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The Headmaster's Wife
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Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Created: 05/07/15

Replies: 15

Posted May. 07, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most, and why?


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lindah

Join Date: 04/17/14

Posts: 90

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes, pleased to hear that Russell thrived after his boarding school explusion and that neither Betsy/Elizabeth was murdered and that it was Arthur who had gone off the rails. Sorry if anyone reads these without having read the book. I loved the clever twists. Brilliant plotting, excellent character depictions and setting. I liked it much better as it became less conventional.


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes, so many questions were answered. I found it impossible to feel more sympathy for one character over the other. Both Elizabeth and Arthur were dealing with the loss of their son and the disintegration of their marriage. You could just hear them asking "Where did it all go wrong" or "When did we get to this age?"


Posted May. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

The ending was satisfying and believable. Whatever happens between Elizabeth and Russell, I hope they find some contentment. And poor Arthur. The mind is a tricky place. He may never be OK but, perhaps, able to be in the world with some sense of himself. I sympathize most with Arthur. He was a product of his environment and not a strong enough person to break away or learn to be himself. Betsy was vapid as a younger person. She showed possibilities toward the end.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 165

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes, I liked the ending of the book. Russell gets my sympathy. He really rose above a difficult situation and made somewhat satisfactory life for himself. He does seems to be totally lacking in ambition. Maybe Lancaster School cured him of that.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
janp

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 31

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes. Betsy committed an almost fatal act but it caused her to realize that she wanted to live. To anyone in the throes of desperation, it is a life altering moment. Although many people knew something was wrong with Arthur, no one really tried to help him. And possibly no one could. He drove himself to his lowest point and the fact that his old rival was the one to help him is remarkable. Russell returning at the end brings it full circle and all three of them have the future to aspire to in any way they want. They are all being freed in a way.


Posted May. 11, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
barbarab

Join Date: 04/15/11

Posts: 39

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I liked the ending of the book . Arthur was able to admit his guilt & apologize to Russell. Russell was able to try to pick up his relationship with Betsy after 40 years, but I would be surprised if they did form the kind of relationship they had had as teens. Elizabeth was experiencing grief. Also, Betsy was different from Elizabeth, using the names interchangeably was an indication.


Posted May. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 70

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I liked that the loose ends were pretty much tied up at the end. It did seem fitting I guess that Russell was successful and had gotten the girl in the end. I was sorry that Arthur had to be mentally ill. Somehow that didn't seem to fit with the plot but what else I guess when the first half of the book was a delusion. I really thought Elizabeth was going to succeed at killing herself in the river. It seemed that we were given a forewarning of that event with Betsy's river death. I am glad that she was saved. Not being able to predict the ending is a sign of a good novel to me.


Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
MarieA

Join Date: 10/12/11

Posts: 149

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I think the ending was bittersweet. What a difficult time it is to rebuild a fractured life. One can only hope that all the characters will heal and find peace.


Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joycew

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 75

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes, i agree with BarbaraB, that it wrapped up well. I sympathize with Russell having to go through what he did through no fault of his. A sad book, surely not uplifting.


Posted May. 14, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
alissac

Join Date: 05/14/15

Posts: 34

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I love the real ending, and not the ending with Arthur and fake Betsy :) still I feel more sympathy to the delusional Arthur bc he was so desperate, so shaken, so not himself anymore, and he never knew it. He wanted his old prescribed life back so badly, but the players he needed wouldn't cooperate bc they wanted different things. How sad, to want something forever unattainable, especially when you just want a comfortable family?


Posted May. 15, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
ElenaSpagnolie

Join Date: 10/10/11

Posts: 19

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I'm happy that Elizabeth had the opportunity to start over and discover/pursue her true self, especially in the wake of so much loss and grief. I was a little sad that she didn't stand by Arthur through his mental collapse. She's still his wife, and she made a commitment to him, (they made one to each other). Even if their relationship was lacking and even though Arthur wasn't the love of her life, she - as Ethan's mom - had the ability to help him in ways that no one else could, and she chose to leave. Did anyone else feel that way? I'm not arguing for her to remain in a bad situation, but I felt sad for Arthur. I suppose that's a sign of good writing! I wonder if, in some other universe, Ethan's death could have brought Elizabeth and Arthur closer together and opened their eyes to the larger world around them?

I think Russell was the most sympathetic character. He was misused by both Arthur and Betsy, and he's the only character who had enough integrity to remain true to himself, even when that meant giving up the future that Lancaster promised. Not to mention he shows a great deal of empathy and forgiveness when he chooses to help Arthur in the end. A part of me wants better for him than what I imagine Betsy can offer.


Posted May. 15, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
reene

Join Date: 02/18/15

Posts: 212

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RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I do see Elena's point that Elizabeth could have stayed with Arthur to help him through his illness and loss; however, I don't think Elizabeth would have been able to heal herself if she had stayed. Arthur's fall into alcohol had begun before Ethan's death and I think Elizabeth really had to take a step back in order to save herself.


Posted May. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
vickys

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 28

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

I really enjoyed this book and I think I finished it in less than 3 days. I appreciated the twists and turns and did not expect the ending. Signs of a good book. I was happy that Elizabeth survived going into the river and could understand that she and Arthur went their separate ways. She wanted him to help her deal with the death of their son but he couldn't or wouldn't. She needed to get away from him to deal with it. Russell was a man wronged by both but rose above it to do what he thought was best even though it meant helping someone who had hurt him in the past.


Posted May. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pamelathereader

Join Date: 04/22/15

Posts: 9

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes! I like the hint that Russell and Elizabeth may well find happiness together; lovely. The ending wrapped things up with Russell's reappearance. And Elizabeth showed herself to be a strong person - kudos to her (and the author).


Posted May. 21, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
josephinej

Join Date: 05/11/15

Posts: 26

RE: Are you satisfied with the ending of the novel? Which character did you sympathize with most?

Yes, I liked how it all ended. I wasn't sure I liked the book as I started reading it (I had no sympathy for, and was impatient with, Arthur), but then after the first twist I really got into it and enjoyed it.


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