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message 1: by GVSHP (new)

GVSHP | 14 comments Mod
Discussion Questions:

1. Are you surprised to see Mateo behaving this badly - stealing money, coercing others into using drugs, engaging in risky sexual behavior? Would you have imagined that he could sink this low, and do you think he's likely to pull himself out of it? Maybe the arrival of these EMTs will be the turning point? What about for Hector - could that moment have snapped him back to reality?

2. What do you think about the family's resisitance to candid conversations about Mateo's adoption? Mateo is clearly burning for information about his mother and his childhood - he's obsessed with Issy and repeats over and over the question of why Milly and Jared would choose to adopt him. Could a frank discussion solve things? What are the issues Milly and Jared are dealing with that are stopping them from connecting with Mateo in this way?

3. Did Drew do the right thing by helping Milly deceive Jared and get the abortion? It seemed like the right thing for Milly to do, she wasn't guilty after she did it, but Drew really wanted her to tell Jared. Should she have helped her friend even though she didn't agree with the plan? Is this just more bad behavior on Drew's part?

message 2: by Clifford (new)

Clifford Browder | 8 comments 1. Yes, surprised and dismayed. The description of a heroin high in ch. 10 is the most vivid and scariest that I have ever encountered; it has haunted me ever since. The total loss of control; you've sold your soul to this stuff. And we see over and over again how one person sinking into addiction carries others along, too. The arrival of the EMTs will be either the beginning of recovery or the beginning of the end.

2. Their reluctance to discuss these things frankly, while understandable, may be a cause of trouble later. Mateo is troubled, confused; Jared and Milly don't seem able to cope with the situation.

3. Here again, Milly's not telling Jared about the abortion is troubling; this may cause problems later. Drew is in a tough spot, wants Milly to tell Jared, but feels she has to help Milly. I don't see this as bad behavior on Drew's part; not helping Milly might have made matters worse. Milly is always vulnerable, has good intentions, but constantly needs support from others. These people all mean well (except for Mateo, at the moment), but their lives are complicated -- one complication after another. For this reason I try not to judge them.

message 3: by Pam (new)

Pam | 8 comments 1. Given the anger and perhaps guilt Mateo feels about the life he received through adoption and his deep loss because of his mother's early death, it is not surprising that he has turned to this behavior. As Clifford said, the description of what went on was very vivid and a very good piece of writing. I fear things will not end well for him.
2. Jared and Milly took on Mateo based mostly on Millie's romantic whim about raising him when they adopted him. I'm starting to feel that Jared is the "grown-up" in this relationship. She is the one who has not been honest and this dishonesty is always under the surface and driving the lack of communication. It's very sad.
3. As I said above, Millie is not a grown-up. She is not being honest with herself or her partner. The fact that she didn't tell him about the abortion and then pushed him toward adopting Mateo was very dishonest and manipulative, as if she was trying to "craft" the life she envisioned. That she enlisted Drew's aid was not surprising, but I wished that Drew had tried harder to convince her to talk with Jared. Not bad behavior on Drew's part, but somewhat co-dependent as she gave Millie validation for her choice. The fact that Millie wouldn't even discuss this with her therapist and misled a man who truly loved her instead of engaging in an honest discussion about the very good reasons she didn't want a biological child show that she shouldn't have been in a serious relationship and should have spent more time in self-reflection first.

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