Monday, August 30, 2010

Bookend Bloggers...The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes...

If you're familiar with Erin, the Blue-Eyed Bride, you'll already know about Book Beginnings and Bookends. She and another blogger have started an online bookclub and I am EXCITED. I have always wanted to belong to a bookclub, but have never had the chance.

This week’s reading was Chapters 21-35. To see my views on Chapters 1-10 click here and for Chapters 11-20 click here. Because there is SO much, I'm going to bullet point a few major things that I just don't want to elaborate on.

I feel like CeeCee/Eve is at a real turning point at this part of the story. She's coming around to seeing what a real jerk Tim was, she's started working as a waitress at a diner, and things just seem to be looking up.

One day, she gets home from work and finds a newspaper in the trashcan. There's an article on the front page that says "Gleason's Girlfriend Commits Suicide." CeeCee is confused because she thought she was Tim Gleason's girlfriend. This woman was Elizabeth Jones and she overdosed. Her roommate "...said that Jones had been distraught lately. 'The cops were hounding her and she couldn't take it anymore....She didn't want to be involved in that whole mess, anyway, and now she was getting dragged into it. Plus she missed Tim and was afraid she'd never see him again.'" CeeCee puts two-and-two together and realizes the girl was introduced to her once by Tim as "Bets." She'd met her at a diner when she thought she and Tim were on a date. Marian tries to convince CeeCee/Eve, once again, that Tim was just using her for the plot to kidnap the governor's wife.

CeeCee/Eve begins school again.

Cory begins to get cash in the mail from an anonymous person. Tim?

At the playground with a group of women, CeeCee/Eve learns that Tim's sister has been executed. During the conversation, she also learns that the sister was not raped by a photographer like Tim had told her. Instead, she'd broken into the home of a female photographer and killed both the woman and her daughter for money for drugs. She also comes to the realization that she was a pawn in his game - especially when it came to Bets. "Maybe Tim had taken CeeCee there to show Bets how little a threat she was - a young girl still wearing Alice in Wonderland hair down to her butt. She imagined Tim saying to Bets, We'll get her to babysit the governor's old lady so you don't have to get involved. He'd probably kissed her then. She's dispensable, babe, he would have added. You're not."

On her 21st birthday, Marian takes CeeCee/Eve to a play and she meets Jack Elliott, an actor. The two begin dating. He meets her little girl and somehow wins her over! Cory has become very clingy, quiet, and shy and doesn't do well with new people. Jack, however, gets her to like him. CeeCee/Eve explains the absence of Cory's father by saying he was killed in a motorcycle accident. Jack comments that CeeCee/Eve coddles Cory and while she agrees, she can't decide how to change that because of their special bond.

Jack asks CeeCee/Eve to marry him. They move into a small rental house and Jack teaches high school drama. Cory begins elementary school and CeeCee/Eve is told that she doesn't fit in. She doesn't make any effort to make friends and she acts frightened of everything. Jack suggests that adding to their family would help Cory. CeeCee/Eve knows that if she gets pregnant it will be obvious to the doctor that she's never had a baby before and she's not sure how she'd explain that. She becomes pregnant anyway and she comes up with excuses to keep Jack away from her doctor's appointments. Dru Bailey Elliott is born on Cory's seventh birthday.

CeeCee/Eve finds a magazine (we've progressed about 4 years now) one evening that features the former governor and his daughter on the cover. The daughter is a dead ringer for Cory. They're residing now in Charlottesville and CeeCee/Eve is panicked that they might one day cross paths. She feels sorry that Cory hasn't been able to live the life that her real sister has lived.

They've decided to send Cory to a private school for her newest school year (she's about 12?). I can't help but wonder if she might cross paths with the governor's daughter at this school.

Discussion Questions:

1. Do you think Tim is the one sending the money?
Yes, but only because I can't figure out who else would be. Marty? Naomi and Forest? I'm baffled by it. I still don't like Tim. I keep thinking back to the beginning of the book where CeeCee/Eve is on the news and about to tell the truth. Why??? Why would she do that? She's going to take the blame for ALL of it.

2. So far, there's been a lot of discussion on CeeCee/Eve and her choices. What choice(s) would you make differently from her?
I think she's making decent choices now. I think the choice she should've made differently would have been to NOT HELP AT ALL or to GO TO THE POLICE. Sheesh!

3. What do you like about Jack? Are there things about him that you don't like?
I think he balances CeeCee/Eve. He gives her what she needs. He doesn't sit well with me for some reason and I don't know why. Maybe because I wouldn't have trusted anyone in her shoes. I wouldn't have gotten married or even begun to date him.

4. What are the differences between CeeCee/Eve's relationship with Tim and Eve's relationship with Jack?
CeeCee/Eve was all about Tim. She's not that way with Jack. I think it's obvious that she loves him, but not the same way. Maybe it's the difference in maturity. We know Tim was all about himself and Jack is much more caring.

5. Do you think Eve is to blame for Cory's fears? What could she do, specifically, to help Cory feel less like an outsider?
I think she's absolutely to blame, but I understand why she's held her close. I do think that a piece of Cory will always feel like an outsider. I think that subconsciously, she knows she's not one of them.

6. Do you think Eve appropriately answered Cory's questions about her father? Do you think Cory will question her father more as she grows older?
How can you appropriately handle that lie? I think Cory will always wonder.


Kristen said...

I loved reading your take on this section. The part where Eve imagines the conversation between Tim & Bets just makes me hate him so much more.. Ugh.. he's such a jerk. I keep thinking about the beginning of the book and how Eve comes forward during Tim's trial also -- why in the world would she do this? Does she do it for Cory's sake?? For her own?? I just think it's going to be a disaster...

Beth said...

Agree with your assessment on Jack....something about him.

Melissa said...

I don't know how she ever married Jack either! I can't imagine keeping those secrets from someone you love so much.

Rachel said...

I am totally wondering the same thing about Cory at that private school. It would be crazy if she met her "sister"!!