Finish Chapter 1
December 4, 2020 by Claire Messud
Miss Goering is so paranoid about taking a taxi-cab (and getting into a car with a male stranger) that she’d rather go home with Arnold, also a male stranger. When I first read the novel, this logic made perfect sense to my 20 year old self.
Returning to Arnold’s flat, where he lives with his parents, Miss Goering is drawn to his father’s apparent toughness, his harsh words about Arnold and his mother. But as often happens, the bully is easily cowed: Arnold’s mother proves toughest of all.
Prompted by her “little idea of salvation” (p.29), rich Miss Goering sells her house, appalling Miss Gamelon. Arnold “mustn’t align myself too much…[with] Miss Gamelon,”(p.35) or Miss Goering will despise him; so he tells her what she wants to hear.
Chapter 2, p. 37-62 (through “The other two women looked across the street and they all watched him disappear.”)
Chapter 2, pp. 63-83 (through “Oh, I’d love to Pacifica,” said Mrs. Copperfield, running out of the room.”)
Chapter 2, pp. 83-102 (from “When Mrs. Copperfield arrived in Mrs. Quill’s room" through “Mrs. Quill was dignified and remote and did not give her the lavish thanks which she had been expecting.”)
Finish Chapter 2, pp. 102-121 (from “Early the next morning Mrs. Copperfield and Pacifica were together in Pacifica’s bedroom" through “Listen, your pal’s been out of the room two whole minutes already. She’s gone to look for Pacifica.")
Chapter 3, pp 142-158 (from “When she arrived at the tip of the island" through “something would happen to interfere with her departure.”)
Chapter 3, pp. 159-176 (from “She noticed with a faint hear” through “shortly she fell into a deep sleep.”)
Chapter 3, pp. 176-196 (from “At about five thirty on the following afternoon" through “Then all three of them politely bade good-by to Andy’s back and left the room.”)
Chapter 3, pp. 196-210 (from “Arnold’s father had been sitting in the ice-cream parlor" through “He’s never going to listen to me,” Miss Goering said to herself.")