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Evening in Paradise


"Berlin's new book is a marvel, filled with deeply touching stories about lives ...
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Discuss Evening in Paradise by Lucia Berlin:
What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Created: 11/04/19

Replies: 16

Posted Nov. 04, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2143

What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?


Posted Dec. 02, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 143

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Misunderstanding, loss, depression, pain, more loss.


Posted Dec. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cathyoc

Join Date: 04/26/17

Posts: 98

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

The struggle of everyday life, the importance of connections with others, and the devastation of addiction were some of the themes I felt ran through many of the stories.


Posted Dec. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 237

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

The themes I found were the following: loneliness, addiction, infidelity, survival and poverty.


Posted Dec. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
KelHydra

Join Date: 08/05/19

Posts: 17

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

To add to what was already mentioned above - I'm not sure if this is a theme, or more of a "narrative arc," but I liked how the stories moved chronologically from childhood through to adulthood. I felt like the female characters evolved in their dealings with themselves and others and became stronger (and funnier) as they got older.


Posted Dec. 03, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
teacher reader

Join Date: 02/14/18

Posts: 35

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

As others have said, the recurring themes were misunderstanding, loneliness, and addiction. Another theme I felt strongly was love for children. I know this will not be a popular answer, but the other theme was lack of self respect where men were concerned.


Posted Dec. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 72

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

I agree with all of the above.


Posted Dec. 06, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyl

Join Date: 04/21/14

Posts: 34

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Grinding poverty.


Posted Dec. 07, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lole

Join Date: 11/30/19

Posts: 25

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

I found several recurring themes: Trying to make sense of the world. Grabbing for momentary pleasure that contrasts with an everyday bleak or tiresome existence. Connecting with other people. Struggling with tough life issues.


Posted Dec. 09, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dorinned

Join Date: 10/13/14

Posts: 103

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Drinking, drinking, drinking... And drugs... And depression... A rather bleak outlook on life.


Posted Dec. 10, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jennie r

Join Date: 08/06/17

Posts: 39

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Every day struggles of being alive, a messy and reckless lifestyle, confusion, and humor.


Posted Dec. 12, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 422

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

I see the life she was living which was very sad.


Posted Dec. 16, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 275

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

I felt the characters were striving for mere survival in many cases. Some struggled from poverty, some from addiction, some just from bad circumstances. The answers to their circumstances weren't always positive.


Posted Dec. 24, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Elizabeth Marie

Join Date: 05/26/18

Posts: 51

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Some recurring themes were violated expectations in relationships, the damage of addiction to individuals and families, and the drama in everyday, ordinary situations. Berlin found the sadness in happy moments and the humor in tragic situations.


Posted Dec. 29, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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patriciag

Join Date: 07/11/14

Posts: 26

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

I agree with many of the themes mentioned, but I would add a connection to natural beauty--gardens, flowers, natural settings--even in the midst of some heavy human misery.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 425

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

As I scrolled down to find the space to add my comments, I saw words and phrases that were exactly what I had in mind: depression - stemming from or exacerbated by lack of adequate funds, failed relationships, and adults who were caught up in alcohol, drugs, physical attractions that prevented them from providing much guidance to children. Even if these characters' lives were far more extreme than anything readers have experienced, I think it is possible to recognize and appreciate the struggles of every day life.


Posted Jan. 19, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
julianna

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 32

RE: What recurring themes did you find running throughout the stories?

Reslience


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