Is this a love story or a mystery?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 06/19/12
Join Date: 05/08/11
Well, certainly not a mystery. The mystery of who set the fires and why was never answered. So, love story, yes, but both love stories (Frankie and Bud: and Sylvia and Alfie) were both sad and unresolved. Frankie and Bud couldn't - or wouldn't -- commit. Sylvia and Alfie seemed to have never had a relationship, or if they did, it was dying but wouldn't breathe its last.
Join Date: 07/28/14
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Join Date: 06/13/14
Join Date: 07/16/13
For me, I lean more toward a love story. The mystery was just background to the relationships between the characters. I think sylviag said it perfectly, it "illuminated" the relationships. Also the question of who the arsonist really was never determined. Can it be a mystery if it is not solved?
Join Date: 11/25/12
I agree with sylviag. Character study is what I saw. And I love them!
Each of the characters (maybe not Tink) seemed very real to me. I ached for Sylvie & Alfie. His mental issues unfortunately reducing each of them from the person they used to be.
Frankie was plainly frustrated. We've all been there!
Join Date: 02/21/14
Join Date: 03/26/14
Join Date: 02/20/14
Neither. Straight up slice of life. The Bud & Frankie story was as unsatisfying as the arson story. Both characters were uninteresting to me and seemed wildly immature given their age and life experience. I think the real story here was Sylvia and Alfie and we really only skimmed the surface of their relationship.
Join Date: 09/22/11
Join Date: 06/16/11
Just because the mystery was not tidily solved did not disqualify if as a mystery for me and because the love stories did not have happy traditional endings did not disqualify it as a love story for me. I think it was a well written slice of life that portrayed people and places well, kept my interest and stood out to me just because it didn't fit tidily into either bracket.
Join Date: 08/11/14
Join Date: 04/14/11
Join Date: 12/03/11
Neither. For me it is a novel about human relationships, but not necessarily love. The mystery is so secondary that its solution is left ambiguous. I got the feeling that Miller doesn't care one way or the other who set the fires, they were just a backdrop to the relationship stories.
Join Date: 11/14/11
I agree with others who felt it was a story of relationships. Also, a story of people at turning points in their lives...Bud coming to Pomeroy to live a simpler life; Frankie coming home to make a decision about what to do with her life; Sylvia being put into a care taker role and at the end finding other directions to add to her life; Afie facing the disease that was robbing him of himself.
A mystery? Well, I wondered who the arsonist was throughout the book. But, it wasn't the main part of the book. I didn't feel any suspense about the arsonist- the events were more of a background to the book for me- a framework for the story I suppose. I quickly lost count of the arsons and about lost interest in that part of the book.
Join Date: 06/13/11
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