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The Arsonist
One of our most elegant and engrossing novelists at her inimitable best.
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Your favorite character?

Created: 07/27/14

Replies: 18

Posted Jul. 27, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 558

Expert

Your favorite character?

Do you have a favorite character – Frankie? Sylvia? Bud? Adrian? Alfie? Tink? Why?


Posted Jul. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
cynthiad

Join Date: 11/25/12

Posts: 23

RE: Your favorite character?

Frankie was my favorite character. This author, Sue Miller, made it easy to know her from the very first page. Most of us have experienced a homecoming after being away on our own. It feels good, but somewhat unfamiliar at the same time.
While Frankie was living and working out of the country, she recognized human problems and suffering that she could not "fix" but she felt her worth in trying.


Posted Jul. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marianf

Join Date: 07/28/14

Posts: 4

RE: Your favorite character?

I liked Frankie... she was true to herself.


Posted Jul. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynnes

Join Date: 10/17/11

Posts: 4

RE: Your favorite character?

I liked Bud. He was able to start over in a small town after burning out in the big city. I'm glad that the author allowed this character to find a fulfilling life outside of the hustle and bustle of a city. Having lived in both myself, I think small towns are for the most part underrated. He was the most interesting character because he was the outsider- insider bridging the gap between the summer people and the townspeople.


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 68

Expert

RE: Your favorite character?

I too am a Bud fan. Unlike most of the other characters he is abridged of gaps -the outsider working his way in, the independent willing to be vulnerable to love,then willing to tolerate uncertainty when that is all Frankie can give him. He seems to have a broader world view than the other characters.


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Lisa

Join Date: 06/13/14

Posts: 14

RE: Your favorite character?

I think because we are first introduced to Frankie with such beautiful prose, I immediately took a shine to her and felt like I was 'on her side' from the very beginning. I could relate to her situation of coming home after being abroad. It is a strange experience. I also loved reading about her parents and the other characters, but for me, Frankie was the heart of the novel.


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Sooz

Join Date: 07/29/14

Posts: 3

RE: Your favorite character?

Although I too acknowledge as understandable, the multiple choices of Frankie and Bud as favorites, my initial reaction to the question was to name Alfie. Probably this is because for the past 5 years, I have been a caregiver for my husband who has been diagnosed with Lewy Body dementia. Thus I identify closely with Alfie's symptoms, hallucinations, etc. and as a result became more interested in him as a character in the book. Also, Sylvie's reaction to Alfie's decline, struck home with me as well. To me, their marriage was never as strong as mine and dealing with dementia is a very long journey if you are not totally committed to being a loving caretaker. This tension in their marriage must have an impact on the way Sylvie views her husband's dementia.


Posted Jul. 29, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 22

RE: Your favorite character?

Bud was my favorite character. Although he left the "big city", his outlook remained openminded and global in this small town. He really liked the folks as much for their stories as for themselves. The author told the reader through her characterization of Bud that change can be good for all of us.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
gretchenm

Join Date: 06/04/12

Posts: 7

RE: Your favorite character?

Definitely Bud because he wasn't afraid to go after what he felt was truly worthwhile in iphis life. Frankie doesn't ever figure that out. I also liked the sister and brother-in-law and the roles they played in the family dynamics.


Posted Jul. 30, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
christinep

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 26

RE: Your favorite character?

Bud was my favorite character too. There was many layers to his character. I loved that he moved to a small town, became interested in the people who lived there. He just seemed like a person who wanted to know about you and I think that made him a good person to run a small town newspaper. There was an honesty about him that was refreshing. You could see how this would get people to open up to him.


Posted Aug. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kenanr

Join Date: 02/20/14

Posts: 8

RE: Your favorite character?

I think Sylvia was the most interesting character. Not the most likeable, but definitely the most interesting. Frankie made me nuts. How to you reach your forties and have absolutely no idea who you are? Bud was nice but not terribly interesting. The story of Sylvia and Alfie seemed to be the one with the most meat and the one that I wanted to know more about.


Posted Aug. 05, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
vickio

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 4

RE: Your favorite character?

Bud was my favorite character. I admired him for having picked himself and moved to a small town. He didn't seem as bogged down in the past as some of the other characters seemed to be. He had his issues, but he was warm and honest and ready to take on the future.


Posted Aug. 07, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Your favorite character?

There is a difference between "favorite" and "most interesting". So -- most interesting would be Frankie simply because she is so lost and unknowing herself. She has so much potential and yet, she has no idea what to do with herself. I vacilate between wanting to take by the shoulders and giving her a good motherly shaking and talking to or simply writing her off as simply too shallow to bother about.
On to favorite -- Bud is so likeable and kind and dependable and all the rest of those cliches. He is my choice for new best friend.
And then there is Alfie. He seems to be known only as "past" and "problem." In many ways I feel sorry for him and yet he WAS such a vitale, warm, caring person. He is not only lost to himself. He is lost to his wife and daughter as well.
Isn't it interesting that I have thought of both Frankie and Alfie as "lost."


Posted Aug. 09, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 244

Expert

RE: Your favorite character?

I liked both Bud and Frankie, admired Sylvie but really felt more for Alfie. He was so well portrayed as a brilliant and yet scattered scholar and yet so confused and lost most of the time. I think I felt he was the most real of all of them.


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

Join Date: 08/13/14

Posts: 5

RE: Your favorite character?

I liked Bud because he had the insight to realize what Frankie and able to give without resenting her inability to stay put with him. It isn't often that you find someone who will accept you "warts" and all.


Posted Aug. 14, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyb

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 19

RE: Your favorite character?

My favorite character is Bud, for all the same reasons expressed above. He was truly engaged with both factions--townfolk and summer folk--and had a broader perspective on the differences.


Judy
Posted Aug. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 64

Expert

RE: Your favorite character?

Bud, because I admired that he was able to move to a new place and establish a new meaningful life in his middle age. I liked that he did all the things necessary to establish himself in Pomeroy, and was able to make new friendships and connections. He also seemed to me to be the character with the most empathy for others.


Posted Aug. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeann

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 42

RE: Your favorite character?

Frankie was the main character. I liked her well enough, but I would have to say that Bud was the one who was the most likeable to me. He seemed warm, friendly and interested in all the people in Pomeroy. I loved that he left his successful job in NYC to persue what he really wanted to do to be happy- live in a small town and run a community newspaper.


Posted Sep. 04, 2014 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 38

RE: Your favorite character?

I liked Bud. I liked the way he started a new life for himself, his friendship with the former newspaperman, even his acceptance of Frankie.


Pegh

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