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A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
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Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 26

Posted Jan. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

There is more than one indiscretion in the novel. Which do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think Annie's whole life is one indiscretion after another.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think it refers to several indiscretions, none of them so small considering their consequences.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

The "small indiscretion" could be a play on words. Or that Annie felt the liaisons with Patrick and Malcolm were only small, considering her lifestyle during her earlier years.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurap

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think Annie might perceive all of her indiscretions individually as "small" - particularly sleeping with Malcolm (since she wasn't married and his wife was sleeping with Patrick) and the post-marriage one-nighter with Patrick (since it was unplanned and brief). The title though, is also the epitome of understatement, as each of these events is like a stone thrown in a pond, sending out ripples that touch everything is their path.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
hazeyr

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 19

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

Annie likely viewed her affairs as small indiscretions in her youth, not realizing the lifetime of repercussions for herself and others.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I don't think even Annie could call her actions a "small indiscretion" whether the title is referring to her youth or her adult affair. Maybe she is questioning could my whole life be coming apart after such a small thing, again not seeing or taking the responsibility for her actions.


Posted Feb. 08, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 99

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

There were several indiscretions and added together, they certainly weren't small. Annie seems to be wrapped up in herself and has an unrealistic view of the facts. 'If you acknowledge it, it isn't important' seems to be her outlook on life, at least until it all unravels.


Posted Feb. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sheryls

Join Date: 02/09/16

Posts: 4

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think Annie thinks of each action as a "small indiscretion" which allows her not to look at the large indiscretion that she has created with all of these small ones.


Posted Feb. 09, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CAC

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I definitely think it is the one night she and Malcolm made love.


Posted Feb. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JAKL1

Join Date: 12/06/12

Posts: 55

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

The definition of indiscretion is a behavior or speech that is indiscreet or displays a lack of good judgment. This could be small or big. Annie's life and the people in her life all have lived with indiscretions.


Posted Feb. 10, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccak

Join Date: 05/26/12

Posts: 39

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think the title is meant to show that no indiscretion is ever as small as it seems. Even a tiny action can have huge consequences in the future.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

There were a lot of indiscretions in the story by a lot of people and though they each may have seemed minor at the time or even in looking back but all added up messed with the lives of a lot of people. I think this happens in many lives and sometimes those lapses are just that but sometimes they have consequences.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 90

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

The "small" indiscretion she probably thinks is the liaison with Patrick after so many years. I don't really know if she considered any of her actions in her youth indiscretions although she never counted on the effect she would have on Malcolm when she slept with him. She was leaving the situation regardless and had the unfortunate events the following day not occurred she would never have thought twice about just abandoning the situation.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
terrio

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 60

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

Annie uses the term "indiscretion" to refer to both her night with Malcolm and her one-night stand with Patrick 20+ years later. Late in the book, Annie uses the exact term "small indiscretion" to refer to her one-night stand with Patrick: "The night with Patrick had been a small indiscretion, I saw now, in the sprawling story of our life, and finally I knew that blame had no role to play." This was in the paragraph where she talks about finally forgiving herself. I felt, however, that she was letting herself off much too easily. Right after she slept with Patrick in London, she thought "I had given away the one impeccable element in my life--the faithfulness of my twenty-one years of marriage." This, I think, was closer to the mark. Calling it a "small indiscretion" later seems like Annie trying to convince herself that what she did wasn't so bad. But I think that's her problem--she could always rationalize her actions away.


Posted Feb. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
aleksandrae

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I tend to agree with others that stated that Annie had multiple "small" indiscretions her entire life. In my opinion she made many errors in judgement that might have been considered "small" but had very large consequences in the end.


Posted Feb. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
cynthiao

Join Date: 08/31/15

Posts: 14

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

Indiscretion refers to the indiscretions that everyone does when they are young. Everyone thinks that these indiscretions will have no effect on their life, but it can turn around and bite you.


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

At first the title seems to apply only to Annie, and although other characters might have one, Annie's life seems to be one after the other.


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think she was referring to the affair, but that affair resulted in many indiscretions throughout her life, none which I would consider small.


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I'm not absolutely certain that the title isn't meant ironically. I mean, Annie's "indiscretions" were by no means inconsequential.


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
caroln

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 48

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I too agree with the other readers Anne had several indiscretions - more so when she was younger, but she really didn't see the consequences of her affairs. But then her husband was aware of her younger activities and should have perhaps have been more sympathetic????????


Posted Feb. 15, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joang

Join Date: 05/17/12

Posts: 26

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I have to agree that no indiscretion is ever small...that all will have consequences at one time or another, sooner or later. But which one does the title refer to? Which one represents a real lack of judgment? Which one caused everything to unravel? Hard to say...but I really think the small indiscretion with the most significant consequence was with Patrick in London? It destroyed her relationship with Jonathan and broke up the family.
The indiscretion and/or poor judgment of youth is not without consequences but there is a time when they become a memory. One moves on. One can be forgiven. Indiscretions now as an adult and their effect on others is what is really significant. Harder to forget, harder to move on. More real, less a memory. Harder to forgive.


Posted Feb. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
laurag

Join Date: 04/16/12

Posts: 11

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I guess I really thought that the small indiscretion was the one night stand with Patrick when she went to London. I think she merely thought of it as closure but the husband who loved her was broken by it. She saw it as nothing and it caused him to rethink a lifetime of fidelity. At one point he said something like "you know I had opportunities". I thought that was heartbreaking.


Posted Feb. 16, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CoventryReader

Join Date: 08/04/11

Posts: 25

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think that Annie's life is filled with indiscretions and many of them are ot small. She wants to believe that they are small but in reality they encompass her whole life. She does not seem to realize why her husband leaves her. She doesn't realize the magnitude of the things she has done that conflict with her marriage. She is not to be trusted.


Posted Feb. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I do not know what the answer to that is. If I make a guess, it would be the night with Patrick. She would consider this more of an indiscretion because of her long marriage. I do not think she thought of Malcom as an indiscretion until she found out he was the father of Robbie.


Posted Feb. 18, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joannev

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 19

RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I agree with most of the comments, but I didn't care for Annie at all and thought she was silly and pretty stupid - her life was one big indiscretion and she doesn't seem to have any insight into her actions. Sorry to be so harsh!


Posted Feb. 26, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 183

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RE: Which indiscretion do you think the title refers to, or might it refer to more than one?

I think it refers to the one time she slept with Malcolm. I think that because Malcolm is Robbie's true father and it is what cause all the issue in the book. And I think the title says "small" because that is how Annie viewed it at the time but it was really the catalyst for something very "big". Malcolm's death, Daisy's mental health, Jonathan's moving out, Robbie's accident, Annie having to fix it with Robbie in the end.


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