Mystery/Thriller Reading Friends discussion

14 views
Group Read Books - archive > Group Read - Playing with Fire Chap 1-3 Spoilers welcome

Comments Showing 1-11 of 11 (11 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14290 comments The first person(s) to post please summarize this segment to guide the discussion.
Chapters 1-3 Julia


message 2: by Shomeret (new)

Shomeret | 1366 comments Julia, a professional violinist who has been performing in Rome, purchases a book of gypsy music and a page of sheet music at an antiquarian shop in Rome. The sheet music has the title Incendio. Julia is very attracted to it.

When she gets home to her accountant husband Rob and her three year old daughter Lily, she starts to play Incendio but discovers that Lily has attacked and killed the cat with a gardening tool.

Dr. Cherry, the pediatrician, isn't alarmed, but Julia tells him that her mother was institutionalized after dropping Julia's baby brother. The diagnosis was post-partum depression, but she never recovered. Later Julia's aunt Val tells her that the baby wasn't dropped. Julia's mother was seen hurling the baby from a balcony by a neighbor.

When Julia starts playing Incendio again Lily stabs Julia in the leg chanting "Hurt Mommy". The psychiatrist at the hospital wonders if it's the very high notes in Incendio that are setting Lily off and recommends a neurology consult.

Julia nearly burns the Incendio sheet music, but can't manage to do it.


message 3: by Shomeret (last edited Dec 07, 2015 04:45PM) (new)

Shomeret | 1366 comments So what do you think? Is Lily a "bad seed"? Is she possessed by the spirit of Julia's mother? Or is Incendio the only real problem here? I think that Lily may have a serious mental imbalance, and this makes her more vulnerable to influences such as Incendio.


message 4: by Dawn (new)

Dawn | 1257 comments It was so difficult to read of a young child doing the things Lily is doing, that I found myself contemplating not continuing to read. This is my first Gerritsen, so I'm not sure how dark it will get. I'm not thinking that Lily is affected by the spirit of her grandmother, but am thinking the music is doing something to her.


message 5: by Sue (last edited Dec 13, 2015 01:17PM) (new)

Sue | 26 comments I felt that the music and music sheet had absorbed some evil which on hearing made Lily do horrible deeds.

My other thoughts were that Julia, I felt she was so convinced that there was something wrong with Lily for me unnaturally so. Usually parents can see no wrong in their children even when it plainly obviously. I was not sure I believed that the beautiful and loving Lily one moment would be almost demon like the next.

I was more convinced that Julia had inherited some of her mothers madness.


message 6: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14290 comments Sue: At this point I felt the music triggers something in both Lily and Julia. How that occurs is a mystery. I am intrigued.
Sue wrote: "I felt that the music and music sheet had absorbed some evil which on hearing made Lily do horrible deeds.."


message 7: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14290 comments Dawn: In different ways Gerritsen's books can be dark, delving into the minds of serial killers. This one is unique. Lily's actions were a complete surprise. The narrator of the next segment is male for Lorenzo and after reading these chapters the abrupt change gave me pause. But I read on.
Dawn wrote: "It was so difficult to read of a young child doing the things Lily is doing, that I found myself contemplating not continuing to read. This is my first Gerritsen, so I'm not sure how dark it will get..."


message 8: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14290 comments Shomeret: I was not expecting to need to consider whether a character was a "bad seed" or possesed, but consider it we must I suppose. At this point I'd like to blame it all on Incendio. I may not have that lurury.
Shomeret wrote: "So what do you think? Is Lily a "bad seed"? Is she possessed by the spirit of Julia's mother? Or is Incendio the only real problem here? I think that Lily may have a serious mental imbalance, and t..."


message 9: by Anne (last edited Dec 28, 2015 04:35AM) (new)

Anne | 139 comments Gerritsen is good at distanancing the reader away from the crime - it just happens when least expected, when the victim is detached from the real world and engulfed in the world of music. It's interesting how the seemingly intangible language of music, so provocative and mysterious in creating emotions in the listener is now here seen to provoke actual physical actions in the child. Wonder if Gerritsen is saying something about this provocative language or if it is more an emphasis on Lily having a predisposition to be violent and that this is the trigger. Both of which are harrowing in their suggestion.


message 10: by Ann (new)

Ann (annrumsey) | 14290 comments Anne: harrowing indeed! Whether the music was the main trigger or something "inside" Lily, it was very alarming that a three year old could be in such a situation. I was not looking for that to happen so it was quite a shock.


message 11: by Sherry (new)

Sherry  | 3590 comments Ann wrote: "Sue: At this point I felt the music triggers something in both Lily and Julia. How that occurs is a mystery. I am intrigued.
Sue wrote: "I felt that the music and music sheet had absorbed some evil..."


i totally agree, ann. the music is somehow at the core of everything negative that happened in these chapters. the way that julia describe lily's eyes after being stabbed was chilling.


back to top