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The Narrowboat Summer


From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.
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Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

Created: 02/11/21

Replies: 9

Posted Feb. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2475

Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

Sally and Eve both read Arthur's book recommendation, Mr. Lucton's Freedom. What does the novel mean to each of those three characters? Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back." How does that idea hold true (or not) for the various characters in The Narrowboat Summer?


Posted Feb. 11, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
catherynez

Join Date: 01/27/18

Posts: 48

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

It was a good message. Each character needed to get away from something in their life. By meeting new people and new experiences they were able to appreciate aspects of their earlier life and learn from their experiences. Sometimes you take someone or something for granted until the person or situation is not around.


Posted Feb. 12, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
katherinep

Join Date: 07/16/14

Posts: 261

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

Sometimes the things left are only available in memory and, if they were good things then the memories of them give us pleasure despite the fact we can not or would not return to those places and things.


Posted Feb. 15, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 79

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

There is joy and pleasure in our everyday routines, but sometimes it takes removing yourself from the everyday to appreciate them. I, quite honestly, feel this way at the end of a vacation and at Christmas. I enjoy getting back into a routine.


Posted Feb. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
sylviaann

Join Date: 01/14/18

Posts: 47

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

For me, No matter how wonderful the outside world might be... Home always seems welcoming.


Posted Feb. 16, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
flute4u

Join Date: 08/14/13

Posts: 45

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

Sometimes going away from the familiar gives you a different perspective of the good and bad aspects of ‘home’. You could appreciate the taken for granted plumbing and limitless hot water. But the burden of stuff and relationships can be overwhelming and walking away for a time can be freeing. It can be stimulating to experience and learn about new things and places. For Sally and Eve learning to work the locks helped to create a sense of competency that they did not get at home.


Posted Feb. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rivkahh

Join Date: 05/04/15

Posts: 26

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

It definitely changes your perspective on home and your everyday routine when you come back after an extended break. I find I start coveting my everyday life when I've been away from it for a long period. For some of the characters in this novel, however, it wasn't possible to return to their previous lives.


Posted Feb. 17, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ABeman

Join Date: 01/14/15

Posts: 58

RE: Discuss the book's "optimistic" message: "It was good to leave, but there is pleasure in going back."

An experience like this allows, as others have noted here, a new perspective on old habits, routines, and relationships. I looked up the book. It’s so rare, it’s going for $600+ On Amazon.

I don’t believe that any of these characters will return to their previous lives. Eve will return to planning in the corporate world, albeit in a smaller and more applied manner.

All of the characters have changed, but they’ve done so in a way that they’ve amplified the characters they already possessed.


Posted Feb. 26, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gvieth

Join Date: 02/26/21

Posts: 7

RE: Discuss the book's "...

If the experience is life-changing, can you ever really go back to the way things were?


Posted Mar. 07, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
louisee

Join Date: 06/29/15

Posts: 123

RE: Discuss the book's "...

I agree with Elise - it is good to go away to appreciate what you have. I think the longest I've been away from on home is 2 weeks, longer is too much time away for me.


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