Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
Lessons in French
"An appealing debut novel...Paris entrances" - Editor's Choice, Oprah.com
More about this book
Author Biography

Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Created: 10/17/14

Replies: 17

Posted Oct. 17, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

Expert

Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Etienne’s AIDS diagnosis shocks Kate and Christie. Did you anticipate his illness? Does the unnerving sense of invisible crisis permeate the novel for you? Is it a feeling you associate with that particular moment in time?


Posted Oct. 20, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I did not anticipate that Etienne had AIDS. I sort of felt that he might be gay but I never connected his thinness or pallor to having the disease. I did feel through out most of the book that there were things going on that were sort of leading up to some major confrontations and possible changes for Kate. The revelation of the AIDS was a surprise to me but there were so many conflicting arrangements and interactions among the characters that I did anticipate that the whole mess was likely to crash at anytime.


Posted Oct. 21, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Etienne's diagnosis of AIDS was a complete surprise to me. But because AIDS is no longer the catastrophe disease it was during that time period, I guess I forgot how common it was among gays and didn't look for any clues.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
asha

Join Date: 05/01/13

Posts: 44

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

It didn't come as a suprise. Especially, after the movie that Kate and Etienne went to and his sarcastic comeback...

His thinness and pallor also led nicely into the disclosure...although it was interesting that Kate found out second hand via her friend and Etienne's roommate.


Posted Oct. 22, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

It came as a complete surprise to me, and I could not see a reason for it to be in the book.
She went to visit Solange finally, which she should have done much sooner. I did not think it added anything to the book.


Posted Oct. 25, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
francinee

Join Date: 07/25/14

Posts: 14

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I was surprised and saddened by Etienne"s AIDS diagnosis. I would have preferred to hear that Katherine visited Solange and Jacques regularly. Sometimes it takes a crisis for people to reconnect with family.


Posted Oct. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 135

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I was surprised and didn't think it was necessary to the story line.


Posted Oct. 28, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
donnac's Gravatar
donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Yes. I had a hunch that was coming. Just because it was the 80s and he seemed ill.


Posted Oct. 31, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanr

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 114

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I suspected that he was very sick but didn't anticipate that it was AIDs. I agree with the others that it really wasn't needed as part of the story line.


Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
theresex

Join Date: 05/21/11

Posts: 18

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

His weak constitution triggered a sense of foreboding as I realized that this was the early era of AIDS, then an "invisible" crisis in that people either ignored it or judged the victims as bringing it on themselves. It's sad that Etienne was an early victim but I think the author should have included it because it became a serious issue during the time in the 80s she's writing about.


Thérèse~X.
Posted Nov. 01, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

No, I didn't think about Etienne having AIDS, but his thinness should have been a hint.


Posted Nov. 06, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
malindan

Join Date: 05/10/12

Posts: 48

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I agree with those who feel that the AIDS diagnosis wasn't needed in the story. I felt it was kind of random and put in the story because AIDS was so horribly destructive in the 80s.


Posted Nov. 11, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Dirtyolegardenhoe's Gravatar
Dirtyolegardenhoe

Join Date: 11/03/13

Posts: 11

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

No, I did not anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis. In the 1980's it was a death sentence basically and created a time of fear.


"She is too fond of books, it has turned her brain." Louisa May Alcott
Posted Nov. 12, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
maryj

Join Date: 03/06/12

Posts: 12

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

It was a total suprise to me, I thought maybe some illness but not AIDS.


Posted Nov. 13, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 31

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

I really didn't expect the AIDS diagnosis nor that Etienne was gay. I don't think that it added to the story one way or the other, but I was disappointed that he let their friend tell Kate rather than just telling her himself. He seemed quite changed from the little boy who tormented her when they were children.


Posted Dec. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 48

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Didn't see it coming...nor did I suspect Etienne was gay..maybe I need to read more closely!


Posted Dec. 03, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
poniesnpearls

Join Date: 06/28/11

Posts: 30

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

The time period and his being thin were clues. I didn't think about those clues much, but his diagnosis wasn't really a surprise.


Posted Dec. 10, 2014 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
LindaB.

Join Date: 06/11/14

Posts: 59

Expert

RE: Did you anticipate Etienne's AIDS diagnosis? Is a sense of invisible crisis a feeling you associate with this period?

Once I found out that he was gay, I thought that perhaps he had AIDS as it seems that he was sickly.


Reply

Please login to post a response.