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The One-in-a-Million Boy
A richly layered novel of hearts broken seemingly beyond repair and then bound...
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How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

Created: 04/16/17

Replies: 21

Posted Apr. 16, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1358

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How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

In the opening pages, we discover that the boy of the title has died. And yet, he is a catalyst for everything that happens afterward. How did you perceive the boy's role in the story--as an absence? A presence? A sort of invisible stage manager? Did you sometimes forget that he was gone? When did you first notice that the boy was nameless?


Posted Apr. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 108

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was the catalyst for change in Ona's and his father's lives. He taught them both about looking outside themselves and loving themselves and others. Although he was in the background in much of the story, he was actually the whole story.


Posted Apr. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janetp

Join Date: 08/16/11

Posts: 12

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

It was easy to forget the boy was gone during the flash backs to his interactions with Una and with his father. I kept waiting to hear his name, but in the end, it seemed a wise approach. With "the boy" we learn to understand Una, Belle, Quinn and all that happens in the story. I truly loved "the boy" without ever knowing his name.


Posted Apr. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 285

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

Haha, I actually didn't realize the boy was nameless until reading this question! I wonder why the author chose to not disclose his name? (I think I read in an interview with the author that the boy does have a name, but only she and one other person know what that name is.) It was actually a pretty cool idea. I imagine that if a reader knows someone by the same name, it could color one's opinion of the character, bringing something to the character that wasn't intended.


Posted Apr. 30, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 92

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

He was the key to the entire story. He was the one that brought about all the relationships. His relationship with Ona, next Ona's relationship with Quinn and eventually Ona's relationship with Belle. If he had been a different child Quinn's and Belle's relationship would have been different, I hope! The boy was a big factor in the growing relationship between Belle and Ted. And because of the boy and because she needed a birth certificate Ona went to visit her son.


Posted May. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarak

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 22

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy had very odd behaviors and yet he was a stimulus for change. Often odd, different people force people to see things in a new way.


Posted May. 02, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

He is the instrumental factor is creating change in others.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
stabs

Join Date: 07/13/16

Posts: 14

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

I thought the boy was the catalyst for the story. He is the reason Ona and Quinn cross paths in life.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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bestmartin

Join Date: 02/20/13

Posts: 71

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

I definitely felt like he was a presence and a major influence on all the main characters. His spirit was so strongly present for Quinn, Ona, Belle and Ted. Because of the boy, each one of those characters became better, clearer and more loving.


Posted May. 03, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanu

Join Date: 01/21/17

Posts: 14

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy who is the person who brought these people together. Without him, nothing would have happened, there would not have been a story. We needed him to open up the door for others to connect.


Posted May. 04, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 171

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was definitely the catalyst for bringing these people together and changing their lives. I felt his presence all through the book.


Posted May. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kellyo

Join Date: 09/15/16

Posts: 36

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was present throughout the story despite the fact that he died early in the book. He maintained an invisible presence. Since the boy was not given a name, the reader did not associate him with someone they knew by that name. During the tape recorded interview we only read Ona's response, but can guess what he asked by her answers. The boys death was what brought Quinn, Belle & Ona together. They all needed each other to heal and move on. In the end, Belle was able to forgive Quinn & they became friends. Quinn was able to see his child through Belle's & Ona's eyes and get to know him in ways he couldn't when the boy was alive. Ona's life became more enriched from knowing the boy. She became friends with Quinn & to some degree Belle. She became motivated in trying to accomplish the goal of getting into the Guinness World Records.


Posted May. 06, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paml

Join Date: 10/25/12

Posts: 74

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was the catalyst for change in all the characters in this beautiful story. His relationship with Ona, set in motion the events that brought everyone in this novel to a different place in life. I agree with kellyo that if he had a name, readers would relate him to someone they knew. Him being nameless added to the magic of the novel. His questions being left out of the interviews made me feel he was present, not gone.


Posted May. 07, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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kellilee

Join Date: 11/18/14

Posts: 48

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was the glue, the catalyst, the influence. His relationships with each and every character propelled this beautiful story forward. I understand that keeping his nameless was an effective device but I really hoped his name would be revealed in the final sentence...


Posted May. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mch

Join Date: 04/27/17

Posts: 2

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

Was the main reason that each of the characters were brought together. Quinn started to understand his son through his relationship with Ona, which in turn made him start to see people differently that he had before.


Posted May. 08, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Sharlene

Join Date: 04/10/13

Posts: 78

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy gave Ona a goal to strive for and also he helped Quinn come to an better understanding of himself and the failure of his marriage as well as learning things about the boy that he wasn't previously aware of.


Posted May. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alisonf

Join Date: 01/31/13

Posts: 90

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was the only way these two would be brought together and brought out the capacity for change and let Ona help Quinn appreciate himself and his son.


Posted May. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Loveslife

Join Date: 08/01/15

Posts: 6

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy's presence was pervasive and powerful. His being seemed to transcend a physical existence and though he was not alive throughout the story, the interactions created through him allowed Ona, Belle, and Quinn to relate in a way not possible without him. I do agree that not giving him a name allowed the reader to connect on a pure and deeper level. A name would have brought in past memories related to a name. I did love the way the author had Ona answer the questions so that you knew what the boy was asking-almost like you could hear him. As a special education teacher I have worked with students that have characteristics like this boy-unique,special, and a one-of-a-kind child -a beautiful soul.


Posted May. 12, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
dianaps

Join Date: 05/29/15

Posts: 203

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RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boy was the center of the whole story and I wonder if perhaps he didn't have a name because he could have been any special boy. Not having a name did not take anything away from the story.


Posted May. 15, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
michellem

Join Date: 03/12/14

Posts: 6

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

The boys role in this book reminded me about another book called The Power of One. This boy affected so many lives even though he didn't know the person for very long. He changed their lives for the better, especially Quinn and Ona.


Posted May. 17, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
emilyc

Join Date: 01/23/17

Posts: 2

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

I saw the boy as a possible "Everyman", and thus, he had no name. We all have an impact on the people with whom we come into contact every day, be it positive or negative. Everything we do or say goes out into our world like throwing pebbles in a pond. The ripples go out and out in ways we can't even imagine, affecting those around us. This young boy in his short life affected the lives of others in positive ways. He would be shocked to see the impact his life had. Moral of the story: May all our actions and the words we speak be kind and uplifting to touch our world in positive ways.


Posted May. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: How did you perceive the boy's role in the story?

I kept forgetting that he was gone, he has such a presence still in the lives of the other characters! In fact, they're all together because of him, all connecting over stories of him. And the way the author uses the recordings the boy took of Ona is a great way to keep him present in the novel, as a working and moving character- it's like he's still physically there.


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