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In a Dark, Dark Wood
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Stephanie Pao (stephiepao) | 35 comments Mod
Open forum to share your thoughts as we read our June Book Club pick.

*There may be spoilers


Cordelia (cordeliawl) | 8 comments Loving the Agatha Christie references / illusions

I've read the first 4 chapters


The entire going to the middle of no where with people who don't know each other couldn't help but make me think of "and then there were none" but the fact that Nora notes the lack of a book in the strange house, specifically Agatha Christie,seems designed to make sure it's not missed.

And "Chekov's Gun," of course, on he mantel. (If we see a gun in the first act of a play, it will go off in the third, the Chekov's Gun principle). Interesting in this case that it's not just the audience / readers, but two of our five current characters make that reference (the two writers of course) and it goes over the head of the other 3.


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments taking longer to read because I have to change the accent I'm reading it in ( in my head) so that it matches the English setting of the book. I can't just read it with an American accent, that wouldn't make it fun! haha.


message 4: by Laurie (new)

Laurie Machado | 3 comments I'm doing the audio on this and have to say I am really enjoying it. I'm not sure I would appreciate some of the dialog between the characters if I were reading this - the narrator on the audio version is excellent.

I'm on Chapter 15 (due to a 45 minute commute each way and hour long dog walks). Totally addicted and can't wait to see where this is going.


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments Nora talking about James... I have literally never related to a character more in my entire life. I've never shot a gun, but relationship-wise, I feel this on a spiritual level


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments *spoilers*
Had to search the full plot of "cat on a hot tin roof" after Nora mentioned it to Tom and the irony of it. Wow! That was not one of the twists I was expecting... if that's what it is.


Cordelia (cordeliawl) | 8 comments Reading this, I was totally having flashbacks to uncomfortable weddings of old friends. (I've been to some wonderful weddings of old friends, too, don't get me wrong).


Particularly one I had to throw the bachelorette / hen party for....


Stephanie Pao (stephiepao) | 35 comments Mod
So hooked on this book right now. I'm at the point where Nora is officially a suspect. I really need to know what happened! The suspense/anxiety is killing me. Wish I didn't have to back from my lunch break.


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments Absolutely having flashbacks to a particular relationship. Not *quite* the same, but I can Definitely imagine how Nora is feeling throughout this whole thing. I can only imagine I would've reacted 100 times worse and I think that made the whole thing a lot more real for me


Stephanie Pao (stephiepao) | 35 comments Mod
***Spoilers***Did anyone see parts of the book coming? For me when they first mention the text I immediately assumed it was Claire and when they heard the intruder I knew it would be James. I wonder if those were pretty obvious or do I read too many mystery/thrillers?


message 11: by Jeni (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeni | 12 comments Spoilers ahead!!! Don't read if you haven't finished the book! Was it painfully obvious and cliche when Lamarr came just at the exact right moment and crashed into Claire to save the day and then suddenly everything was smoothed over and Nora was no longer a suspect? Like everything was suddenly just packaged up so tidy and neat and everyone lived happily ever after. Until she deleted Matt's email. That was disappointing to the romantic in me! The whole book was so suspenseful and taut, then the ending just wrapped up too tidy. At least there should've been a bit more suspense before Lamarr showed up and then just let Nora off the hook! I agree with Stephanie, I definitely saw Clare's manipulative ways from the beginning and figured she was setting Nora and/or Flo up!


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments I was more having trouble with the why. I figured it was probably Clare (i thought maybe flo a few times after she kept losing it!) but there were so many theories floating around in my head as to why? or who was shot at the beginning; since Nora was in the hospital I thought maybe the whole thing was a setup to kill her or hurt her. I only realized James was the one to die when he reached the top of the steps, looking down at his phone. I'm quite sure I could've seen it coming from 30 chapters away but the mystery distracted me. Everything pointed to it. I was also upset she deleted the email, if that's what she did. The wording was strange enough that you're n not totally sure if she clicked delete or something else


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments That was my big question. Did she click delete? why not just say that? why hover over delete for a minute... and then I clicked. It's worded a bit confusingly. Or is it just me?


Stephanie Pao (stephiepao) | 35 comments Mod
Jeni wrote: "Spoilers ahead!!! Don't read if you haven't finished the book! Was it painfully obvious and cliche when Lamarr came just at the exact right moment and crashed into Claire to save the day and then s..."

Yes! That was a little too perfect. How did Lamarr immediately know what was going on and that Nora was the innocent party. And I was disappointed it sounded like she deleted the email, but Marissa you are right, the wording is vague.


Cordelia (cordeliawl) | 8 comments (Spoiler's as above)

I totally agree a lot was painfully obvious. I think some of that was by design. You figured out pretty quickly all of the things that were going to happen if you were paying attention, but piecing them so they all fit together correctly was more what you had to solve. I think that the Chekov's Gun reference was supposed to tell you that (and that someone was going to get shot). Maybe.


A few things I got wrong / or didn't get:
1. I didn't get that the thing in the coat pocket was a blank until they explicitly said it. I thought it would be Nora's phone.

2. With so much going on with the names: Lee, Leo, Nora, I'm kind of embarrassed I didn't notice "Lee" in the "breakup text."



There were a few things that bugged me. I think the end where she either deleted it or clicked it open possibly was meant to be we don't really know if she ever responded or not. I mean, even if you delete an email it's generally not really gone. Seemed like the worst person for her to date, though. You haven't dated in 10 years, realize you really love that guy, watch him be murdered AND are temporarily a suspect and were a pawn in the conspiracy of his death. And now feel ready to date. His best friend just doesn't seem like ideal stepping back into dating.

The big thing that bugged me, I don't know, maybe it's super weird and nit picky, but Claire has this whole incredibly complicated plan to have James get shot and she invites Nina? A surgeon?! Claire might not have known about her gun shot wound specific knowledge, but she knew she was a surgeon.


message 16: by Jeni (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jeni | 12 comments Wow, Cordelia. I didn't even think about that. But inviting Nina was really weird of Claire. But maybe she knew Lee/Nora/Leo/Leonora wouldn't come without Nina and figured that when the ambulance never came, there wasn't much she could do without supplies?


Marissa Stambol | 20 comments When I first read "the breakup text" it did strike me as odd that he called her Lee; but more in a, "hmm odd," and then move on way. I NEVER saw it coming that Clare was the one who sent that text.


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I totally thought she clicked the email to reply, not to delete! I don't know, I guess I was being optimistic that after finally having closure with not only James but also Claire she'd be able to move forward with her life.

I didn't like Nora as a narrator that much, she seemed sort of weird and cold and since she was always referring to herself as the awkward kid or the one who didn't fit in it felt sort of like she was punishing herself for being an introvert. That being said, I love the book and I love how strong she became!

This book kept me awake at night, it was so creepy, and like Cordelia said, I definitely got an Agatha Christie vibe, especially And Then There Were None. So good.

I like that we're kept from knowing about not only what actually happened that night but also what happened between Nora and James for so long in the book because it drew out the suspense nicely; not knowing what was going on in Nora's past made me absolutely crazy.


Stephanie Pao (stephiepao) | 35 comments Mod
Cordelia wrote: "(Spoiler's as above)

I totally agree a lot was painfully obvious. I think some of that was by design. You figured out pretty quickly all of the things that were going to happen if you were paying ..."


Thinking about the whole plan now it is weird that she invited Nina, but also weird that she relied on two other people to shoot James. How did Claire know that Flo would aim true? What if it had missed?

I also wonder about the ouija game they were writing - did Claire write "murderer"? And what was the purpose of the glass house and its back story?


Marsha Holland | 9 comments I knew from very early that Clare was the bad guy because there was no reason for her to invite Nora other than to hurt her. It was also obvious from Nora's memories of their friendship that Clare only pretended to be her friend for selfish reasons throughout their history. True friends never seek to hurt you. Another clue was that Nora's mom never liked Clare. Moms can have a sixth sense about true friends for their children. I was surprised that James was murdered. I thought Clare would try to kill Nora or have Flo do it. I also thought Nora had found her phone in Clare's pocket with the texts to James on it. I didn't like the ending. I want to know clearly how a book ends, otherwise I kind of feel like I wasted my time. I don't feel like I wasted my time reading this book though. I just wish I knew her decision. I feel like the writer left me hanging and that makes me dislike the writer. Writers either care about their readers or they don't! Some writers take into account their readers feelings and wishes when they write and some write purely for artistic expression. Some can do both. I read a scathing review of this book by a reader before I read the book, but I totally disagreed with that reader. She thought the whole premise of the book was stupid because she didn't think anyone would not be over a relationship after 10 years!! I personally know that is a false conclusion. I fell in love with my husband at 17 and never got over him. We got back together years later. Some people have that one that stays in their heart no matter what. So I thought the book was a good book but not a great book! Some books I don't want to put down from the time I pick them up!! This was definitely not one of those. I had to keep making myself go back to read it and that's why I'm so late to the discussion. Anyway I don't want to mislead, I did enjoy reading the book. I think more than anything, I just love the idea of being part of a book club. Although I've been an avid reader from the age of 5, I've never been part of a book club, so this is a first for me and I'm very happy to be a part of it!!


Aimee Burpee | 3 comments I did finish the June book about a week late. On the whole I liked it, though I was a bit incredulous that Leonora didn't notice that the breakup text said "Lee" and didn't question it at the time, since she was so bothered by making sure everyone knew she went by "Nora" at the time of the hen. It kept my interest, I'm in a dry spell for reading -- no attention span.


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