Thanks for all your comments, Bookies—I’m glad to hear that all of you are enjoying the book as much as I am. Reader Brooke brought up an interesting topic I didn’t mention in my previous post—Lily’s mother. She seems to be the complete opposite of Lily and clearly thinks that a woman’s goal in life is to be married off to a rich, successful man. In the second part of the book, we hear about Helen’s tragic situation and her awful, heartbreaking end. Do you think her mom—who encouraged Helen head off to Los Angeles alone to pursue an acting career—is partially to blame for what happens to her?
It seems that Lily learned her lesson from her first “crumb-bum husband” and makes a much wiser choice in her second husband, Jim. He appears to be the perfect match for her—intelligent, kind, resourceful, and trustworthy. In fact, Lily says that his most important quality is that she “could trust that man inside and out.” What do you think is the most important thing in a marriage—love? Trust? Common morals? Common interests? Do you think she would have married Jim Smith if she hadn’t been betrayed in her first marriage?
We also see Lily dabble with something illegal—selling bootleg booze to make ends meet. If you were in her situation, would you have done the same thing? While I admire her resourcefulness, I don’t think I would have done something against the law that could land me in jail.
Lily’s “cleaning” strategy—or lack thereof—made me laugh out loud. Do you think she goes too far in refusing to wash her family’s clothes, or do you agree with her reasoning? Obviously things are different when you’re living on a ranch, but I think wearing the same dirty shirts and jeans day after day, week after week, would be just too much for me! I do hate cleaning my apartment, though, so her one-day-every-few-months of all-out cleaning sounds really appealing.
And for those who have read The Glass Castle, we start to learn about Rosemary—Jeannette Walls’ mother—and what she was like as a little girl. Rosemary’s attitude and parenting style definitely make a lot more sense as we see what her own upbringing was like. It’s interesting that Lily, who herself was such a bold, headstrong, somewhat wild child worries about her “rambunctious” daughter. Do you think it’s just a mother’s natural inclination to worry about her children and try to steer them down the right path, or do you think she has legitimate concerns about Rosemary’s behavior? Was it necessary for Lily to turn everything into a lesson and try to “stamp out” Rosemary’s lack of focus, or do you agree with Jim that she needs to lighten up?
I’m rather sad that this book is coming to an end; for next Wednesday, we’ll finish the story (chapter 7 through the end). Share your thoughts and questions in the comments below!