Did you have trouble following the timeline?

Use this forum to discuss the October Book of the Month "McDowell" by William H. Coles.
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Re: Did you have trouble following the timeline?

Post by SienaStein » 24 Oct 2018, 13:30

sonya01 wrote:
22 Oct 2018, 09:31
I think the reason why the Author gets away with it, is that he drives the story forward at such a pace, the timings suddenly become secondary.
I have to say I completely agree with this sentiment. The plot is definitely has good pace. I don't like how he deals with the passage of time, but it isn't something that really reduces enjoyment of the book for that reason.

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Post by SienaStein » 24 Oct 2018, 13:33

Keevan wrote:
23 Oct 2018, 11:56
I thought I was the only one who started off confused, lol. Rereading things a couple of times helped me have a better understanding. :D
Glad I am not alone on that one too! It wasn't a great start really was it :lol: But that's the only place where I was really re-reading it several times to figure out what was going on.

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Post by happynessc0 » 25 Oct 2018, 17:52

Yes, I think so. It's a bit challenging when you spend too much time re-reading to fully comprehend the timelines.

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Post by Charlyt » 26 Oct 2018, 01:25

Not really, the timeline was very linear for me even when there were time skips. I didn't even think about it while reading. Perhaps I was too focused on the story.
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Post by Onyinye Excel » 26 Oct 2018, 09:30

Yes I also observed it. There was no sequential progression of events. The different plots were intertwined leaving gaps in the story.It had much influence on my opinion of the writing.

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Post by Hiruni Bhagya 81 » 26 Oct 2018, 09:34

Yeah, from the beginning, timelines didn't match. It's mentioned that Hiram's second wife dies in 1999 and he marries his third wife two years later. Then under the same year, Hiram is returning home to his third wife Carole, which doesn't make sense. The only possibility is that it's a printing mistake.

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Post by Farida Bali » 26 Oct 2018, 23:44

a9436 wrote:
21 Oct 2018, 10:29
I think McDowell is the first book for which I have managed to completely lose track of its timeframe. Take Billy and Tasha - their pregnancy is discovered, and then we hear that the child is born and Billy has become estranged, yet from the other plot points I had no idea that so much time had passed between these two events. I also have no concept of how long Hiram spent with Maud and her family, although I admit I may have missed this.

Did you also lose track of the progression of time? If so, did it have have much influence of your opinion of the writing or plot? I felt surprised at times by how many months had passed, but I would not say that it spoiled my enjoyment of the book.
Yes, I had the same feeling about the timeline. The novel would inform me that a lot of time had passed and I wouldn't be able to tell from the plot.

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Post by A_Wolfe » 28 Oct 2018, 14:44

It does get kind of tricky. Such as early on, when Michael is prompting a hearing on McDowell's professional misconduct, there's a leap from the first conversation Michael has with the other doctors, and it moves straight to the hearing with McDowell. This wouldn't be bad, if it didn't feel like the chapters fit to serve themselves more than the story as a whole. I didn't have too much trouble adjusting, but I can see other instances where it can be more difficult.

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Post by Miercoles » 28 Oct 2018, 17:40

There are times when you think you have missed something and then the answer to your query appears in a conversation later in the novel. For example, there was a buildup to his nomination for Health Secretary, but no information was given regarding the outcome of the hearing. We realize later that he did not get the post. This management of the timeline was an interesting and unusual element of the novel.

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Post by HollandBlue » 29 Oct 2018, 10:58

I'm glad to see that I quite a few of us were confused by the timing of Carole becoming McDowell's wife. Was it 1999 or 2001??!
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Post by Radiant3 » 30 Oct 2018, 00:10

I agree, but I don't feel that it detracted from the storyline.

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Post by Sirlimu01 » 01 Nov 2018, 02:20

The connectivity in the timeline debar me to flow but am sure with you and my seriousnes in reading and creating time for myself have seal the gap. I enjoy the book, what the author put for readers.

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Post by ShailaSheshadri » 01 Nov 2018, 12:29

Not exactly. Sometimes in the middle of reading, I wondered there is no proper timeline for each of the events portrayed in the plot. But, this shortcoming didn't hamper my reading enjoyment. The storyline was extremely intriguing, and it is a well-written novel.

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Post by sarahmarlowe » 01 Nov 2018, 21:45

I also got a little confused by the jumps in timeline. Like someone else commented, though, the story was compelling enough that it didn’t distract me or make me lose track of the plot.
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Post by Thokchom Alice » 03 Nov 2018, 00:10

Yes, following the timeline of the story was a bit difficult. The gaps are not properly linked. At some point, i had to read twice to connect the time gap.
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