Elizabeth Taylor Reading Project discussion

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A Game of Hide and Seek > A Game of Hide and Seek FINISHING Thoughts/Discussion Questions

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message 1: by Karen (new)

Karen | 211 comments Mod
Thoughts /Discussion Questions on FINISHING A Game of Hide of Seek


Elizabeth (Alaska) I thought the beginning of this a bit of a slog, and if I hadn't been reading for this group I might have set it aside. But thank you again, for the group, because the 2nd half rewarded me for my perseverance.

Harriet was such a weak little thing, she drove me to distraction.


message 3: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments I am sorry my commonsense is so common, but I have to be cruel to be kind.

These words Elizabeth Taylor said to me in and through this book.

She was a genius. It was not my favorite of hers, but still, much above of most of the genre.

Here my review.


message 4: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Harriet was such a weak little thing, she drove me to distraction"

Vesey drove me to distraction.


Elizabeth (Alaska) Mela wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "Harriet was such a weak little thing, she drove me to distraction"

Vesey drove me to distraction."


That, too. I had a hard time seeing the attraction, which might be one of the reasons Harriet drove me to distraction.


Elizabeth (Alaska) What did you think of the title as it relates to the novel?


message 7: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "What did you think of the title as it relates to the novel?"

An interesting issue. I have thought of it a few times. I think, the main topic of novel (and the reason for the title) was Harriet and Vesey's game with the love, not only with each other, but also with themself (I think each one had different) idea of love. For example, the scene when where they were young and hided they seamed to wait for love, for HEA, for something to happen. They wanted somebody to make a move/decision (to find them), they didn't try to hide well. And this kind of passivity, waiting that someone else/something else do the thing was in their later encounter. Therefore, their were doomed.


message 8: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Dec 09, 2018 07:39AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) I agree, Mela. I've thought it referred not just to the game when they were young and playing with the children, but also when they were adults. Vesey is very much hiding, Harriet seeks, both literally and figuratively. Love is elusive, is not in the open but hidden, while Harriet, especially, seeks. But I think it is also true that Harriet hides any love for Charles, while I think he definitely seeks love from Harriet.


message 9: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "I agree, Mela. I've thought it referred not just to the game when they were young and playing with the children, but also when they were adults. Vesey is very much hiding, Harriet seeks, both liter..."

I agree completely.


message 10: by Karen (new)

Karen | 211 comments Mod
Mela wrote: "I am sorry my commonsense is so common, but I have to be cruel to be kind.

These words Elizabeth Taylor said to me in and through this book.

She was a genius. It was not my favorite of hers, but ..."

Hi Mela, finished this book yesterday and have to agree that it isn't my favourite either. I can see by now that Elizabeth Taylor has found her writing style and voice but I think the novel lacked something too.
I loved the funny scenes where Harriet is working in the gown shop !
I disliked the character Vesey and thought him to be quite selfish and uncaring about people's feelings.
Love to Vesey seems to be a game and Harriet seems to be seeking her perfect love.
Harriet was at a low point in her life when her Mother passed away and Charles was always there for her.


message 11: by Canadian Reader (new)

Canadian Reader Although I preferred the subject matter in A View of the Harbour and A Wreath of Roses, I think Taylor demonstrates considerably more stylistic mastery here. This feels like a more unified, mature piece. Taylor also raises intesting questions about love and marriage. We may well love someone, but love alone is not a foundation for happiness or satisfaction—neither is mutual understanding for that matter. I don’t think anyone believes Harriet and Vesey could ever have made a go of it. The failings in each of their characters would have made it impossible.


message 12: by Canadian Reader (new)

Canadian Reader Mela wrote: "Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "What did you think of the title as it relates to the novel?"

An interesting issue. I have thought of it a few times. I think, the main topic of novel (and the reason for..."


Good points about passivity. Both lacked confidence and, for that matter, a sense that they were essentially loveable. I felt Taylor was also exploring questions of parenting here, too. It’s a rich novel.


message 13: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Karen wrote: "I disliked the character Vesey and thought him to be quite selfish and uncaring about people's feelings.
Love to Vesey seems to be a game and Harriet seems to be seeking her perfect love.
Harriet was at a low point in her life when her Mother passed away and Charles was always there for her."


I agree, in both cases, about Vesey' selfishness and Charles' availability.


message 14: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Canadian wrote: "Taylor also raises intesting questions about love and marriage. We may well love someone, but love alone is not a foundation for happiness or satisfaction—neither is mutual understanding for that matter. I don’t think anyone believes Harriet and Vesey could ever have made a go of it. The failings in each of their characters would have made it impossible."

Yes, sad but true.


message 15: by Mela (new)

Mela (melabooks) | 29 comments Canadian wrote: "I felt Taylor was also exploring questions of parenting here, too. It’s a rich novel."

I think she was exploring many issues in her novels. Her stories weren't just stories. I think, her stories were only the way to tell what she thought about many topics.


message 16: by Rosemary (new)

Rosemary I enjoyed this one. I thought it showed a definite progression in Elizabeth Taylor's style and more cohesion than some of her earlier books.

I found both Harriet and Vesey frustrating characters to read about. Vesey perhaps had an excuse, at least when he was young, in that his mother didn't prepare him well for life. The word that springs to mind for him is "entitled," while Harriet seems unable to let go of her childhood hero-worship and see him clearly.

The selfish Julia seemed very well drawn as a character - I probably enjoyed her scenes most of all, there was so much humour in them!


message 17: by Paul (new)

Paul (booksdofurnisharoom) | 12 comments I appreciated the humour and the nuance, but I didn't connect with this one as much as I did with the others


message 18: by Karen (new)

Karen | 211 comments Mod
Paul wrote: "I appreciated the humour and the nuance, but I didn't connect with this one as much as I did with the others"
Happy New Year all !
Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Canadian, Mela, Rosemary and Paul. I hope you can join in reading 'The Sleeping Beauty' this month too.


message 19: by carissa (new)

carissa I found this a good read, but sort of disjointed. Not my favorite of those we've read so far, but still a good read.
I really think Taylor captured how unpredictable attraction can be and how dangerous culturally created romantic expectations are.
I thought of A Room with a View while reading this, especially the afterword Forster wrote, as a kind of counter-story.


message 20: by Canadian Reader (new)

Canadian Reader carissa wrote: "I found this a good read, but sort of disjointed. Not my favorite of those we've read so far, but still a good read.
I really think Taylor captured how unpredictable attraction can be and how dange..."


Hi Carissa,

I’m interested in your stating that you found the book disjointed. I wonder if you might explain.

It’s a long while since I read A Room with a View, and I’d like to more about the similarity you see between the two books.


message 21: by carissa (new)

carissa Canadian wrote: "It’s a long while since I read A Room with a View, and I’d like to more about the similarity you see between the two books. ..."

I kept equating Charles with Cecil, Vesey with George and Harriet with Lucy. Their mannerisms felt familiar and my mind landed on RWAV. I remember the first time I read RWAV and thinking that it wasn't much like real life. I was glad the second time I read it that the added after-story was included, that felt truer...as does this book.

The disjointedness, I think, was mostly down to each new section (*) often starting with a new characters thoughts/actions, but the character not being identified at first. For this type of pretty straight-forward storytelling, it felt off for me as a reader.


message 22: by Canadian Reader (new)

Canadian Reader carissa wrote: "Canadian wrote: "It’s a long while since I read A Room with a View, and I’d like to more about the similarity you see between the two books. ..."

I kept equating Charles with Cecil, Vesey with Geo..."

Thanks for clarifying! Your comment about the disjointed ness now makes sense. I think I’ll have to look at RWAV again to fully appreciate the parallels you detected. I find it fascinating and enriching when one book aids in understanding another.


Elizabeth (Alaska) carissa wrote: "The disjointedness, I think, was mostly down to each new section (*) often starting with a new characters thoughts/actions, but the character not being identified at first. For this type of pretty straight-forward storytelling, it felt off for me as a reader. "

This is Taylor's style and she uses it in all of her novels I have read so far.


message 24: by carissa (new)

carissa Elizabeth (Alaska) wrote: "This is Taylor's style and she uses it in all of her novels I have read so far...

Agreed. I think it felt more disjointed in this book because her writing is so much better, so it stands out more.


Elizabeth (Alaska) I am reading The Cazalet Chronicles by Elizabeth Jane Howard and she often does this also - starting off telling some of the story and the reader not being certain whose point of view or who else might be in the scene.


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Books mentioned in this topic

A Room with a View (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Elizabeth Jane Howard (other topics)