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I Wish Someone Were Waiting for Me Somewhere
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(last edited Oct 29, 2012 07:09AM)
Sep 01, 2011 09:17PM
I am in a local book club and my choice is the next book we will read. I have chosen Gavalda's collection of short stories. After much research online I have found nothing for any type of questions or discussion topics. I hope that goodread's members can help me out. I have only written these so far for the first story. I would love some opinions or even questions!
The Courting Ritual:
Why do you believe that Gavalda addresses the reader directly? Does this draw the reader in more as if this is a conversation between friends?
The reader mentions Baudelaire only to dismiss him later. She also alludes to St. Sebestian and feeling his arrows in her back. Considering St. Sebastian was crucified by being strapped to a post then killed by having arrows shot into him, is the narrator possibly foreshadowing a negative outcome of her story? Or merely the actions of a whimsical character easily persuaded to other thoughts?
"Someone at the threshold of a love story..." Is this author poking fun at herself? Or does she give the hint of not liking traditional love stories?
Do you believe the narrator to be truly observant or is this just the author telling the story through her narrator?
The title leads the reader to believe this action takes place on this street frequently. Or is this a hint to the man or woman's recurring behavior? Do you believe this? Why? Is the narrator simply giving this title as an excuse for her actions?
Do think this statement is true: Gavalda sets up this story such that the character's fate can be decided in a single moment.
"The sorbets were,how should I put it...delicious." Is this because the restaurant is really that good or for another reason?
When the narrator states, "I know that at that moment,he doesn’t know where he lives anymore" is she being presumptuous? Is she accurate?
What does it say about the narrator's quick decision to change her mind in the end after all this courting? Do you think the man has any idea? Are her feelings justified? How?
When she refers to hating her pride, is this really because she needed an excuse to pass on her one night stand?
Is the narrator angry simply because the man peeked at his cell phone or because of what that action connotes, for instance a man would look at his cell phone to see who called if it were another woman calling. She says 'traitor" when he does this. To whom is he a traitor? Is it just because he looked at the phone? Or because she understands why he looked at it.
She says "I hate cell phones,I hate Sagan, I hate Baudelaire and all those charlatans." Why are they charlatans to her? Is it because, like in Baudelaire's poems, she is lead to believe in romantic rendezvous that she feels she missed out on.
I get the impression this man and woman are familiar with one another. Perhaps they meet often for one-night stands or casual dates. Does she feel his is a traitor because by checking his cell phone she feels he is having the same thing with other women?
How resilient do you think the woman is?
What advice would you give her?
How do you relate to her character? Females- (whether or not you have children), how do you relate to the emotions she goes through in the story? Males- do you find you relate to her and in what ways?
When the doctor realizes her fetus is no longer alive, she says that she understands too, but still asks what is going on. Do you think she knew this before the appointment, in the same way she knew she was pregnant before she took the pregnancy test?
Do you think she is maintaining composure, as the doctor says, or is she in shock from what she just went through?
Did you expect the story’s ending? What did you think the story was really about as you read it?
In the beginning, the narrator says "They're nuts, these women who want a baby. Nuts." Who is speaking here? Is Gavalda giving us insight into the thoughts of the subject in this story?
The woman in the story talks more of her son and less of her pregnancy. Does this connote that she is uninterested in the pregnancy because she already has her Little Lord Fauntleroy, as she calls her son?
Does the mother's apparent disinterest in the pregnancy connote that she is truly disinterested or that she is less anxious than a first time mother and therefore less interested in reading her pregnancy book, for example?
The woman in the story explains how important the wedding is to her because her little boy is the ring bearer. Is she putting the wedding, and her first born son, before her current pregnancy?
When the woman says "For the first one, she'd wanted to know, it's true. But this time, she really couldn't care less if it's a boy or a girl. Really." is the gender of the baby actually what the woman is referring to or is there more in that statement?
The woman says her husband is "fixing up a little bedroom in the space they used for a laundry room." Is this telling the reader that the woman and her husband are not financially prepared for another child? Could this be a reason the woman seems less emotionally distraught than one would expect when she learns her pregnancy is terminated?
The woman is talking about going to her six-month exam and says, "What a drag." Why is it a drag to her? She also seems more interested in making bouquets than going to the doctor to learn the progress of her baby. Why do you think this is?
Why do you think the woman waits for her appointment when she hasn't felt the baby moving instead of calling her doctor before the appointment?
When the woman learns that the pregnancy is terminated, do you think her reaction is of shock or of apathy? She states that she cried in the car and then that was it. Does this seem like a typical reaction to the loss of a six month pregnancy?
Why do you think the woman still goes to the wedding when she knows her pregnancy is terminated and that she is carrying a fetus that is no longer alive? Why do you think she is more concerned about spoiling the wedding?
When many women would be devastated by the loss of a pregnancy, especially six months along, does this woman seem detached?
This Man and This Woman:
Why does he state the price of the car and then balk at the registration and the taxes?
If everything is so nouveau riche, why don't they notice it?
The author repeats herself, obviously, about the man's socks. What is so obvious about them?
The man refers back to the wiper fluid. what bothers him so about it? Is the price of the car driving him to annoyance? Or is it really all his other thoughts?
When the author states, " She’s pretty, but in her face you can see all the things she’s given up on in life" how does this convey her appearance?
"She’s in the dead man’s seat." is the author sympathizing with the man in this comment?
Why do you believe long drives to be so pensive even when there is a passenger in the car with you?
Why does the author tell you about the radio station?
How could the ride have been different?
Do you think Gavalda was insinuating these people were Americans? Because it just seemed like she was describing the stereotypical ideas the French have about us.
The Opel Touch:
The theme is beginning with the author / narrator speaking directly to the reader. What about the question she asks, "What,no shit?You don’t know the rue Eugène-Gonon? Hold on,are you kidding me?" Do you feel that this is more of a conversation than a story?
When the narrator of the story says she is wiped out studying for a career she doesn't want, why is she studying for that career? Is it for the same reason she states she keeps a job she doesn't like or want? Because it pays more than other jobs and she knows that career will make more money than other careers?
Why has she tried to quit smoking and so nonchalant about actually quitting? Why mention it all?
What do you think about the author playing your role as a reader and responding to the narrator with "..." ? Would that be your answer in this case?
When the narrator asks, " You can't see that? Yeah I wonder what's wrong with you?" to the reader, have you already guessed she was jealous? What gives the impression?
The narrator refers to herself as a comic book character. Why do you think that is?
When the narrator states "The vulgarity of the heart, that's an inexpressible thing." to what is she referring? Is she referring to her manager, or is she in reality alluding to her own heart that she later states is empty?
Do you think the narrator really wants love, as she states, or does she just seem like she needs to be rescued from boredom with her life and she feels love will do that?
Why is she a bundle of nerves at Milton's? What is she really doing there?
Is the narrator jealous of her high school friend when the friend tells her about having been in California? Why do you think that is?
When the narrator says her heart is empty, do you think she means because of a lack of a love interest or because of more than that?
She wasn't going to sell the photos, they were just for her. what was she going to do with them?
Do you feel this is accurate to how the celebrity of music has become?
What role does his addiction play in this story? If none why mention it at all?
"The ceiling is flaking off oh-so-gently." Hasn't everyone experienced something like this at one point in their life?
What about Amber makes him take notice? He could have any girl why her? Why do you think she wanted him back?
Was the party so good because of the heightened senses and more aware of his surroundings when she was near?
What did you expect her pictures to be?
Which of Amber's photographic images the most vivid for you in this story?
Is the narrator's comparison to his brother his own doing or have family and the outside world has convinced him of this?
Knowing that Gavalda is a French author and many stories take place in and around Paris, does this make the city of love lose its sheen?
What is the role of the author in literature?
Each is written in a different persona, and each full of richly observed humanity, with a nice blend of comedy and tragedy.
And at times, these stories may lead you to think more deeply about your own past, your secrets and fears.
To sit down and read a book based purely on life takes maturity and an understanding beyond all that you know and believe. Perhaps it is time for many of you readers out there --- secrets, fears and all --- to delve deep into your soul and look beyond your circle of life to learn about the reality of those around you.}
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