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History of Wolves
"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's...
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Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

Created: 11/18/17

Replies: 11

Posted Nov. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

After returning home from Duluth, Linda sneaks out of her house and takes the canoe to Patra and Leo's cabin. When she gets there, Paul is in his room, Patra seems anxious, and Leo is making pancakes. When Leo hints that Linda needs to leave, she resists. At points in the story Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is Linda revising her memories to assuage her guilt? Or is there something else driving her to stay near the family?


Posted Nov. 27, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

The comfort of Patra's home, the occasional decent meal, and the source of cash are a big draw. Also, Linda's babysitting of Paul allows her to experience the feeling of officially being the "grown up" for the first time. Her basic forest survival skills interest Paul and his willingness to listen may have helped to validate Linda's sense of worth as a human being. I do not have the sense that Linda is trying to revise her memories or assuage her guilt. Would Linda feel less guilt or more guilt if she had been in charge of an IV drip system or the administering of pills? Probably not; I think Linda feels like she did what she was hired for, did what was expected (and sometimes more), and Patra and Leo are just two more adults that don't have all the answers in life.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 30

RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I think Linda knew that something was wrong by intuition. But I also think that since she grew to know this family a little bit at a time, the idea of what was 'normal' for them became hard to distinguish between what was actually normal. I think it's like living with an abuser...over time, you get used to little things. The little things grow into big problems over time, but by that time your rational mind is fairly confused with what is 'normal and right. She hadn't developed the capacity of listening to her intuition rather than what seemed socially normal for the people she was surrounded with.


Paula J
Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I agree, her intuition told her something was wrong, but she also lacked confidence in herself, and she was motivated to ignore it because of the emotional needs that were met by her role as responsible caregiver, friend, and "eavesdropper" on a lifestyle she admired. Paula J described very well how letting the little things slide can ease you into denial of a real problem, as with an abuser.


Posted Nov. 28, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I do think the book fits the classic "unreliable narrator" form. Linda is recalling what happened years after events occurred. The reader has to wonder how much her perception of them has changed over time.


Posted Nov. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulagb

Join Date: 08/16/17

Posts: 10

RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I do think her age is a factor and her very isolated childhood as well. Most teenagers would not have the confidence to act on suspicions that anything was wrong. Her mother was not available to her as a trusted adult to bounce facts off and solidify herqueasy feelings. She wanted to strengthen her relationship with Patra, a potential pseudo family member. Linda is a needy, insecure child seeking a more supportive home, she cannot be critical at this early stage.


Posted Dec. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
marganna

Join Date: 10/14/11

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

Linda wanted to be part of their family - she had been until Leo arrived & the dynamics changed. She was needy... etc per paulagb's comments above. She knew intuitively something was not right but had no place to turn for validation or help. By now I'm of the opinion Linda was more than neglected. Although she wasn't characterized as stupid, I'm beginning to find her story more & more unbelievable. Did she revise her memories? Probably. Did she try to rationalize her part? Yes, she did. Was she such a waif that there was nothing she could do to save her "brother"...it appears that is the case.


Posted Dec. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I don't believe that she knew anything was seriously wrong with Paul...wrong perhaps but not seriously until Leo arrived home. Things seemed to go downhill rather quickly. That's when Patra and Leo "dismissed" her. Her position in the family constellation was changing. I think she was driven by her desire to remain in the "family" initially then perhaps her realization that Paul was seriously ill.


Posted Dec. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

Linda realizes that something is not right, maybe senses is a better word. But she is a child and she has been told by both the mother and the father that Paul is not sick. Over and over they insist he is well. Would Dad be making pancakes if his son was dying? I am sure she wanted nothing more than to believe. This was the first contact she had with what she considered "Normal"people. She had a friend and someone whom she thought cared about her.


Posted Dec. 10, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 32

RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

The emotions and reasons in this book are very complicated. Early on, Linda has little patience for Paul. I don’t think she has as much motivation to do something for Paul as she does to continue to be near Patra.


Posted Dec. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
acstrine

Join Date: 02/06/17

Posts: 28

RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

I do not believe Linda is revising her memories. The dynamics changed once Leo arrived. This is also the time when Paul's health clearly deteriorates. (It was only at this point that I finally realized how sick he truly was. I believe that Linda had no idea of the severity of his illness.) I think Linda reacts more to Leo's need to control who is present in the home and their actions during this time period. She is scared of being pushed out of what she is beginning to consider her family. She worries about Patra, who seems anxious and unsettled. While Leo is pretending Paul is just napping, Linda is trying to keep Patra relaxed. Linda may be a bit confused about why Patra isn't fussing more over Paul, but Leo is running things at this point and not being honest. After the Candyland fiasco, Linda does mention to Patra that Paul may need something, and she would go to the drugstore.


Posted Dec. 18, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kdowney25

Join Date: 01/25/16

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RE: Linda claims not to know there was something seriously wrong with Paul, but there is obviously something motivating her to continue to check on Paul and Patra. Is she revising her memories? Or is there something else driving her to stay nearby?

Perhaps Linda felt intuitively that something was wrong with Paul. But as a teenager, and an outsider in the family, it seemed like she was dismissed and deemed of little consequence by Leo. Since his parents seemed to think nothing was concerning, why should she? Linda seemed to be obsessed with this family. Or at least Patra. Things changed when Leo was home though. Patra was different towards Linda and always deferred to Leo. Linda's narration as an adult probably wasn't really concious revision of memories. Perhaps more of memories from a different frame of reference and set of experiences since the events.


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