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Were you a Sophie?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I found myself really relating to the kid as I read. I fear that I would have behaved in much the same way she did, and that makes me a little sad. How would you have been?


Judith Hannan I would not have been a Sophie, at least at that age. My daughter was 8 when she had cancer and she needed me so much to protect her that she didn't think about shielding me from any of her pain. I saw very few kids in the hospital behaving like Sophie. However, if a child thought that their parents were vulnerable in the first place, I can see how he/she might intuit the need to be protective. Now that my daughter is 20 she understands the impact of her illness on me and my husband and now I have to be sure she doesn't feel resonsible for that.


TamElaine yeah, I think I would have been a Sophie in many ways....but I would have focussed on something other than star wars ! lol (I have very little knowledge of star wars and found those parts somewhat hard to trudge through, especially the first time it was introduced...I thought I had entered a whole new book....but I stuck with it and figured it out and am so glad I did....) what a brave little girl...as much as I say I would have been a Sophie, one thing I probably would not have hidden was the physical throwing up - as a child, I always felt like the world was going to end when I had to be sick - the heat, the fear, and almost claustrophobic in a way - that's when I needed someone to hold my hair back, to hold my hand and rub my back and tell me it was going to be okay....but I definitely would have hidden pain...I broke my baby finger in phys ed class one year and because the teacher had specifically said at the beginning of class "don't come crying to me if you hurt your baby finger" I wouldn't tell a soul ! but my parents noticed something strange when I was drinking a cup of water the next morning and I fessed up...some x-rays later and I was in a splint. (I was 6) there were other incidences like that too....


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Judith wrote: "I would not have been a Sophie, at least at that age. My daughter was 8 when she had cancer and she needed me so much to protect her that she didn't think about shielding me from any of her pain. ..."

Wow Judith, that life experience must have given you a whole different perspective on the story. How did you feel about how Jake and Kate handled things?


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Tam wrote: "yeah, I think I would have been a Sophie in many ways....but I would have focussed on something other than star wars ! lol (I have very little knowledge of star wars and found those parts somewh..."

Lol Tam, I hear you. My star wars knowledge is also very limited.
I'm sorry you had a bad teacher but I'm glad you had parents who were aware and responsive. :-)


Judith Hannan I thought Jake and Kate were clueless in so many ways. I know they were obsessed with their Olympic dreams but who doesn't understand that cancer treatment can be a nightmare. I don't want to sound too unsympathetic, though. I remember every moment trying to figure out how my daughter (Nadia) was feeling. If she felt well, then I could too. And I believe that's how Jake and Kate behaved. But I couldn't imagine being fooled into believing Nadia was feeing well when she wasn't. In this respect, I think Cleave (the author) just didn't present a real-life situation. The fault was in the story; Cleave just tried to do too much. My other objection is that I am tired of the way we try to make seriously ill children into heroes. The ones that we call brave are the ones who get strength from their parents who are carrying the burden for them. The ones without parental support are scared; if they exhibit bravery it is false bravado that comes from anger and fear.


Ruth I found I did not believe in the Sophie character. Illness is cruel and saps imagination and courage. A more 'real' Sophie would have had had moments of extreme vulnerability. I felt the character was more of a token within the story. It enabled the final section with the judgement of Solomon situation which could have been either Zoe's total moral downfall or her redemption. Mostly I thought the words and feelings given to Sophie came from a far too grown-up perspective.


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