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A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
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How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 11

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1336

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How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

On page 302, Annie writes that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman." How can this statement be assessed in the context of her story?


Posted Feb. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Lois Irene

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 33

RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I see this as referring to her youthful affairs with Malcolm and Patrick being easier to forgive than her trip to Europe to see Patrick after 20 years of marriage.
(I was pleased with the author choosing Malcolm as the father of Annie's son, rather than Patrick. It was a surprise.)


Posted Feb. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I think she will have to ask herself if she will find it so easy to forgive Emme because of her youth. Yes, Annie was young, and obviously had a drinking problem, but she continued the obsession 20 years into her marriage. Did she seek any help as she did realize she continued to have problems. She is definitely a difficult character to like. You really want to just shake her.


Posted Feb. 07, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
CAC

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

It is repeated in the forgiveness the reader gives Annie and as Annie forgives herself for her affair with Malcomb and in life as we all tend to forgive a harmful choice when children and young adults lie or or make a mistake. People are less forgiving of adults and at times totally unforgiving. Her visit to see Patrick was when she was an "adult" therefore the reader as well as her husband finds that almost unforgivable.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

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RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I think she was saying that it is more psychologically tolerable to blame the less deliberate, more impulsive "sin" for one's troubles than to accept responsibility for a deliberate, unjustifiable act.


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

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I'm sure she was referring to the 19 year old Annie, even though I don't think what the 19 year old Annie did was really all that impulsive. It all seemed so cold hearted with Macomb and foolish with Patrick, rather than impulsive. When she was an adult it was just plain stupid. She was a totally unlikable person.


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: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

Anne is a woman of weak moral character who doesn't want to assume responsibility for her actions. I disliked her immensely.


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: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

Annie was heedless of the damage her adult indiscretion and her confession would have on the man who truly loved her. I realize she believed her husband to be the father of her son, but still, following the desire to find out if her passion for Patrick was still alive was a devastating act of betrayal. Poor Malcom was reduced to the status of sperm donor as things played out.


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

Join Date: 02/09/16

Posts: 4

RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

At 19, we all make choices but then have to live with the consequences. That is how we learn about life. I think that she was lonely living in London and didn't have any "parental" support so to speak to point her in the right direction. And as any 19 year old would do I think her relationship with Patrick was romanticized in her mind. However, I don't think that Annie really thought out the consequences of going back to Patrick 20 years later. In the end she got her self indulgence but got to keep her life too.


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: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

She didn't blame herself for her affair with Malcolm and Patrick and moved on with ease even though she maybe should have allowed a bit more time to process what had happened. She did not however forgive herself for seeing Patrick many years later because it was so purposeful and was the beginning of the troubles her family had.


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: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I think she is right. I think most of us made a few bad decisions as young adults but as a mature woman with a loving husband and much adored children she was way out of line to sleep with Patrick and she knew it. Even more to feel compelled to tell Jonathan was in my mind a mistake and she should probably have had the strength to keep that to herself and spare him the pain rather than try to clear her conscience by fessing up. Was there really any gain to telling him except her own moral comfort which came at the expense of his peace of mind and her children's need for a two parent household.


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

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

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RE: How can Annie's statement that it is "easier to blame the impulsiveness of youth than the wanton self-indulgence of a grown woman" be assessed in the context of her story?

I agree with her that her transgressions as a young woman are more forgiveable than what she did as a mature adult. She obviously has impulse control issues. I think most everyone wonders what might have happened if they had made different decisions in their youth. But most of us don't act on those fantasies, especially at the risk of hurting the people that mean the most to us.


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