The Other Mrs Walker The Other Mrs Walker discussion


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I need to strart a discussion on this book!! SPOILERS

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Kate I have so many questions at the end of this book that i need answering!! I hope someone can help me!! So i understand that the dead Mrs Walker was Ruby and that Margaret was Ruby's daughter that Barbara adopted and that the old lady that turns up at the funeral is Clementine so..... my questins:

1) Why did Clementine come back for the painting if she was already rich?
2) Did Clementine kill the twins by feeding them the berries? and if so - why?
3) What did Margaret need juicing machine for?
4) what the hell did Mrs Maclures note mean at the end??

I am sure i have more questions than this!!

Also - was Mr Nye senior a rapist? why would Clementine leave Ruby to be abused by Tony or was she going to take her with her to America?

Any help much appreciated :)


Katy Crowe I have the same questions!

The one I can answer - I think - is that Clementine did kill the twins with the berries. I think she did it because she overheard her parents talking about taking the twins to America with them and then sending for her later on.

That's the only one I can answer, though. Would love to hear other people's thoughts on the rest!


message 3: by Phil (new) - rated it 1 star

Phil Bradley 1) No idea. The whole thing was farcical.
2) yes, because she didn’t want to be left behind.
3) No idea, and I can’t bring myself to care!
4) another job? Leading to, God help us, a second book?
5) Serial rapist, yes.
6) Clementine didn’t care what happened to her younger sisters, and quite frankly I don’t blame her.


message 4: by Novalinnhe (last edited Mar 23, 2018 12:23PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Novalinnhe Rowe Hello - I can answer all these questions.

1) Clementine came back as a plot device used to tie - or rather, hurriedly mush - any glaringly obvious loose ties together. That's it. There was no reason for her to have appeared and you are very correct in your confusion as to why this happened. Even with "sentimentality" as a possible cause it falls flat, as the year in which Clementine leaves is far, far earlier than Ruby ever begins working with the artist. By the timeline that the book gives itself, there is no way Clementine could have known. The author simply wanted a plot twist.

2) Yes, she did. All the symbolism and over-description used during that sequence confuses the motive behind it, but often children don't need a clear motive for acting on feelings. She was likely jealous that the two little twins would be going away with her mother and father, but not her; she may have wanted attention, and sought about doing it in a negative way; she may have wanted to punish her parents. Could be a loose haze of all three. Siblings can do incredibly evil things to each other without quite understanding why.

3) The author looooovvveeeeesssssss bringing up the same metaphors and imagery again and again until your head is bloody from being bludgeoned with the repetition, and if you remember right at the start of the book, our protagonist throws out a load of her belongings into a skip. One of these things is a juice machine in a box; so it was actually hers all along, and the wife of the man she'd been sleeping with was simply giving it back to her (unknowingly). Our protagonist gave the red coat back at the same time too, so they simply traded items which belonged to each other. More symbolism probably, and in my opinion incredibly pointless.

4) The note was the allusion to a sequel. The note is exactly the same as the one Margaret is given at the start of the book.

5) I'm surprised you didn't work this out as you read through, seeing as Mr Nye keeps hundreds and hundreds of paintings of naked children posing seductively framed in his office. This is very explicitly described, as well as the sexual encounters he has with multiple underage females in the book (including Jessica Plymett). But in short - yes. He, along with every other significant male in this particular universe, is a serial child rapist/molester.

6) I'll answer the last question in two parts - so: why would Clementine leave Ruby to be molested by Tony? The same reason she killed her two twin siblings. The world that these children inhabited was a wildly and unrealistically dark one, and the author wanted to get across that these children would do anything to each other as long as it helped themselves. See: the constant bullying of Barbara; the murder of the twins; Ruby sleeping with both the man Barbara wanted to marry and the potential father-in-law for literally no reason; Barbara stealing Ruby's child in revenge, and colluding with Mr Nye to keep her locked away in a mental asylum for as long as possible. (This part was slightly trickier to catch, but yes - Barbara and Mr Nye worked together to keep Ruby locked away as long as possible.)

6.5) Was Clementine going to take Ruby to America? Yes, seeing as an additional ticket was described as being seen in Clementine's suitcase. She wanted Ruby to come with her, not "piggy Barbara". The beautiful sibling who reminded her of herself, not the "ugly" one who actually cared enough to pack her more things to help her escape. I honestly found both Clementine and Ruby to be the most unlikeable characters in the book.

Can you tell I didn't enjoy reading this? Hahaha. But hope these answered helped, anyway.


message 5: by Diamonds (new)

Diamonds Oh thank goodness! I thought I was the only one who didn't understand a lot of it. I got who's who, but I lost track of all the objects - especially the star brooch with a ruby in the centre - as they seemed to pass back and forth between the siblings , and even Dorothea, throughout the book. So much so that any significance of any of them became totally lost on me. Overall I found it a very dark and bleak and actually quite nasty, book with no shimmer or glimmer of something lighter to lift it. The fact that the house was initially owned by Dorothea and Alfred means they were not digging in the dirt poor like many living in London in the twenties and thirties, like my own ancestors. And I know that effectively being orphaned meant they were actually poor then, but that didn't really call for every single character to be on the make, be it financially or sexually. I am aware dark, horrible things happen in the dark, hidden underbelly of any city in any time, but not EVERYBODY in the vicinity gets caught up in it and its hypocrisy. I felt let down at the end that Margaret still didn't know.the truth (about her biological mother- though I accept that motherhood isn't just about blood ties) and that Alfred just wandered out of the novel and nobody tried to find out where he went. Unlike with Dorothea who, even though told she was dead, at least two of the siblings went and found her in the asylum. At least, that's what I understood to have happened... Ultimately I found this book tried so hard to be clever that I got totally lostand confused. And, like the original poster, was left confused and with many questions (most of which she asked for me and have been answered by the clever people!). Not a book I would recommend or an author I would read again.


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