heritage & mothers

Use this forum to discuss the March 2020 Book of the month, "House of Eire" by June Gillam.
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Clemens Nickleby
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Re: heritage & mothers

Post by Clemens Nickleby »

Barbara6886 wrote:
14 Mar 2020, 15:34
Hillary is a mess of contradictions to me. She is worried about being a good mother to Claire but finds her daughters high energy, out going nature to be tiresome. Worries about abandoning her daughter, but leaves her alone and allows her to be with near strangers after Sarah’s murder. Wants to keep her safe but was going to keep her with her in Ireland when Ed returned home. It just seems to me there are too many incidents of her thoughts/worries and her actions not matching.
Do you think perhaps what is being portrayed is her frustration with how like her mother she is? The story to me was actually a little recapitulation of what her mother did to her, however, instead of staying away, she did for Claire what she always hoped her mother would do, which was swoop in and save her somehow. I definitely agree with you, her selfishness and desires seem to be the deciding factor and not Claire's well-being! Some cognitive-dissonance going on there for sure!
Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. Mark Twain

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Clemens Nickleby
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Post by Clemens Nickleby »

AntonelaMaria wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 14:52
praise+anyi wrote:
16 Mar 2020, 12:40
When mistakes happen in any area of our lives, we pick up our lessons and improve on them in order to avoid repeating such mistakes. Hillary was abandoned, and with that consciousness she tried as much as possible to build a better relationship with her daughter.

Yes there were times when it seemed like her actions weren't matching her words, but we should understand that we are humans full of imperfections.
And that is what I think too. Our imperfections are what make us human. Her wish to do better is what defines her a good mother.
Interesting. As an imperfect human, I have made many mistakes, but never received a pass for my mistakes or my good intentions either! Mistakes still hurt! Claire was still abused despite her mother's feelings or intentions. In the end, it was her actions that saved her daughter. Being able to recognize a mistake, own it, apologize for it and make amends somehow. Not deny it or run to a fig leaf such as, 'none of us is perfect' or 'it wasn't my fault.' What made Hillary a great Mom in my estimation is that she was willing to take on a psychopathic predator who attacked her child. She put feet to her feelings and intentions. I fear if she had sat at home wishing, things might not have turned out so well for Claire. Although having a new acquaintance with an axe for backup in a pitch-dark castle doesn't rank real high on the good-judgement meter, no matter how many mad ninja skills you might have. Hillary was like her mother in many ways, she just chose different actions. Which is a comfort I think to those struggling with inadequacy or insecurity. ( Who doesn't?) You might be a carbon-copy spittin' image of your mother, warts and all, and still make a different choice. I have to say that the other part of this experience is that, even if you make a 'good choice' it still may not always have a 'good outcome'. But you try, nevertheless! All that to say, maybe actions over intentions???
Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. Mark Twain

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Post by Miercoles »

I found Hillary to be quite a realistic character. She has her insecurities from her past, and is trying to do her best for her daughter. I think many people can relate to this, and it therefore enhances the credibility of the novel.

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Post by damis »

I think that being able to understand the things that Hillary went through made her way more realistic as a character, and the fact of her overcoming all those abandonment feelings was a factor on making her an outstanding mother regardless the mistakes that she made (just like any other mother without a parenting pocket guide would)

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Post by Raycheal+2020 »

Our past most times can make or mar us. It all boils down to whether we can decide not to let our past ruin us or not.

I felt sad for Hillary but I love the fact that she decided to look into her mother's mistake and decide never to be like her. Of course, at some point she lacked the confidence but she is indeed a fighter.

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Post by Leyla Ann »

Overcoming abandonment issues is indeed hard. We often fall into the same ugly situations while trying to avoid them, but with a strong will, we may be able to let go and take a different course, which I believe is the case for Hillary.
A little less than imaginary~

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Post by mary-annef »

Like some others have commented, I felt moments of anxiety throughout the book in connection with Hillary's parenting of Claire. She seemed a little too happy to leave her in the care of others. Sarah seemed to have been adopted less as a stand-in grandmother than a nanny. And when Sarah was no longer there, the child was left in the care of the B&B proprietor, a woman she'd only just met! It was a little unconvincing that she would have even had the time, let alone the willingness, to look after a guest's young child. Even taking such a young child on a ghost tour seems a little crazy. Never mind the idea of staying on to solve a murder, with a young child in tow. Ed, the father, seems to be very absent in the parenting process.

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Post by AntonelaMaria »

mary-annef wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 09:44
Like some others have commented, I felt moments of anxiety throughout the book in connection with Hillary's parenting of Claire. She seemed a little too happy to leave her in the care of others. Sarah seemed to have been adopted less as a stand-in grandmother than a nanny. And when Sarah was no longer there, the child was left in the care of the B&B proprietor, a woman she'd only just met! It was a little unconvincing that she would have even had the time, let alone the willingness, to look after a guest's young child. Even taking such a young child on a ghost tour seems a little crazy. Never mind the idea of staying on to solve a murder, with a young child in tow. Ed, the father, seems to be very absent in the parenting process.
Good point. Maybe that is something that the author will look into in the next book.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins by Roald Dahl

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Post by AntonelaMaria »

Clemens Nickleby wrote:
23 Mar 2020, 15:03
AntonelaMaria wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 14:52
praise+anyi wrote:
16 Mar 2020, 12:40
When mistakes happen in any area of our lives, we pick up our lessons and improve on them in order to avoid repeating such mistakes. Hillary was abandoned, and with that consciousness she tried as much as possible to build a better relationship with her daughter.

Yes there were times when it seemed like her actions weren't matching her words, but we should understand that we are humans full of imperfections.
And that is what I think too. Our imperfections are what make us human. Her wish to do better is what defines her a good mother.
Interesting. As an imperfect human, I have made many mistakes, but never received a pass for my mistakes or my good intentions either! Mistakes still hurt! Claire was still abused despite her mother's feelings or intentions. In the end, it was her actions that saved her daughter. Being able to recognize a mistake, own it, apologize for it and make amends somehow. Not deny it or run to a fig leaf such as, 'none of us is perfect' or 'it wasn't my fault.' What made Hillary a great Mom in my estimation is that she was willing to take on a psychopathic predator who attacked her child. She put feet to her feelings and intentions. I fear if she had sat at home wishing, things might not have turned out so well for Claire. Although having a new acquaintance with an axe for backup in a pitch-dark castle doesn't rank real high on the good-judgement meter, no matter how many mad ninja skills you might have. Hillary was like her mother in many ways, she just chose different actions. Which is a comfort I think to those struggling with inadequacy or insecurity. ( Who doesn't?) You might be a carbon-copy spittin' image of your mother, warts and all, and still make a different choice. I have to say that the other part of this experience is that, even if you make a 'good choice' it still may not always have a 'good outcome'. But you try, nevertheless! All that to say, maybe actions over intentions???
Every human being is imperfect. IMO. I have meant as a written character Hillary is written as such imperfect human which makes her more realistic. Instead what authors often do...they write these black or white characters, which is unrealistic and unbelievable to me as a reader. Now on to a real-life ... I do believe intentions matter. Sure, we all make mistakes. No one is given a manual for life. But seeing our mistakes and wanting to do better, learn from it...it must count for something ...for us a human being..to grow... Now that is obviously generalized. Of course, actions speak louder than words.

interesting with the "even if you make a 'good choice' it still may not always have a 'good outcome'. But you try, nevertheless! "
point. I do agree. We do often have good intentions but sh*t happens. I would say action and intentions over apathy. Not caring is ultimate of giving up. On the person, relationship, life.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins by Roald Dahl

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Post by Princepetr10 »

This book looks straight forward , the reviewer did a good job .

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Post by Mounce574 »

I've experienced similar family issues in the past and can't really empathize with sich a poor choice made by Hiliary. I do, however, think her own upbringing was a major factor in her actions.
I cannot change the past because it is gone and I cannot tell what tomorrow will be like as it has not happened. What I can do is live today as life is happening now.

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Post by AndreaJoeySheila »

Hillary don't want the history repeats itself that is why she is trying to be the best mother she could be.

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Post by ashley_claire »

Hillary doubted her parenting abilities because she didn't have her own mother to turn to as an example. But there's something to be said about recognizing the flaws of your own parents and trying not to repeat the pattern. Though she wasn't flawless as a mother (who is?), the fact that she tried to do the best that she could instead of giving up like her own mother spoke volumes.

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Post by AntonelaMaria »

ashley_claire wrote:
27 Mar 2020, 12:51
Hillary doubted her parenting abilities because she didn't have her own mother to turn to as an example. But there's something to be said about recognizing the flaws of your own parents and trying not to repeat the pattern. Though she wasn't flawless as a mother (who is?), the fact that she tried to do the best that she could instead of giving up like her own mother spoke volumes.
Yeah, it is so easy to give up or find excuses. She wasn't perfect but she did try.
“Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”
The Minpins by Roald Dahl

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Post by Clemens Nickleby »

AntonelaMaria wrote:
26 Mar 2020, 12:49
Clemens Nickleby wrote:
23 Mar 2020, 15:03
AntonelaMaria wrote:
21 Mar 2020, 14:52


And that is what I think too. Our imperfections are what make us human. Her wish to do better is what defines her a good mother.
Interesting. As an imperfect human, I have made many mistakes, but never received a pass for my mistakes or my good intentions either! Mistakes still hurt! Claire was still abused despite her mother's feelings or intentions. In the end, it was her actions that saved her daughter. Being able to recognize a mistake, own it, apologize for it and make amends somehow. Not deny it or run to a fig leaf such as, 'none of us is perfect' or 'it wasn't my fault.' What made Hillary a great Mom in my estimation is that she was willing to take on a psychopathic predator who attacked her child. She put feet to her feelings and intentions. I fear if she had sat at home wishing, things might not have turned out so well for Claire. Although having a new acquaintance with an axe for backup in a pitch-dark castle doesn't rank real high on the good-judgement meter, no matter how many mad ninja skills you might have. Hillary was like her mother in many ways, she just chose different actions. Which is a comfort I think to those struggling with inadequacy or insecurity. ( Who doesn't?) You might be a carbon-copy spittin' image of your mother, warts and all, and still make a different choice. I have to say that the other part of this experience is that, even if you make a 'good choice' it still may not always have a 'good outcome'. But you try, nevertheless! All that to say, maybe actions over intentions???
Every human being is imperfect. IMO. I have meant as a written character Hillary is written as such imperfect human which makes her more realistic. Instead what authors often do...they write these black or white characters, which is unrealistic and unbelievable to me as a reader. Now on to a real-life ... I do believe intentions matter. Sure, we all make mistakes. No one is given a manual for life. But seeing our mistakes and wanting to do better, learn from it...it must count for something ...for us a human being..to grow... Now that is obviously generalized. Of course, actions speak louder than words.

interesting with the "even if you make a 'good choice' it still may not always have a 'good outcome'. But you try, nevertheless! "
point. I do agree. We do often have good intentions but sh*t happens. I would say action and intentions over apathy. Not caring is ultimate of giving up. On the person, relationship, life.
Exactly so. I agree with you about imperfect characters being more believable. A story is an alternative universe where authors and readers can test out ideas, consequences, beliefs. Black and white is only good for text. The actions of the character, or person in real life, is the pivot on which the plot turns. And Oh, the places we'll go! Ultimately, we get defined by what we do, and maybe the most heroic of heroes is a hero because their intentions and their actions align, not because they are ultimately successful. Because yes, the crapola happens. :doh:
Truth is stranger than Fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't. Mark Twain

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