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Black River
Four starred reviews for this debut that will turn readers' hearts inside out.
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Why open with Claire's death?

Created: 01/11/16

Replies: 8

Posted Jan. 11, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bobbie7

Join Date: 09/19/13

Posts: 49

Why open with Claire's death?

Beginning a book with the suffering and death of a character is a turn-off for me. Why do you think the author chose to start the book with Claire's cancer treatment and subsequent death?


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jeannewny

Join Date: 01/10/16

Posts: 20

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

The author opened with Claire's death I think because it was Wesley's story being told.


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

Expert

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

We needed to see the relationship between Claire and Wes. Her death made this very clear. She was his glue...what held him together after the horrible torture he had experienced. She gave up much for him - including her son - and left him with the need to repay her by learning to know that son.


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bethb

Join Date: 04/08/13

Posts: 20

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

The first pages of the book introduce us to pain, both Claire's and Wes'. The focus on Claire gives us the backdrop of a gentle Wes and his past as a C.O. is only hinted at. The author skillfully leads us in character development until we feel we know them, then often packs a wallop that causes the reader to utter a WOW. This first section is preparation for lament and death.


Posted Jan. 13, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
garyr

Join Date: 10/23/12

Posts: 13

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

I thought the first chapter set the stage for the rest of the book,the return to home,it also was intense and had me hooked !


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
tracyd

Join Date: 05/31/15

Posts: 30

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

Claire was Wes's tie to humanity after the riot. Starting out with her death brought the reality forward: was Wes going to be able to trust people? Would he allow any emotion out?j


Posted Jan. 14, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
peggya

Join Date: 06/03/15

Posts: 11

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

It was a dramatic hook to grab the reader immediately into the narrative. Also, loss is a cumulative process and sets off all the other loss issues one has had to face...successfully or not. The downward vortex pulls Wes deeper into the story from the onset.


Posted Jan. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Mary J

Join Date: 04/26/15

Posts: 37

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

Claire was the "glue" that had held Wesley's life together this past 18 years. She had sacrificed so much to be that for him - even leaving the community and especially her son, Dennis. By starting with her death, it set the stage of whether or not Wesley was going to be able to make it without her.


Posted Jan. 17, 2016 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Barbara H

Join Date: 04/21/15

Posts: 6

RE: Why open with Claire's death?

Claire's death was a haunting melody throughout the entire book. It gave a point of reference for many of the conflicts and themes throughout the book. However, because she was not an alive character, she was unable to influence Wes's ability or inability to deal with life after she was gone.


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