21st Century Literature discussion

The Lacuna
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2013 Book Discussions > The Lacuna - 11. 'Loose Pages, Montford, June 1949 - January 1950', and 'Afterwards, 1959' (March 2013)

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message 1: by Terry (last edited Mar 16, 2013 04:53AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Terry Pearce This discussion is likely to contain the biggest spoilers in the book; if you haven't finished the final two chapters, you shouldn't be here.

This chapter affected me too much for me to come with the dispassionate discussion questions. Tommy's letter wrenched me, and it was all the more powerful that the book didn't directly show the pain this must have caused, leaving it to my imagination what Harrison must have felt to know that even Tommy bought the lies.

The hearing would have been comical were it not so serious, and unjust, and (to my understanding) realistic.

But the crunch of these chapters, and the book, came with the end. I should have realised when I read the obituary, but somehow I didn't read more into drowned than what it said. It seemed a bit of a sad and sudden end to such a deep and meaningful story, but I read on. It was only when Violet started to talk about going to Isla Pixol that everything clicked into place. I put the book down to breathe and it all washed over me -- so many connections. I had thought right back when the Lacuna was first introduced that he would go back there, but I had forgotten, and now to think that he had gone back in this way... and then it hit me.

I suspected, and when I read that he had gathered the urchins to witness him diving, I pretty much knew what he'd attempted. I wasn't sure at that point whether he'd succeeded or not, or whether we'd find out, and in a way that not knowing would've been a great ending. But at the same time, the Harrison we knew could not possibly survive and let Violet not know. So had the note not come from Frida, we would've known by its absence that he had never emerged from the Lacuna.

I loved the ending; it wrapped up and elevated everything that had gone before, good as it already was. For me, the last paragraph is perfect.


Casceil | 1692 comments Mod
It is a good ending. About 100 pages from the end, I felt like not finishing the book, because I knew enough about the McCarthy era to foresee that Harrison would be unjustly prosecuted. I'm glad he found a way to escape in the end, and I suspect he was much happier in Mexico, anyway.


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