Not Logged in.
Book Jacket
A Small Indiscretion
A brilliantly paced debut novel about one woman's reckoning with a youthful...
Summary and Reviews
Excerpt
Reading Guide
Author Biography

Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Created: 01/08/16

Replies: 19

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

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

Expert

Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from Jonathan's point of view? Or Robbie's? Or Emme's?


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 248

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is definitely not a reliable narrator. She barely knows or remembers her life in London and continues to make the same mistakes. I can't see how anyone else could tell this story, it is her story to tell. Robbie doesn't know enough to tell the story and Emme's story would be entirely different. When and how she found out the truth would be an interesting story. I think it would be much more in the psychological genre.


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

Join Date: 12/15/15

Posts: 19

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

It is Annie's story to tell any way she chooses regardless of whether or not she is a reliable narrator. The story would have a totally different focus told from one of the other characters.


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

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 19

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is reliable, narrating her story as she she remembers it or even as she reconstructs and relives her past. The story could have been told in the third person, but not by one of the other characters in the book. I did post in question 2 that I was uncomfortable with the story being told to her son and being as sexually explicit as it. Therefore, the book might have been better in a memoir format without her son as the specific audience.


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

Join Date: 03/24/12

Posts: 19

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is reliable, narrating her story as she she remembers it or even as she reconstructs and relives her past. The story could have been told in the third person, but not by one of the other characters in the book. I did post in question 2 that I was uncomfortable with the story being told to her son and being as sexually explicit as it. Therefore, the book might have been better in a memoir format without her son as the specific audience.


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

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

It's her life, her mess, her right to tell the story. Most of the time I didn't care what she was telling me because she positioned everything to be a positive reflection on her. If she was going to sleep with Patrick as an adult, she should have kept her mouth shut about it. Her husband was no prize. It's no wonder that he left.


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

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 171

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is only as reliable as her memories are reliable. She was very self-involved both as a young girl and as a mature woman. I use the word mature lightly. Obviously, she was not as mature as she should have been. That being said, this book belongs to her and would have been a completely different story if told from another point of view.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 108

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

She was reliable if you want her misguided viewpoint of everything. I didn't like that she was telling the story to her son. She seemed to always be making excuses for herself.


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

Join Date: 06/19/12

Posts: 180

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

This is Annie's story. She's the only one who holds all the pieces. That said, I think the story could have been told effectively in the third person. I understand why she tells the story to her son, but not why she offers so much intimate detail. to him. I think a third person story would avoid that issue.


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

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 397

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is reliable to the extent that anyone talking about their own past is reliable. We tend to remember what we want and lots of things get left out. Also, the emotional stuff is all filtered through her mature perspective and may not portray exactly what and how she felt in the real time of her youth.


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

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 90

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie is reliable in telling "her" story and is the only one that has all the pieces and I believe she sees this as a confession. I don't know that even in the retelling she understands the level of her culpability.


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

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 35

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

I think that Annie was a reliable narrator only in the sense that she narrated entirely what her thoughts and her feelings were. The issue is that they were all told from her point of view which is possible that it was skewed in terms of her version vs. what actually happened.
I didn't consider this before I read the question but thinking on it now, it would have been extremely interesting to hear from different points of view in this story as well. It might have taken away from the mystery of where Robbie is but other than that I think it would have been interesting to hear from Jonathan, Robbie, and Emme's point of views as well as the story unfolded.


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

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 248

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

I still can't see Annie as a reliable narrator. Yes she is telling her story, but it is a story she has invented over and over. I think she remembers bits and pieces of what she wants to remember. She was also drinking heavily during her time in London and often did not remember things the next day. Often her memories were jarred by pieces she pulled out of the box she thought was hidden in her closet. This does not make for a reliable narrator, one we can count on to be telling us the truth.


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

Join Date: 10/10/13

Posts: 29

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Annie, as narrator, is the essence of the novel. Is she reliable? Of course not, but I don't perceive that as a negative. And certainly the story would be different from another point of view.


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

Join Date: 03/11/12

Posts: 33

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

While Annie may not be the most reliable, I don't believe her narration is anything different than most individuals remembering events from the past. Do I believe the story could have been told from another point of view, yes - but the only way to be effective from my point of view would have been as a narrative from a 3rd party and not one of the other characters.


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

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 60

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

I don't think Annie is a reliable narrator. I, too, felt that she was always justifying her actions to herself (and to Robbie, since he was the recipient of the tale). I think it would have been interesting if the author had included the perspectives of the other characters in separate chapters--a few chapters from Malcolm's perspective, Patrick's perspective, Jonathan's perspective. While they also may have been unreliable narrators, at least their perspectives would have helped to balance out Annie's.


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

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 147

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

The story would certainly be different if told from another point, however, I do think it would have been as interesting. Annie was telling Robbie her life as she saw it and no one else could do that.


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

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 278

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

It is Annie's story and she is the narrator, whether or not her memories are true is anyone's guess. If told by someone else, it would have been different. In reality, we all see the present and remember the past differently. A few years ago, my husband and I went to Greece, we each had a camera and took many photos. When we got home and looked at them, they were so different,even for the same places, it was as though we were on separate trips. I mention this because I think that is how we go through life, our same experiences are very unique.


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

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 126

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

Like most everyone else I believe Annie is as reliable a narrator as her memory and conscience permit. I did wonder, though, if Jonathon didn't have his own youthful indiscretions that he was keeping secret? If told from his point of view I wonder how different this story might be? After all, who doesn't have moments from at least a part one's "wild and misspent youth"? I was really curious about Jonathon's feelings -- not just how Annie portrayed his actions and words -- but his thoughts.


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

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 192

Expert

RE: Is Annie a reliable narrator? How would the story be different if it were told from another point of view?

I think Annie was the one to tell this story. It's her story. We need to hear how she thinks as a young naive woman and how she thinks when she is older. I also think she is not a person that feels a lot of guilt. If she was she would have felt guiltier about Patrick. That whole situation was unhealthy and she just excepted it without really judging it. Then how she moved right on to Jonathan, without looking back. She was a person who just responded to what happened around her. She didn't seem to judge or think things through. That's why it works for her telling the story. She doesn't connect the dots about Robbie's parentage so the reader doesn't either. It unravels for the reader, as it unravels for Annie.


Reply

Please login to post a response.