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| Dove In the Window, Chapters 1-9|
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Location: New England
Jess, I hope you do not mind that I have not waited for you to start these threads.
This is one of my favorite Benni Harper mysteries.
On page 152-153 near the end of Chapter 9, Issac states,
"We childess people are a special group, whether it's by choice or not. We love intensely, because when we do we can focus on one person. But we at times can also feel an incredible lonliness that no one with children will ever truly understand."
This is an important point which Fowler makes, and she has made a similar one before about Benni and her marriage to Jack and her subsequent loss at his death. Benni has married Gabe and although he has a son, together they do not have children.
I think this part of Benni's character is semi-autobiogrphical in detail. The author lets us know on her website and in her biographical notes that she and her husband do not have children.
Many of us here on the forum have children, but some do not. I think it would be interesting to discuss this and give our various thoughts and insights.
When I read this, the first thing that comes to my mind is that ... Hmmm ... that may be true and it is something I have never given all that much thought to although I married in my late twenties and my DH and I at that point in our lives considered that we might never marry or have children. Then I had two miscarriages before our DS1 was born. For a time it looked as if we might not have children.
Since I have children I have a different take on this statement completely ...
People who have children love with an intensity that no one who has never held their child between them can ever comprehend. I think that people who never have children can never truly appreciate the lonliness and separation of self that those of us who have children experience as they grow and make their own place in the world.
It is all relative to personal experience ... the "walk a mile in my shoes" type of thing.
I really do applaud this author for her ability to develop her characters so well and being able to open our eyes to an experience that we have never had.
What do you all think when you read this book?
Location: Far Northern California
I enjoyed this book a lot too Pat....see "MOM" (Connie) I DID get caught up! LOL....
I dont think anyone who has had children can really understand what it is like to not be able to have any. I like how Earlene makes you think about this. She shows a little bit of what it's like. My younger sister is 34 and is still not married and still doesn't have children. Although I know she would love to. She loves very intensly! Although whether this will change if she is blessed with children or not, I don't know. But I can understand Earlenes thoughts and reasons for loving intensly.
And I think you are right about those that have children also. Loving your child is such a different, intense love from loving a spouse or family member.
I can see why this is a favorite book of the series for many of us. It shows a lot of insight into Benni, with all her feelings of a man coming into Dove's life. It also shows how Gabe is changing and realizing that he can't change Benni and make her less curious. So he is starting to accept that in her.
A very warm and insightful book.
Location: Central Texas
You raise several good points Pat. I never imagined how intense the love for a child could be, until I had Sammy. The longer I am a parent, the less I know about it too. Except, I know I know more than I knew before I had kids, though I thought I knew a lot back then!! Wow, that is a bit confusing.
My first child is still very young, as you all know, so I can't say much about how I will feel when he starts to go out on his own. I can only say that I try to avoid thinking about that.
Billy and I are friends with a couple that does not have children yet, although they are the same age as we are and have been married a bit longer. They are working on their business and building careers. The last time they visited, the wife told me that they were looking into adopting a foster child. Wow, I thought! What a wonderful thing. Then she told me why she wanted to adopt a foster child. Her reasons were not those idealistic, altruistic virtues of adopting a child in need. She is scared of pregnancy, especially of giving birth. She is terrified of genetic disabilities and all of the things that can go wrong. She doesn't want to have to deal with the uncertainty of it all, wants to know up front the condition of the child. Then there was also the monetary assistance that comes with adopting foster children - don't get me wrong, they are not a greedy family and are certainly VERY successful financially. She just sees the logic in the assistance for those who adopt foster children. They have some friends who adopted a foster child and it went very well. She sees that they are happy, and is eager to hide from the uncertainties of having your own biological children.
I feel sorry for her because I think she sees the drawbacks of unknown outcomes. I wonder if she would still adopt a foster child if she was pregnant with the first child? Those drawbacks are so unlikely. Just as unlikely as that foster child developing a disease after they become a part of her family. Your first pregnancy is very scary, especially if you read as much about it as I did! (And I assure you, she probably already has.) At the same time, I know that the child they get will have a wonderful home, and will absolutely be loved as much as a biological child would have been. I hope she does it for the right reasons, and not for reasons she will come to regret one day. Sorry, does it seem like I have gone off on a tangent?
My point is, until you have the first one, what you thought you knew before having a child is no longer real. Once you have a child, you change your ideas. Not to say everything non-parents think is wrong - certainly it is true for them. But once they have children they become part of a different club and those previous realities dissapear.
I agree with you Pat, I love the insight into the thoughts of a childless adult. Since I am part of the other club now, I can't see that very well on my own.
Sorry if this doesn't make sense, I don't have time to proofread. Time to wake up the boys!
P.S. Pat, feel free to start threads on any chapters for any of the books. I think it was a mistake to try and wait for each month to start that month's threads. Some folks read ahead anyway, and should have a place to put their thoughts as they read. If I had all the books I would start the threads now. Anyone else is welcome to go ahead and start them!
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