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A Monster Calls
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A Monster Calls Discussions > Conor and Adults in His Life

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Tatiana (tatiana_g) What do you think of Conor's relationships with adults in his family - his mother, father, grandmother? Do they let him down? Does he judge them fairly?

Kritika (spidersilksnowflakes) I thought his relationship with his grandmother was the most interesting. At first Conor resented her presence because she was taking him away from his mom, but once he realized that they both were losing the person most important to them, they got so much closer. I thought it was interesting how she didn't say a word after he shattered half her possessions. I guess she understood that Conor felt frustrated and didn't have anyone he could trust to talk to, and she respected that.

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Yes, I felt Conor was unfair to his grandma, just because she wasn't a "standard issue" grandmother. But I think they will work it out.

Who I was mad at the most was definitely Conor's dad. I can't quite imagine how a parent could be so uninvolved and care so little about his first family. And his second wife too! I mean, I can understand why she would be jealous of his first family, but in matters of life and death surely she could have been more understanding?

message 4: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Was Conor's age ever mentioned in the book? I am not sure. It seemed to me that he already had a bad relationship with his grandma and his dad so it didn't surprise me that in a time of crisis he is very mean to them. I can't imagine how Conor must've felt when basically his dad didn't want to take responsibility for him (living with him) after his mother passes. I love that the grandma was very mature and realized that they didn't have a good relationship and I even felt from her perhaps some guilt for never trying to have one before.

I love Conor's mom. She was such a good mom during her sickness. Still smiled every time she saw her son. It was beautiful. I also like the school's faculty. I like that they knew his situation and really did try to help him out. They tried to talk to him and protect him the best he could. Personally I think it's best he go to the new school his grandmother wanted to put him in. Starting over sounds perfect for him to me.

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I don't remember if Conor's age was mentioned specifically, but my impression is he was in 10-12 range.

Grace (gdaminato) | 520 comments Kritika wrote: "I thought it was interesting how she didn't say a word after he shattered half her possessions."

She recognized his fury, his consuming anger, his grief. In fact, the destruction allowed her to release some of the feelings she had been keeping in check. She screamed and destroyed the last piece of furniture left standing.

Kritika (spidersilksnowflakes) I'd forgotten about her breaking the last piece of furniture. I think she finally felt free from all the social rules about not showing her grief and comforting Conor, when really all she wants to do is let out her rage.
I feel like a common theme here is liberation. His grandma is free from all the rules about how to act during a time of grief, his mother is free from trying to fight on when she's dying, and Conor is free from trying to hold on to his mother and being invisible. I have nothing for his dad - he was hardly there at all when Conor needed him, and I think he's still shackled by his family in America.

message 8: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (last edited Aug 14, 2012 04:18PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Maybe following the theme of liberation is that his dad was yearning for liberation from his new family. I truly think he wanted to be there for Conor at least he seemed like it but he just couldn't stand up to his new wife. So perhaps for him it was the wanting to be free and love his son the way he wanted to.

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