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A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
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Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 15

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

After Jonathan moves out, Clara and Polly are passed between their parents "like a restaurant dessert." Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?


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

Join Date: 03/03/12

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Yes, Jonathan's decision to move out is predicated on his belief that Annie was aware of Robbie's parentage. He felt that she had been lying to him all along and her disclosure about being with Patrick in Paris was the last straw. I'm not sure how the events of the summer will affect Annie's daughters because I am not convinced that this marriage is going to survive.


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Yes, his move was justified and although it became somewhat permanent, I feel his leaving may have been a quick decision based on extreme hurt. Hopefully he did forgive, since he was Robbie's caring father and he did want to keep the family together. The girls: I do hope they were forgiving and understanding as well. Since their characters weren't as developed and we didn't know them as well, we can only wonder.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Jonathan's decision to move out was justified. He is hurt, but he has also found out that his wife has been living this somewhat strange fantasy life and continuing to obsess over a lost lover. Their separation will have a lasting effect on the girls, but possibly they will see it as the result of their brother's accident, and not their mother's indiscretion.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Jonathan was certainly justified in moving out. He totally trusted her and she'd lied to him, and not disclosed a past he should have known about. As far as the girls, I'm sure they went though some turmoil, but the end result seems to be a reunification of their parents. They will be happy about that and move on.


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

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Johnathan is hurt. The trust in his marriage has been violated so yes, his moving out is defensible . Their lives have been altered. Their characters are not fully developed but their lives have changed dramatically and there is no returning to the same life. They are both old enough to understand what is going on. They each will take different things from this but this separation will change them both permanently. Some of the changes in each girl may be for the best. They will have more experience with love marriage both negatively and positively.


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

Join Date: 01/31/13

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Jonathan was certainly justified in moving out and his wife had not really been honest something that he worried about when he first met her. I think he needed to question what their relationship was and test what it was to her. He found out very big news; it was just unfortunate that the affair happened at the same time he found out this information so that both of them were not operating under the same facts.


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

Join Date: 06/16/11

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I think he reacted to the revelation of his son not really being his son and to her fling with Patrick as most anyone would. He needed space and time to digest these things and did his best to still be a good father to his children. In these days and times there are many children in this situation and if handled with care and consideration by the adults the children are little affected. As long as both parents do not bad mouth each other to the children it can be a smooth childhood for the kids.


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

Join Date: 06/23/13

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I think he was totally justified in moving out. A lot of parents might have even tried to take full custody of the girls as Annie could have been cast as an unfit parent. She destroyed all his trust in her. They all suffered the consequences of her carelessness . I think the girls were protected somewhat by not knowing the truth about what was going on. Maybe by the time they are old enough to understand what happened, the situation will have mended.


Posted Feb. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Children are always affected by having to live in two different places especially if the parents are not talking and moving forward. How it affects them will depend on their parents moving forward


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

Join Date: 03/13/12

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I understand Jonathan's decision entirely. Annie's deception about the son's birth father is about as big as they get - although it is understandable why she kept it a secret. At the same time, Jonathan has daughters who need him and a stable home. I think about the scenes at airports where parents are putting crying children unto planes to go to the "other parent" and children in school who look disheveled from being shuttled between parents... and i feel sorry for the daughters.


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

Join Date: 03/26/14

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

Contrary to what others here have said, I don't think Jonathan showed good judgment by moving out. His decision was selfish in that he gave little thought to the other children and how this split would affect them. He and Annie could have worked through their issues in private and if they ultimately decided that Annie's indiscretions was a deal-breaker that would be bad enough. But by moving out as he did left the girls in limbo, potentially unsure of whom to blame or, worse, feeling guilty because they loved both parents but sensing they needed to take sides. I think both parents acted selfishly, irresponsibly toward their children.


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

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 48

RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I agree with donna Jonathan was aware of Anne's past in Europe - he was a part of it. His decision was selfish especially for his little girls. If they are totally aware of all of the facts regarding the indiscretion, they just might blame him more so than Annie.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 35

RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I definitely would have to agree with Donna as well. Other people have brought up Robbie's parentage and how she deceived Jonathan but Annie had no idea that Robbie was Malcolm's son. I mean I had an idea because the book led me to it with the sequence of events but it didn't really seem like Annie considered that to be a) a real possibility that she should hide from Jonathan or b) important.
I also don't think Jonathan should have moved out. People make mistakes and yes sometimes things will happen to make you lose trust in the other person in your marriage. But you need to decide whether its important enough to break things off or whether its something you can forgive them for and move on. And if its just you and you husband and he wants to move out, whatever. But when there are kids involved it seems like they should come first, not you. And moving out because you're mad that you're wife had one small indiscretion (ha) seems a tad selfish to me when thinking of the children's well-being.


Posted Feb. 21, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

I agree with donnac,. Jonathan should have taken time to think things though and discuss the problems with Annie. If this did not change things, then they should have a discussion with the girls. I really do not think this summer will have a permanent effect on them.


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

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 192

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RE: Is Jonathan's decision to move out defensible? How are the girls' childhoods altered by the events of the summer? How might they look back on this period in their lives?

When I was reading I felt Jonathan was out of line by moving out. Especially going ahead and finding a place to live. After I found out that he had found out about Robbie's parentage, I had a better understanding of why he moved out. But I also think he should have talked it out. They had a son in a coma for goodness sakes! He needed to support Annie and allow her to support him. Shutting her out and not discussing the issues only made everything worse. It would also have been very disturbing to the little girls just having their brother be ill, but then to have their parents estranged, too, would make their lives feel unstable. I didn't think the author represent the girls feels very well. They didn't seem as effected by everything as I thought they should be.


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