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A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
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What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 22

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1303

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What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Annie's youthful relationship with Patrick is tortured and unfulfilling, yet she continues to yearn for him for more than twenty years. What causes this obsession? And why does it fade once Annie finally meets Patrick in London as an adult?


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

Join Date: 01/20/16

Posts: 33

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I think that Annie was desperate for romance and passion and that shes aw Patrick as the "anti- Malcolm."


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

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

His charm good looks passion are alluring. What could have been always stays with you. It's normal but most of us don't act on it.


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

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

It seems to me that Annie continued to obsess over Patrick because he was the one who got away.


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I think she obsessed over Patrick because he promised excitement. Also, he never offered her a commitment and so he was a challenge. Her infatuation faded because he had faded, he seemed to her sad and lonely.


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I think Patrick was 'unfinished business' for her. It ended rather abruptly when she was young and she never got over that. She wanted to go back and see what she thought she'd missed.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I think she saw him as the free spirit she wanted to be. He would add excitement to her life. After her marriage to Jonathan, she was still seeking this excitement. Twenty years later, she was still looking for something and he still didn't give it. She returned home full of guilt.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 163

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Annie experienced Patrick as a great romance - a wild and free relationship with no limits. Receiving the picture as an adult brought back those feelings, but acting on them turned out to be a disappointment for her. He was no longer exciting and romantic - just older and settled.


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

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I do agree that he is one that got away. The what if guy? Getting that picture brought all those memories that flood back but somehow often are more wonderful than the experience really was.


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

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 82

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Patrick was unpredictable and wasn't somebody she figured out. The mystery of him bothered her and became her obsession at the same time. When she saw him years later, she realizes he wasn't so mysterious after all and he was making bad decisions just like she was back then.


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

She was so young when she met him and very easy to impress. Good looking, exciting, and never quite in her grasp is very intoxicating at that age. When she saw him as an adult her maturity allowed her to see him for what he really was and her interest waned immediately.


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

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I think obsession is often caused by wanting what you cannot have, or wanting someone that does not want you. In this case, Patrick was unpredictable and erratic..hot then cold. As a young woman, she did not understand the concept of "he's just not that into you". I think when she met him again 20 years later, she eventually realized he was a normal man, like any other and the feelings she had held onto for so long were ultimately gone. Those feelings for him were replaced with memories of how much she loved her husband and the life they had built together.


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

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I agree with both Joyces and Alexandrae. He was her first love or idolization. Seeing that person after you have both matured often ends the adulation.


Posted Feb. 12, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
darylb

Join Date: 06/23/13

Posts: 90

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Patrick was never "hers" and even when she was involved with him, he was kind of a mystery man. She fantasized about his life and the other women he must have been with. When she sees him through mature eyes, she realizes he isn't such a catch and definitely wasn't worth risking her marriage over.


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

Join Date: 02/14/16

Posts: 2

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

It's the tendency to want what you cannot have - as her own insecurities about herself fade as she matures, she can look at Patrick with a more realistic viewpoint and recognize his noncommittal attitude as not what is valuable or desirable to her as an adult Annie.


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

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 184

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

To me, it's like romantic icing your family home, returning, and realizing it's a lot smaller and shabbier than you remember. We tend to build things up in our mind and the reality rarely lives up to the hype


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

To me it seemed pretty obvious that an older person was remembering the emotional and physical "high" of youthful sexual sparks. It's like going back to an amusement park and riding a ride that seemed thrilling or scary as a young child, and now it's boring. Who can explain attraction, especially youthful attraction. How many of us have looked back and wondered, "Ew...why was I ever attracted to that person or why on earth did I ever feel sad that it ended with that person." Unfortunately, Annie was not able to move past the memory of the high.


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

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 262

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

He was sophisticated and exciting, she was young and naive when they were first together. As she grew older and the every day pressures of life set in, she yearned for what she thought she had with Patrick. Going back proved you can't go home again because everything, including yourself has changed.


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Most people, I think, play "what if" when it comes to youthful decisions that might have altered the course of their life. I'm not sure it's an obsession so much as entertaining a fantasy concerning intentional decisions. Obviously, life batters each of us in ways that are unknown and inconceivable over the decades we are absent from one another. It would be interesting to know Patrick's thoughts/impressions of Annie after all those years.
There is a popular internet meme about people coming into our lives at certain appropriate moments. Patrick came into Annie's young life for a reason at that specific time. Later, when she sought him out, perhaps looking to recapture some fleeting feeling, he had already served his purpose and this was just tampering with the rhythm of the cosmos. Of course, it wouldn't work for them.


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

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

I agree with Joyces, she was very young and Patrick was good looking and sexy, completely opposite of Malcom. He was more what a young girl would want. She was mature when she saw him the last time. She had grown up and he was still the same immature young man she had known


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

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 19

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

My feeling was that, as has been said here, that he was someone she couldn't have and probably made him for exciting and attractive for that reason. She was very young at that time and when she met him again, she had matured somewhat, but you can never recapture that youthful feeling once you grow up.


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

Join Date: 09/10/14

Posts: 2

RE: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Joyce's and Alexsandre capture my thoughts well. I am reminded of the retirement age couple I met last night. They were not long married as I expected but a couple who have reconnected after a lifetime apart. They were schoolmates in elementary school in rural Michigan who each harbored a crush on the other. He left the small town but was back for a visit 50 years later and left a note in her mailbox asking to get together. Clearly reconnecting has worked well for them. I think many mature adults find romance with the those loved in their youth, often through social media. There is something special with those we meet when young. Chosing to act on that obsession as Annie did is a bad choice. But not an uncommon one.


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: What causes Annie's obsession with Patrick? And why does it fade once she finally meets him in London as an adult?

Annie was young, naive, and had a strange relationship with her father. Malcolm became the male figure in her life in London, she was isolated. Patrick was a young, sophisticated alternative to Malcolm. Patrick's attention makes Annie feel special. She is too inexperienced to see Patrick is just a playboy. She is seeking love and acceptance. When she meets Jonathan she moves right to him. Luckily he is a person of more substance and they can actually build a relationship. Annie only remembers the feeling of seeking Patrick's approval, there wasn't closure. I think she has to see Patrick for closure. When she is Patrick again she has experience by which to compare Patrick. He doesn't measure up to what she has with Jonathan.


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