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Did Grace kill Mary?

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Dystopian I think so; what do you think?


Anna Grace is an opportunist and lacks empathy for others. She considered Mary Ann as another version of her sister Miranda, when prodded by the Freudian therapist. Grace was critical of Miranda's pragmatic decision to become a "working woman" by traveling to Chicago as a governess and offered no kind words.

Grace did exactly the same to Mary Ann, who, we are lead to believe, is even frailer in fortitude than Miranda through the sparse dialogue we get concerning her husband Robert.

Grace even directly tells Mary Ann to kill herself in order to shorten her suffering. Granted this was near the end of the journey, when everyone was despondent, but even so I believe Grace indirectly killed Mary Ann through her passive way of provoking others.

I know people with Grace's personality. I work with them. These types live only to benefit themselves. People are objects to be used. They don't even realize what they are doing because it's natural for them to rationalize their own actions by demeaning/belittling others. It's this aspect of human nature that is frightening.


Dystopian I think that Grace might have had a more active hand in Mary's death. It's certainly hinted at.


Anna You mean when Greta testified that she saw Grace taking the ring off Mary Ann's finger? Also when Mary Ann was dying Grace states: "...at long last Hannah had the good sense to knock her cold" (208).


Dystopian Well, the author states that no one was paying attention to who was dying, right before saying that Mary dies "in Grace's lap" after telling Grace that when they were rescued she was going to tell how Grace came to be on the boat. In the whole book Grace never says things directly; everything is seen from the corner of your eye. I think this is one of those cases.


message 6: by Deb (new) - rated it 3 stars

Deb There is no doubt in my mind that Grace is a sociopath and quietly killed Mary Ann for more than one reason.
The obvious reason is that she stated she was going to reveal her, the second less obvious is that Grace admitted Mary Ann reminded her of her sister Miranda whom she felt was weak and annoying. Then of course there is the ring which never quite made it back to the fiancee. I feel very sorry for Mr. Reichmann.


message 7: by W (new) - rated it 3 stars

W I thought the author was headed in that direction at a couple points, but it's so unclear. I think it would have been an ironic twist if she *had* killed Mary Ann (being tried for one murder, when the murder she actually committed goes unnoticed), but the author leaves it so vague that you can't really say for sure that's what happened.


message 8: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee but do we ever really know what happened in order to Grace to end up on the boat - we don't...there is supposition that her husband bribed Hardy - but originally that was the ramblings of a women who had lost her daughter and died early on - so did Maryann actually see that or is only believing what Mrs Fleming (?) said

Also, how did they come to be arrested? That was never covered - was it someone from the boat that said something; or how do they know what happened and in that case, why only the 3 of them - Grace abstained (or at least that is what she states) from voting for Hardy's death - so could she have been held responsible - because of the lack of intent?


message 9: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee something else, right after Hardy (sorry if my spelling is wrong, I listened to the book) went overboard, when Hannah and Mrs Grant were standing next to her - did anyone else get the feeling that they were getting ready to push her overboard as well, but then Hardy's body made that last appearance and scared them? Or do you think that was just a figment of her imagination/making herself look good for the trial?


message 10: by Deb (new) - rated it 3 stars

Deb Dee wrote: "something else, right after Hardy (sorry if my spelling is wrong, I listened to the book) went overboard, when Hannah and Mrs Grant were standing next to her - did anyone else get the feeling that ..."

I completely agree, I definitely received the impression they had a plan in place.


message 11: by Dee (new) - rated it 3 stars

Dee maybe because she dared to defy them by not voting? IMHO, Mrs Grant and Hannah were much more less feeling than Grace was - but then, since it is told in a first person you only get that one POV


Mary Ann You are all being very judgmental. What would you do on a lifeboat with strangers? How would you react with no food or water and the elements against you? What state of mind would you be in after days at sea? That's what I kept in mind as I was reading the story. Who knows how they will react until in that situation! Lots of questions were left unanswered, but that's what made it a good story. The reader gets to keep trying to figure it out!


Jessica I think this book would have benefited from more than one POV. I didn't identify with Grace or care about her character at all, which made trudging through this pretty hard. She probably did kill Mary Ann, or at least probably made no move to help her. It's convenient that she doesn't remember those last few days.


Katherine Mary Ann wrote: "You are all being very judgmental. What would you do on a lifeboat with strangers? How would you react with no food or water and the elements against you? What state of mind would you be in after d..."

I agree - it seems that part of what Rogan was capturing was the way this particular desperate situation determines people's capabilities. She gives us the perspective of one character to help give us that insight. Grace was always looking out for herself, doing what she thought would best increase her chances of survival. Not a sociopath - a strong survivor. She might not be someone we want to have coffee with, but she is a woman in that time period who is strong enough to survive. For that reason alone, she is intriguing. Mrs Grant and Hannah were far more sinister to me because they disguised their survival instincts as maternal caring.


Cathy Mary Ann wrote: "You are all being very judgmental. What would you do on a lifeboat with strangers? How would you react with no food or water and the elements against you? What state of mind would you be in after d..."

I agree, as well. It certainly made me think of how I might react in a similar situation.
And, I also agree with Jessica. Another point of view would have improved the storyline.
All in all, though, I liked this book more than I thougth I would.


message 16: by Karen (last edited Aug 16, 2013 08:31PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen Another point is the fact that Grace's lawyer asked her to write her version of the events that took place on the lifeboat with the hope it would help to defend her. It is possible that she was trying to imply that Mrs. Grant and Hannah were contemplating throwing her overboard when in fact that wasn't the case at all. Grace is a very unreliable narrator, so we, the readers, can't be sure she wrote truthfully. I think every word she wrote was very shrewdly thought out. It worked...she was proclaimed innocent, with a marriage proposal from her affluent lawyer as an added bonus.


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