The Quiet Side of Passion (Isabel Dalhousie #12) The Quiet Side of Passion question


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Is anyone else bothered by Isabel's irrational behaviors in this book?
Bas Bas Aug 20, 2018 10:10AM
Isabel Dalhousie is intelligent, highly educated, and a philosopher who admittedly overthinks everything. Why, then, is she so lacking in basic common sense and intelligence as a mother? What mother would hire someone sight unseen to live in their home and care for their two young children? What mother wouldn't check references? What mother, when confronted with incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing, would fail to report the egregious behavior to the agency who placed the au pair with her? And what mother would "fix" the problem by saying that she planned to tell the au pair that things weren't working out, but here...I'll purchase a plane ticket back to Italy for you?
I'm sorry, but for such an overthinker, Isabel isn't using the common sense that God gave her.
I gave her a generous pass when she felt so "overburdened" that despite her extreme wealth, a house husband, a housekeeper, nursery school for one child, and a self-created part-time job that she can devote as much or as little time to as she pleases, she felt so overburdened that she had to hire two additional staff to lighten her heavy load...but I can no longer willingly suspend my disbelief.
Please tell me I am not alone in how I feel about self-entitled, holier-than-thou Isabel.



I feel a bit silly defending a fictional character, but I'll give it a go. Isabel is a scholar who has led a privileged life. She acknowledges her good fortune and is generous with her money. I think she and Jamie did what many married couples do -- started a family without working out exactly how all the pieces will fit together afterward. With only one child, two working parents plus Grace worked out fine. After adding the second child, it wasn't working quite so well and her husband suggested they hire some help. There's nothing wrong with Isabel having a "self-created" job. She's an academic with a philosophy degree -- running a professional journal is a suitable occupation for her. She's working it as a part time job, but it's really a full time job, hence the stress. Motherhood is also quite time-consuming. (Cat needs to hire more staff at her deli. She shouldn't be asking Isabel to drop everything on a regular basis and work for free. Her refusal to properly staff her business is part of what drove Isabel to think *she* needed more staff.) I think perhaps they didn't need both an au pair and help with the journal; help with the journal alone would probably have sufficed. She absolutely should have asked for references for the au pair and the agency dropped the ball by not having any to provide. Isabel is overwhelmed and made some bad decisions.


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