and in fact, I think it does what a good book SHOULD do: keep you thinking about how you felt about the characters, plot and themes. Part of my discomfort stems from not being entirely certain about what happened to George & Irene in the end. I want a happy ending for these two, but I just can't shake the feeling that it didn't happen. Bernice's entire life and relationship with her daughter made me very sad, and I feel bad about Sally as well; apparently she became a much less happy person after Bernice tried to kill herself & Irene.


Posted Jun. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mal

Join Date: 09/09/13

Posts: 44

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I don't know if it's a matter of fairness. I believe their ends were brought on by their choices and circumstances. It is a shame their friendship wasn't unconditional. Pity all their 'secrets' couldn't be shared.


Posted Jun. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kate

Join Date: 01/22/11

Posts: 28

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I agree with mal. The course that both of their lives took was a result of their actions, and decisions.
I was surprised at Sally's reaction to Bernice and that she did not stand by her and support her. She seemed so "liberal" in so many other ways that it did not fit that she was so closed minded about Bernice's sexuality.
That whole section did not work for me.


Posted Jul. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sandra54

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 43

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

I thought the endings for Bernice and seemed realistic for that time period. For all Sally's independence and strength she could not be true to herself.


Posted Jul. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 83

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Who cares about "fair." I want a realistic ending and that's what we got.


Posted Jul. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 63

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RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Mai and Kate put it well - and in BJ's terms, the endings were warranted, reasonable - and pretty much inevitable, given the decisions they made and the behaviors in which they engaged.


Posted Jul. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
alycet

Join Date: 04/23/12

Posts: 26

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Fair, I don't know. They were realistic for their characters.


Posted Aug. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cb

Join Date: 03/19/14

Posts: 19

RE: Do you think the endings for Bernice and Sally are fair?

Bernice's journey/ending is an all-too-common one -succumbing to the beatings/blocks/whatevers life hurls at us. I think Irene's love-hate relationship with her mother -and her efforts to compartmentalize that relationship- are also a common coping strategy to her mother's weaknesses/choices. How much of our lives we waste. How needy we are for those we love. How difficult it is to find the balance.


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