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Morningside Heights


A tender and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-...
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Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she wished she'd had more siblings. Sarah thinks that sometimes she wished she'd had fewer. Why do you think each felt this way? Where do you fall in this spectrum?

Created: 09/23/21

Replies: 12

Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2732

Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she wished she'd had more siblings. Sarah thinks that sometimes she wished she'd had fewer. Why do you think each felt this way? Where do you fall in this spectrum?

Toward the end of the book, Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she wished she'd had more siblings. Sarah thinks that sometimes she wished she'd had fewer. Why do you think each felt this way? Where do you fall in this spectrum? If you have one or more sibling, what's your relationship like with them, and how has it changed over the years?


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
SusanC.

Join Date: 03/25/13

Posts: 46

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

I am one of 3 siblings and my brother and I are partners in a business (think Succession on HBO but much less dramatic). I have one son. My son is happy as a solo and he has said on many occasions. There are great things to have siblings especially if you are partners with one sibling (believe it or not). Yet my son says he is happy as a solo. Essentially I think you are happy with you are happy with what you have


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 364

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

Pru wasn't close to her brother so I think she felt like an only child. Sarah always felt she had to compete with Arlo when he came. However, I felt Sarah and Arlo had a bond. Sarah may have felt a bit threatened about her place in the family when Arlo was living with them. Her life would certainly have been simpler as an only child.
I'd like to pull Arlo into this equation. He always seemed so alone. He yearned for more but put up walls to protect himself.


Posted Sep. 23, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Maggie

Join Date: 01/01/16

Posts: 324

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

Pru would have liked the companionship of more siblings. Sarah was not happy when Arlo lived with the family. She liked all of her father’s attention. However when Arlo chose to leave she missed him. I am the youngest of three girls. My oldest sister 10 years older, the middle sister 4 years older. They both married when I was a sophomore in high school. I then felt like an only child!


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 209

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

My siblings are my greatest treasure in life and I am grateful for them every day. Which is not to say that they don't ever inspire frustration. So I think both Pru and Sarah experience that range of emotions. Again, it hearkens to that idealized version of family compared with the actual one.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 284

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

It certainly depends on the family dynamics. I grew up with four siblings. My parents divorced and remarried. On my mother’s side I had instant step siblings, a situation that was always difficult. On my dads side, he had three more children. I always felt more like an aunt than a sibling


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggyt

Join Date: 08/10/17

Posts: 215

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

Maybe Pru wanted Sarah to have a wider experience of family since they had a small family of three until Arlo came in. For Sarah, that was the problem, she was happy with the way things were before the advent of Arlo into the family unit.


Posted Sep. 24, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melissa c.

Join Date: 01/10/21

Posts: 62

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

I agree that it really depends on the family dynamics. I am the youngest of 4 girls and there is quite an age gap between me and my three older sisters. In retrospect, I missed having siblings closer in age to myself. But as we all got older that age difference has all but disappeared. I do have some friends who, based on their experiences, say siblings are overrated. I love having my sisters. However, one sister is extremely difficult and we recently had a falling out. This is when I'm thrilled to have my other 2 sisters in my life!


Posted Sep. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
gerrieb

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 125

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

I think Pru wishes she had more siblings because Hank and she were not close. He went his own way and she thinks had there been another sibling she might have had a close relationship with them. Sarah was, in essence an only child for much of her life, and with the stress of bringing Arlo into the family it’s not hard to see why she wishes she had stayed an only child. I’m the youngest of six. I wholeheartedly wish there were fewer of us. I intentionally had only one child. Not everyone , even with the very best of intentions and a good heart can provide enough attention to every child when you have a small herd. There is always somebody ahead of you, somebody always gets the left overs, hand me downs, and everything does roll down hill so if you are the youngest you get bossed around forever. My Mom always had to deal with an older siblings drama and crisis and if you are the youngest you find out you either sink or swim on your own.Having four older sisters was awful, my brother was fine but my sisters were catty and competitive. So god love my mom, she was amazing and she did her best, but I knew I could never, ever manage to adequately meet the needs of that many little people.


Posted Sep. 28, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
arlenei

Join Date: 08/12/21

Posts: 20

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

Pru and Hank were distant. Pru wanted a sibling she could rely on or to have conversations with, to help her through difficult times.Sarah probably felt that Atlo was an intrusion in her life and she would have been happy being an only child.
I am a middle sister with two brothers. I never felt I wanted to be an only child. Ironically, I have one child and my daughter was always thrilled she was the only one.


Posted Sep. 30, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 180

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

I think Pru would have liked to have more, or at least another, sibling because she needed someone close to lean on, to confide in, to just be with. Sarah’s relationship with Arlo wasn’t typical of siblings because he lived apart from them for most of their lives; she felt she competed with him, and was jealous - it’s too bad they weren’t closer.


Posted Oct. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorrained

Join Date: 12/04/20

Posts: 50

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

Siblings are great when you can have a relationship with them, and at least have something in common with them other than parents. I have two older siblings, both male, and each of us are 5 years apart in age. It wasn't until adulthood that a deeper relationship established as each of our growth stages and interests were so separate. I developed close female friend relationships at the time and even today, those relationships are the sisters I had never had. In Sarah's case, the strained relationship would have affected her as well as Spence and Pru, oftentimes without the parents even considering the impact.


Posted Oct. 01, 2021 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
kimk

Join Date: 10/16/10

Posts: 527

RE: Pru tells Sarah that sometimes she ...

I certainly understood each character's point of view. Pru was lonely and could have used someone close to her that she could rely on (someone closer than her friend). Arlo was a complex person and, while he and Sarah did seem to have a bit of a bond, it wasn't a strong one that could be relied on, thick or thin, and mostly complicated Sarah's relationship with her family.

I have one younger sister; we're not close and we never have been. Although we're less than two years apart in age, we always had radically different interests and that's held true as we've aged. She was always very social with lots of friends and was very physically active, while I was a totally introverted bookworm. We didn't have much interaction growing up, either positively or negatively, so our relationship these days is really one of benign neglect.


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