DUCKS reading support group discussion

Ducks, Newburyport
This topic is about Ducks, Newburyport
Week 2, Day 4 - loc 7893, p483UK/p473US (ish)

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Angel (last edited Jul 25, 2020 04:09AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angel Belsey (angelbelsey) | 119 comments Mod
Stopping at "the fact that what's kind of funny is how, the whole time Ronny was here, I was trying to talk to him over James Mason, hoping Ronny wouldn't notice Bigger Than Life was on, in case he thought I was just sitting around watching TV, or it led to a big discussion of Hollywood, and all his favorite actors and action movies, and anything else that occurred to him," (which is preceded by quite a lot about Ronny, actually).

Angel Belsey (angelbelsey) | 119 comments Mod
I’m calling this section “afternoon dainties for Republicans.”

A personal note right here at the beginning: It’s a Wonderful Life is one of my favorite films of all time. I’ve seen it countless times and can quote it extensively. I feel that Christmas isn’t really Christmas without a viewing of it at least once—but my husband and children will not watch it. Last year I had good luck getting the kids into Home Alone (which they loved) and we went to visit the A Christmas Story house in Ohio, so I think maybe we will try that one again this year. Maybe next year I can get them into It’s A Wonderful Life, ahead of an eventual introduction to George C Scott as Scrooge (though the Muppets can do for now).

In this part, Narrator seems to start off reading a recipe book trying to figure out what to do for dinner. I can’t work out which cookbook Leo gave her, but I do know Fanny Cradock has a recipe for emergency aspic, which I have shared in the Recipes thread.

(Quick lion update: the baby lions are getting porcupine for dinner.)

It’s funny how Narrator says they fast-forward through all the “nun stuff” in The Sound of Music. I do love The Sound of Music, but I have a blu-ray that specifically lets you play JUST the music bits, which is how I introduced the children to the film when they were too small to be interested in the story.

SO MUCH thinking about musicals and actors and actresses and storylines and then yet another assertion that “I don’t really like these musicals” YES YOU DOOOO

It seems that Narrator has a bit of a personal itch, which nags her throughout this, and she reckons she can discuss it with her gynecologist on Tuesday when she has her Pap smear. This later leads her to think about a particularly horrible bit of police brutality.

She’s also just been intimidated by two teenage boys on bikes while she was walking alone. She has the totally misguided idea that she would be been like a total mother bear (mother lion?) if they had tried that when Jake was there. I really don’t think she would have kicked the boys over, but she seems to think so.

Looking through the freezer (presumably still trying to figure out what to make for dinner) we get a picture of what’s already there. Holy macaroni, they’ve got food for months!—as well as Ben’s water samples and things that need the wax cleared off them, etc.

Making four cakes, 80 cinnamon rolls, and six pies, she thinks how it’s (unfair? interesting?) that making food for people and motherhood are both highly pressured, skilled, responsible work, but nobody seems to notice, they just take it for granted that food will be safe and kids will too. This is an interesting point in the current environment, and Esther Walker (Coren) wrote a blog post about this very issue just a few days ago, the gist of which is: mothers specifically are taking on far too much thanks to COVID-19, and nobody has noticed, and nobody is advocating for them.

Despite all this work, which she recognizes as work, she still feels like a failure, and feels that Leo is going to tell her off for being idle, which she obviously isn’t. It’s all down to Narrator’s daddy issues, of course—and she comes close to recognizing that too.

In the second lion interlude, the cubs are getting bigger, hunting for meat, exploring, but still too little to survive without their mother—and we learn that she is now never alone. I feel you, lion lady.

There’s also a lot about Stacy, and how hard it is having an adolescent girl in the house, and how that relates to violent action movies and horror films. I like Leo’s theory that there always has to be a teenage girl in an action film, the modern version of a helpless woman tied to the railroad tracks.

Toward the end of the section: RONNY IS HERE! Oh man, Narrator is so annoyed; she’s not in the mood to see anyone because she’s in the middle of her pie baking and she’s sweaty and covered in flour. She’s absolutely NOT inviting him in, yet he keeps yakking on. Saved by the bell, though: her pie timer goes off. He’s a real pest, Ronny, laughing at her floury face and talking too much and never taking the hint.

She feels guilty for not wanting to spend time with him, but 1. She doesn’t like him 2. She is busy 3. He says stupid shit. I hope she never gives him a cup of coffee. She needs one of those doorbells where you can see who is at the door before deciding whether to let on that you’re at home.

Homework: Make an emergency aspic, but only if you have an actual emergency. Let us know how it helped.

Rory Wilson | 13 comments Mod
I too love Its A Wonderful Life and watch it every year.
It's interesting that she keeps going back to the image of Mary as an "old maid" too

message 4: by Lee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lee Razer (lelandrazer) | 27 comments Angel wrote: "I’m calling this section “afternoon dainties for Republicans."

Are you familiar with the “Arkansas sin” that gets a mention? I’d never heard of such a dish and had to google it.

Thoughts I had reading this section: I wonder how much money she does make with this pie selling business. She thinks about being alone and vulnerable and there was all that focus on the self-defense seventies book, is this foreshadowing? Oh, a Marie Kondo bit, that definitely had to be in here somewhere.

back to top