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Little Nothing


A stunning, provocative new novel from New York Times bestselling...
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Discuss Little Nothing by Marisa Silver:
What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

Created: 08/09/17

Replies: 9

Posted Aug. 09, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1584

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What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

"I killed her to save the girl I love." Among other things, Little Nothing is a love story, but Pavla's physical presence keeps slipping out of Danilo's hands. What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?


Posted Aug. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
renem

Join Date: 12/01/16

Posts: 177

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

That it is so very complicated. Humans are such complex beings that Pavla is almost lucky at times to have become a animal where love (in the human sense) has nothing to do with how they relate to each other.


Posted Aug. 20, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbm

Join Date: 02/04/16

Posts: 77

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

The book made me stop and think about this, and see 'love' differently. Love is what one holds in one's heart, not necessarily a relationship. Also, love is complex and often more about the lover's ego than the beloved! So many kinds of love, and so many layers to it!


Posted Aug. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
melanieb

Join Date: 08/30/14

Posts: 125

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

Love is in constant motion and is a strong driving force in our lives. Once we experience love or a "true love" we are forever changed and the sense of it something we can never shake off or be rid of in our lives.


Posted Aug. 22, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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taking.mytime

Join Date: 03/29/16

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

Regardless of who we are, we can find love, or be loved. Differences are bridged by love.


Posted Aug. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JLPen77

Join Date: 02/05/16

Posts: 229

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

barbm, I appreciate what you said about love as something held in the heart, regardless of any actual relationship. I agree.

That suggests to me (and this story suggests to me) love is a choice, and not just once but over and over, to stay true to that love regardless of whether it's returned. I think the novel is saying: What we "get" from love isn't related to whether it's shared or returned. What we get from love comes from within ourselves.

Love gives us strength and courage. At least, it can do that, as it did for Danilo. But there's also the love Vaclav and Agata developed for Pavla, which led to their fears for her, and in turn, to their betrayal of her. Maybe someone would say Danilo's love is unselfish, theirs is not, but I'd disagree. I think we all love out of need, and the author shows this with these characters: her parents need to love and care for a child, and eventually this need leads them to love Pavla instead of rejecting her; only their fears destroy her and their relationship. Danilo needs to love someone like he did his lost brother; his fears prevent him from sharing it with Pavla (as her fears prevent her from sharing her love with him), and this prevents their having a relationship. Fear is portrayed here as the obstacle to fulfilled love, in a relationship; but not to love itself.

The author shows us in other places how love is a choice we always have in how we respond to others: Ivan's caring for the injured Pavla in her wolf form, Danilo's kindness to many people, including Markus, Pavla's reaching out to Iveta. Choose love is the message here, I think. The real "fruits" of love come from giving it, not whether you get it back in a relationship.


Posted Aug. 23, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
nancyh

Join Date: 06/25/13

Posts: 169

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

This is my first experience with folklore and fairytale novels, which is the reason I chose it. I thought I should try something new. I had a difficult time at the start of the book to except Pavla's changes. I had to re-read parts. Once I got into the story further, I accepted the story as it was, but not without difficulty. Since this is my first experience with this type of novel, I am not sure I am the one to answer this question. I am going to give my opinion anyway. I think the entire book was about love, starting with Palva's parents reaction to her birth.


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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jant

Join Date: 07/15/14

Posts: 20

RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

I believe the message is true love can survive even when the "lovers" undergo many transformations and identities. Love flourished in this novel under the most dire circumstances and acquired many different guises. Love gave the characters strength and a reason to live. A truly romantic novel.


Posted Aug. 24, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
PlumGarden

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 10

RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

There are so many different types of love in this book to examine. Obviously, the main theme is romantic love which to me borders a bit on obsession though you could also say devotion. But I consider it a bit of both. I think the familial love discussed in the book is also quite interesting, if more subtle. First you have Pavla's mother who had a difficult time getting used to her daughter. Then you have Pavla's father who discovered her intelligence and put it to good use. As Pavla's mother grows to love her fiercely, you also see a devotion deepening between her parents with each other. When it started out, they seemed to dislike each other. Pavla brings them together and though they made horrible choices regarding Pavla, they still stayed loyal to each other even till the end when Pavla returns to them as a wolf.

I love how Marisa tied Ivan and Pavla to each other, and then ultimately to her parents. I was deeply moved by that particular turn of events. I think the theme in the book as a whole is that of loyalty and it's hidden in pockets of tenderness throughout the book.


Posted Aug. 29, 2017 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 323

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RE: What do you think the novel says about the nature of love?

I think it says there are many kinds of love, all of which are complex and enduring


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