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The Lost Man


"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian ...
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Discuss The Lost Man by Jane Harper:
What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

Created: 12/23/19

Replies: 17

Posted Dec. 23, 2019 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 2032

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What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
TerryPark

Join Date: 09/03/19

Posts: 10

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

She found the only way to survive that she could. Her actions were justified, but not legally. Would her community have come to her rescue in time to punish either Carl or Cameron? I doubt it. She had tried to escape, and failed. She was afraid to tell anyone, and I suspect that her fear was justified. If she was protected by telling the truth, what would have happened to her sons? Or her granddaughters? There was no safety net for her in a territory so large and so unprotected. I don't like what she did, but I can't find myself blaming her or wanting her punished.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
paulak

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 112

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I think when someone is subject to years of abuse, as was the case with Liz, she enters a broken place where extreme actions seem to be her only recourse, her only way to break the cycle. Not sure death, especially the way Cameron died, is justifiable but certainly understandable. And yes, I agree with Nathan's decision to keep the secret. Liz already served her sentence.


Posted Jan. 06, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vam

Join Date: 07/04/14

Posts: 8

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

Actually, when I began reading The Lost Man, I did not have high expectations that I would find it truly engrossing. My favorite type of book is one which is a fictional novel based upon validated historical facts which allows the author to tell us what might have happened. Additionally I was not familiar with this author.
So, imagine my surprise when I was captivated by this book describing the relationships within a family. The one that intrigued me the most was that of Liz with her 3 sons. I have pondered the action she took over and over. Should she have done it? If I faced the same problem, could I have done what she did? Did she spend many restless nights afterwards? Considering her role of family matriarch, did the end possibly justify the means? I have never been abused so I have not walked in her shoes but I love my kids and I hope to God I would go to any extreme to protect them from harm.


Posted Jan. 07, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
viquig

Join Date: 06/25/14

Posts: 35

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I think Liz felt that both Carl and Cameron had to be stopped from continuing their abuses. And I think that she felt that she she was in a position to do so. I think she felt justified in her actions. However, I also think she will be haunted forever by the suffering that Cameron endured before he died.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Tired Bookreader

Join Date: 08/19/11

Posts: 127

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

Anyone with experience in abuse understands the fear and desperation which would result in someone's actions when an opportunity arises. It would be hard to cast any blame and easy to keep such a secret.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Anne C.

Join Date: 10/09/14

Posts: 23

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron?

I was very surprised that Liz ended up being what I guess would be an "accessory" to these two deaths. I don't know if she could be held legally responsible for either Carl or Cameron's deaths. It is part of the author's wonderful plot that the reader doesn't suspect this loyal wife and mother as a suspect. In retrospect, there was a clue that after the car accident when Carl dies, Liz was supposedly unconscious while he died. When we hear of the years of abuse by Carl against his wife and children, and that Cameron was continuing the same terrible pattern, I do sympathize with Liz. She acted to protect the vulnerable members of her family. I am glad Nathan doesn't report her actions to Glenn. We can then have hope that the family can move forward to a happier life.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
beckyd

Join Date: 07/31/19

Posts: 5

RE: What do you think ...Liz, Carl, Cameron, etcthe right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

When I worked at a women's shelter there was a poster displayed with a cascade of flowers draped over a casket, that said, "He beat her 150 times. She got flowers once." So in light how poorly the system works in these cases, especially the farther back in history one goes, I think Liz felt she had no other recourse. And I'm glad Nathan kept mum. To paraphrse another reader, she had already served her time in hell.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Marcia S

Join Date: 02/08/16

Posts: 254

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I was surprised she had done this as there was nothing pointing to her through the story. However, I agree with her actions. Her husband was a monster who abused her and her sons. All three sons carried the physical and mental scars of that abuse. Cameron carried on his father's model of abuse with his own wife and children.
Liz acted out of love for those remaining. Yes, Nathan is correct is keeping the secret. Liz had been punished enough and would live with what she did the rest of her life.


Posted Jan. 08, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elisabethc

Join Date: 07/16/19

Posts: 12

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I think Anne C. brings up a really intriguing point about how Liz's actions, while decisive, are still somewhat passive. I don't know if she could be held legally responsible either, and in a way the harsh climate of the outback Cameron is left to isn't so different from the dangerous domestic "climate" that Liz and others in her family would have otherwise been subjected to.

In a larger, poetic sense, this feels like a kind of justice, although I don't think that means that what she does to Cameron is purely, objectively justified.

Liz is forced to make a decision between two things that are both wrong, and she decides to be conscious of that choice and make it herself rather than letting it be made for her. What she does isn't "right," but doing nothing may not have been "right," either.


Posted Jan. 09, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susiej

Join Date: 10/15/14

Posts: 250

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

Living where and how they do, adequate protection or help from/ by the law is not possible. We saw that in the case of the young woman Cameron raped. Even at the time Cameron's body was discovered, the one lawman who served the area was called away and could not come to help. Had Liz tried to get that sort of help, it is obvious that little would be accomplished by doing so and she would have suffered more in the end. She didn't have a lot of choices here - she knew that her granddaughter was already being abused. Perhaps she would be willing to suffer abuse herself, but who can stand by and knowingly allow it to happen to a child? I think she did what she needed to do to end the abuse in the family and Nathan, knowing what a community can do to isolate one who goes against their values - and they valued Carl and Cameron - made a wise decision in keeping the secret.


Posted Jan. 10, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
JulieAB

Join Date: 07/16/13

Posts: 117

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I think Liz did what she had to do to survive and protect her children. I believe she killed Cameron because she saw what he was doing to his wife and children. She had to stop they cycle. Whether right or wrong, I believe Nathan did what he felt best.


Posted Jan. 12, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vivianh

Join Date: 11/14/11

Posts: 58

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

People involved in abusive relationships over time lose all sense of self. There comes a point where one can justify almost any action in a bid for survival of self or. Loved ones. In a twisted was Liz could justify what she did as self defense and defense of family. I don’t know if Nathan did the right thing. But I don’t believe he did they wrong thing’. What good would have come from reporting the secret? And, it is an atonement of sorts for his own past decisions.


Posted Jan. 13, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 58

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

It would be very difficult to turn in a parent for a crime, especially after all the abuse she had tolerated over the years. I do think the there were options she had that were better than killing her son.


Posted Jan. 14, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
juliep

Join Date: 04/07/12

Posts: 135

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

While I don’t think murder is ever a justification for abuse, you could certainly argue a good case in terms of Liz’s reasons. She spent years being abused, felt hopeless about her future and her children’s and the final straw was when she realized that Cameron was like his dad. BUT I wish she would have talked to Nathan (or Bub) and listened to and believed her daughter-in-law. Maybe together they could have stopped the cycle of abuse without resorting to murder.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
elise

Join Date: 04/22/11

Posts: 58

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RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

juliep - I agree that there were other options. If they had all come together, I'm quite sure they could have come up with a plan that didn't involve murder.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
A.T.

Join Date: 03/04/18

Posts: 10

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I would have liked Liz to show her strength by enlisting the help of others to get herself and Else out of the situation they both found themselves in, rather than using her strength to kill. I realize that this is very difficult to do -- and that domestic violence is not something to overcome easily.


Posted Jan. 15, 2020 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
celiap

Join Date: 07/27/17

Posts: 49

RE: What do you think about what Liz did, both to Carl and to Cameron? Do you think that her actions were justified? Do you think Nathan is doing the right thing when he decides to keep her secret?

I'm blown away by what she did. Her actions, while warranted are immoral and illegal.

In this book, I found that for more than one character, my feelings went from like to dislike. Liz and Cameron were the ones that come to mind. Carl we knew as a bad guy all along. I never did like him.

I do think Nathan is doing the right thing to keep her actions secret. Opening up that can of worms is not going to do anything positive.


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