Florence & Giles Florence & Giles question


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Can we really trust Florence's perception of events?


Florence is as reliable as it is possible for a sociopath to be. What she sees and thinks are very real to her; when we view her perceptions for ourselves we see the lack of reality....but I doubt anyone could convince Florence that it is her outlook that is skewed.


All through the novel I kept an open mind as to whether Florence was reliable or not, but once I was finished, I was convinces she was not one bit trustworthy. She wasn't knowingly calculating like Miss Taylor, but calculating in a more frightening fashion I feel - she was utterly convinced that she was totally right in what she did, not matter the many casualities - Theo, Miss Taylor and even Miss Whitaker I believe. Her almost arrogant certainty of how justified she was at the end was terrifying to me. However, I was quite unhappy with how methodical and successful her plot to defeat Miss Taylow was at the end.

Coincidentally, all the servants are gone? Somehow she physically overwhelms a very tall and very passionately driven woman who had previously pursued her doggedly through thorny undergrowth? She is suddenly willing to murder a friend as well as her enemy to achieve her ends? I'm not sure why so many neo-Victorian/Gothic horror stories feel they need such plot twists at the end. Or should I say, badly realised plot twists.


She is totally insane imagine things in her head!!
She kills three people and no one will never find out!!!I feel sorry for her brother!!


Jennifer (last edited Feb 14, 2012 12:01PM ) Feb 14, 2012 12:01PM   0 votes
Am I alone in not liking this book? I pretty much didn't like Florence from the start, and this was not helped by her strange way with words. I struggled on but I really can't say I enjoyed it and it wasn't particularly chilling. Disappointing as I had requested this for Christmas and was looking forward to reading it.


I think isolation coupled with an extreme intelligence, hyper-imagination and fear of loss of her one companion Giles all lead to triggering some sort of mental psychosis in Florence, Miss Taylor seemed to be Giles' mother; she knew the house even in the dark and she was familiar with the "real" Florence, she knew about her reading and probably had her suspicions regarding Miss Whitaker, this would also be the reason of her hiding from the Van Hoosiers, as Mrs Van Hoosier mentioned having met the step-mother.
I think their uncle was indeed their father whom Florence dismissed as being their uncle when she saw the photo album...but i wonder did Florence cut Giles' mothers face out in a fit of rage when younger and forget about it? or did perhaps by a longshot even Miss Taylor do it ages ago in order to secure her return?

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Paigethelibrarian I agree. I also think her psychosis can be confirmed by the fact that no one else sees the supposed 'supernatural' events. If others saw the same even ...more
Apr 16, 2012 06:54PM · flag

I doubted Florence's perception of events when she suddenly acquired superhuman strength and murdered an adult. She stop at nothing to keep her and Giles together as without him she will be entirely alone and forgotten in the big house with all the ghosts. Of course does Giles even exist? An interesting book with more than a hint of The Turn of the Screw about it.


Sally wrote: "Is Florence right in thinking Miss Taylor was Miss Whitaker? Was Giles ever actually in danger? Did Miss Taylor really walk on water and see through the mirror? Was her uncle actually her father? O..."

Well yeah to all your questions. It all seems strange to me when Florence is the only one with the issues but also the choices she makes at the end. I think Florence is deeply disturbed myself. Just can't put my fingers on the right words.

F 25x33
Carole Tyrrell do you think she's become psychotic due to being alone all the time? ...more
Feb 14, 2012 01:39PM · flag

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