Would the story have worked as well if it had been told chronologically? Why, or why not?
Join Date: 10/15/10
Join Date: 05/31/11
It might not have been as dramatic but I think I would have enjoyed reading it more. Found myself having to reread and rethink paragraphs because another jump in time was made. However, considering the illness represented, it was probably genius to present it this way because it more realistically showed the creeping loss of control and how Jennifer was degrading.
Join Date: 05/22/12
I agree with jww (above) that the wonkiness of the chronology of the story simulated her dementia in a way that gave me pause---I feel a little bit 'closer' to the dementing process and the fleeting nature of thoughts and feelings that could represent (some) of the Alzheimer's experience (I hope I never confirm this!).
Join Date: 05/09/12
The way Alice LaPlante told the story brought Jessica's mental decline to life and made Jessica a more sympathetic character. Had the story been told in chronological order, Jessica would have seemed a tough-minded, career-focused women with few sympathetic qualities. I wonder which other character would have been able to draw us into the story?
Dividing the book into 4 parts/sections provided important structure for the reader as the story unfolded.
Join Date: 05/23/12
Despite the non-chronological telling of the story, I found it easy to follow. The slight "confusion" resulting from the shifting time frames made Jessica's declining mental state more real to me. It made me work a little harder as a reader, but I think it was well worth it.
Join Date: 05/24/12
The non-linear structure was one of the high points of the novel for me--the slow reveal of episodes in the past and their consequences build up the tension as Jennifer's mental state deteriorates, until you start to wonder whether the secret of Amanda's death will be lost forever.
Join Date: 01/12/12
I agree with those who enjoyed the structure and that it illustrated the way Jennifer's thought process worked, as a sufferer of dementia. Her mind controlled her, taking her on some wild rides. She had no ability to bring herself back to reality, except earlier in the book when the disease wasn't as severe. She was at the mercy of her mind and it jumped all around the place. Even if I had to adjust my reading to fit the book I preferred it that way. It wouldn't have seemed real otherwise.
Join Date: 04/10/11
In a sense it was chronological, as I look at the story as a whole, but it included many flashbacks, which is a tried and true method of unveiling clues a little at a time. This also fit well into the portrayal of Jennifer's state of mind.
Join Date: 08/11/11
I don't think so. The "scattered"stories-bits and pieces here and there- seems to be a reflection of
Jennifer's state on mind. This story is not meant to be "smooth, easy, or orderly.". In jennifer's world there is no order.
Join Date: 10/14/11
Join Date: 04/14/11
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