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Old 10-09-2018, 03:12 AM   #19
gmw
cacoethes scribendi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darryl View Post
[...] Was the ending in fact a happy one? Carol had effectively chosen Therese over her daughter. This of course is what Therese wanted. Though I doubt it was much of a choice to make anyway. By that stage Carol's contact with her daughter was at the discretion of her ex-husband and his family, subject to her complete obedience to their wishes and unlikely to be more than minimal. She was never going to play any more than a peripheral role in her daughter's life. So her choice perhaps did not have the significance which Therese attached to it.
Well, "happy" is always in the eye of the beholder. To me there was an unexpected mature reality to the conclusion - something you don't see all that often in romantic fiction. Carol and Therese separated, sorted out their lives on their own terms, and only then did they come back together to see if they could make a go of it. I really liked that about the book, that their coming together at the end was a matter of choice - real choice because each of the women had realistic alternatives that had not existed in the same way earlier.

I think Carol came to the realisation that Harge was exerting his power, and would do so on any grounds - Carol's relationship with another woman was just the current case in point, it might equally well have been a relationship with another man. So she chose to stand by her own principles as far as she was able while still allowing some connection with her daughter.

Therese had taken the time (had been forced to) to see more of the world and more of the opportunities she had in front of her. The Therese that faces Carol at the end is not the girl awed by Carol at the start; Therese is now someone with a better idea of her own worth. She might need more time for that to settle in, but at least she is starting from a place closer to equality ... indeed, in those final moments the "eager greeting that Therese had never seen before" seemed, to me, a signal of Carol showing her need in a way that only Therese had ever admitted before.

Last edited by gmw; 10-09-2018 at 08:02 AM. Reason: typo - rather belatedly spotted
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