Transitions Between Time Periods

Use this forum to discuss the June 2018 Book of the Month"The Girl Who Knew da Vinci" by Belle Ami
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Re: Transitions Between Time Periods

Post by Emilyflint » 29 Jun 2018, 10:45

I never had an issue with the time. Jumps in the book. I think the author did a great job on transitioning between all of them. What I did have an issue was the anachronistic dialogue. Mainly when talking to DaVinci and fioretta

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Post by kfwilson6 » 29 Jun 2018, 11:19

I'm not really good at noticing when things don't fit with their time period unless it is really obvious like if a character were to use terminology that is clearly modern slang. In this case though it makes the transitions more noticeable when the author can make the three time periods as distinct as possible.

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Post by bookowlie » 29 Jun 2018, 12:10

I think jumps between time periods can be confusing in a book when the characters and setting are the same. In this case, it was always a completely different and distinct setting and different set of characters. I think the author juggled the time periods nicely, especially with so many different things going on in the book.
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Post by Beth KG » 29 Jun 2018, 13:59

by Beth KG

I always enjoy the idea of time travel and the use of regressing to past lives is a good vehicle for this. I would have enjoyed more detail in the portrayal of the past time periods. For me, these parts were the most interesting. Much more so than the overly-detailed but shallowly sketched romance between Alex and Angela.

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Post by kfwilson6 » 29 Jun 2018, 14:31

Well said Beth. The impression I got is that, given the page space, the other two couples would have had more depth to their relationships than what we saw with Angela and Alex.

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Post by LV2R » 01 Jul 2018, 02:56

I liked the time transitions even though it took some effort to keep all the names straight. They were all eventually connected to each other in a believable way. Angela's gift of seeing her past lives was a creative way to weave the story of the missing painting in and out of the past into the present.

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Post by kmkline120 » 03 Jul 2018, 07:59

kfwilson6 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 10:48
kmkline120 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 10:40
kfwilson6 wrote:
28 Jun 2018, 10:00

Visual interpretations of text can add so many elements. Words on a page are so limiting. I think that's part of why children's books are so enjoyable even to some adults.

The time shifts would come across superbly well in a visual format. When reading a fictional mystery/thriller most readers don't want to get bogged down in extensive descriptions of the setting and clothes. On the big screen all of that can be taken in at once.

It seems like great writers deserve even more appreciation than we might sometimes realize.

I completed agree! If a writer can paint a scene using the fewest words possible it can make all the difference to the reader. They get a whole picture created in their head without feeling like they had to read entire paragraphs just to get the setting.
I personally get bored very quickly with descriptions of food. Honestly, I really don't even care what characters are eating and drinking. "They sat down to dinner," is a good enough description for me. I don't need to be told "They sat down to a meal of crunchy French bread, chicken alfredo, a Greek salad with homemade dressing." And then an explanation of dessert and wine. Ugh, no thanks. Not relevant, adds no depth to the story at all. And please don't describe the emotions and satisfaction associated with food! Too picky???
Haha! That's a tough call for me actually... Sometimes I enjoy lots of detail because then I can create a more realistic picture in my head. But, I think it depends on the story/what is happening in the plot at that moment/how wordy the details get. Too much can definitely get boring to me, like you said. But, if the details are used to tell you about the characters or plot, I think they can be good!

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Post by Tamorie21 » 03 Jul 2018, 12:12

I think the transitions were done very well, and creatively. Sometimes we saw transitions through dreams, or through objects, and whatnot and I think it was neat and orderly. The different perspectives never confused me at all! I think adding the dates/years was really effective in that aspect :)

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Post by KRay93 » 13 Jul 2018, 10:57

The transitions were quite smooth and effective, especially considering that the author used connections with moments of the present (especially Angela's dreams) and added the dates and years to ensure that the reader does not get lost in the plot. As a personal note, I did not feel so attracted to the flashback stories, except for the key moments that influenced the events of the present and especially Angela's attitude and her choices.

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Post by Jmteachmom » 14 Jul 2018, 19:51

SamSim wrote:
06 Jun 2018, 12:10
I have not yet read the book but I am highly intrigued by the ambitiousness of featuring 3 non-linear time periods in one novel. It makes me want to read the book, but I'm also a little doubtful that it's handled convincingly or, if it's convincing, it still might not be smooth. I expect that it ultimately becomes "cluttered," like you said.
I just finished the book and overall I enjoyed it. I think the author did a fantastic job with the transitions and I was able to understand the connections between all three. I would suggest reading it. Don't let the transitions hold you back. Happy Reading

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Post by samiam013 » 15 Jul 2018, 13:18

The way Belle Ami transitioned between time periods was done remarkably well. I never once felt as though I was lost as to who I was reading about and in what era. The way she headed each transition with cities and dates did a lot to assist with the transitioning.
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Post by ValBookReviews » 17 Jul 2018, 06:41

Yes, I think you've said it all. Thank you!
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Post by Anthony Martial Tata » 21 Jul 2018, 22:29

The transition did not interfere with the flow of the book storyline.

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Post by JHuschle519 » 23 Jul 2018, 06:57

I didn't find the transitions too hard to follow, especially once I started paying closer attention to the dates and locations at the beginning of the transitions. At first I was glossing over them because it didn't click in my mind at first that there was going to be two past lives involved in this story. I agree with the comments I've seen a few others make about wishing there had been more detail in the past lives. I didn't feel like I really got to know those characters too well.

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Post by Vscholz » 24 Jul 2018, 17:33

bookowlie wrote:
01 Jun 2018, 09:12
There are frequent time jumps between time periods and settings in the story. Did you find the transitions hard to follow, considering the three distinctly different eras? I thought the author did a good job of using Angela's visions as a way to do the switches. Still, the plot became a little cluttered due to the detailed stories in each time period.
Honestly, I liked the way Ami did the transitions. It was something new (to me), and I think it is one of the book's strong points. The past stories were a bit complicated and I would have liked to see more development, but I also think that would mean overwhelming the character of Angela IF they are done as visions. I almost found the past more interesting than the present, although each section has room for improvement. It would have been interesting to see more of the bad guys, but that would probably also require some other way of telling those stories.

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