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A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
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Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 8

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

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Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

Early in the novel, Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses, and Annie matures?


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

Join Date: 03/03/12

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RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

I'm not sure how to answer this question. The only consistent and unselfish love I see in this story is Annie's love for her children and ultimately she puts her relationship with her children in jeopardy due to her impulsive relationship with Patrick and her confession to Jonathan.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

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RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

Annie believes she's in love when she's young and involved with two men. Was her husband, Jonathan, really her true love, or an escape from the bad situation she'd been involved in? They seemed to have a good, steady life until she blew it. She loved her children, but put their happiness to task when she went back and had a fling with Patrick. She's not a character I'm very sympathetic about.


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

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

In Annie's mind I believe she feels/felt love for Patrick, Malcolm, Johnathan and her children. We have to choose the love we want to nurture we cannot have it "all" but Annie still wants to. It takes some serious facing reality for her to choose. Sometimes when a person really discovers which material in the bucket he/she wants to nurture it is too late -- we cannot choose other people's timetable.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

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RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

Annie had a very immature notion of what love is. She didn't love Malcolm, she may have liked him. She was obsessed with Patrick and his life style, but not really in love, although she tried to convince herself she was. I feel she may have grown to care for Jonathan, but could she have hurt him the way she did if she truly loved him. In the beginning he was just an easy way out of her problems. She did love her children, but not enough to stop and think about what would happen to them and her marriage after one more indiscretion.


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

Join Date: 02/25/14

Posts: 40

RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

I feel like the novel is telling us about the different types of love there are. She experienced reckless abandon with Patrick and a bit of pity for Malcolm but when she found true, lasting love with Jonathan, she just seemed to forget all that she had built and threw caution to the wind. She struck me as a person that looked to the other side of the fence where she was certain the grass was greener. Ultimately, her only true and faithful demonstrations of love were reserved for her children.


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

Join Date: 08/31/15

Posts: 14

RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

Love evolves as we age. There are so many things that make up love that come to us as years go by.


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

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

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RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

I believe Annie was young and alone and had just left home for the first time. She responded to their attention because she needed to be loved at that time. She may not have loved Jonathan when she first met him, but there again, he was what she needed at the time and I believe she came to love him as they became a family. I believe the heat opens big enough for all the love that is offered.


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

Join Date: 09/10/14

Posts: 2

RE: Annie writes: "The heart is large, and there is more than one material in the bucket we call love." How does the novel address the theme of the nature of love? How do notions or definitions of love evolve as the novel progresses?

I am writing this with a month's distance from reading the book. This quote captures what I found interesting about the book - the examination of different kinds of love and the challenges we have in balancing these. Sexual love, love for children, love for life partners. At dinner with Patrick, before going to bed with him, the writer refers back to this quote. Annie thinks "...What you can stand and what you can't stand. The material you wish to pull from the bucket of love again and again. But what you can stand, for the duration, is not the same as what you want right now. It is not the same as what you wish, for reasons, that pop up mysteriously, to offer up". I am less interested in judging Annie than in think what her, very complicated loves, tell me about my own much simpler life. The complexities of loving the people in my life. And feeling their love for me. And, for the record, I am happily in 26 year marriage with no infidelity. This brings me to thinking about the differing ways I love my three children and the ways I feel their love in return.


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