Monday, January 9, 2012

I'd Rather Be Reading - Sugar Queen #1

Welcome to the first "I'd Rather be Reading" Book Club with Jess and Mia! We hope you are enjoying Sugar Queen so far! You will find the link up below. If you are not a blogger, go ahead and leave a comment with your answers below the link up. We'd love for everyone to join!

  • What are your initial thoughts of the book so far?
           Alright I will admit. I wasn't quite sure about this book at first. Especially these first three      chapters. Kind of strange. Kind of odd. A little slow. But trust me, keep reading! I may just be a sucker for a cute love story, but I got hooked!
  • Discuss and compare Josey's relationship with her mother and her father. Why do you think Josey decided to stay and take care of her mother? Do you think it was because of the fits she threw or do you think that there are other reasons?
          Josey adores her father. It may be because he no longer exists, that she wants to remember him as an honorable man. Josey caters to her mother in every sense of the word, but not out of admiration. It is almost like she feels it is her only duty in life is to serve her mother. I think Josey feels guilty if she left, but her mother adds to that guilt. She may be old enough to realize that the fits were tiresome to her mother and unnecessary and now that her mother is in pain and immobile, this is her one way to make it up to her.
  • Discuss Josey's relationship with food. Why doe she hide this candy in her closet?
          I think Josey hides candy in her closet because it is the one thing that makes her happy. She doesn't want to show the outside world, especially her mother, that she is happy doing anything. I also think she believes her mother would look down upon her for eating anything not "approved" and this is one thing Josey has become good at hiding.
  • Why do you think Josey's mom doesn't want Josey to feel pretty? For example, taking the red sweater off when it looks pretty on her.
           I think Josey's mom is afraid that if Josey feels pretty she will gain confidence. Then if Josey gains confidence she may be confident enought to move on and leave her mother. I think Josey's mom resents Josey and by cutting her down it is a way the mother is trying to feel better.
  • Why do you suppose Josey was such a difficult child? What caused her to be that way?
           I think Josey was probably being a typical child, but when you are in the public eye like the Cirrini's were the disappointment was magnified. Finally, it was probably Josey's way of not conforming to her mother's wishes.

Thanks everyone! We will have questions for Chapters 4-7 posted this Saturday. See you next week for Sugar Queen's #2 link-up!


Mia Maree said...

Answers from T Whiting:
1. I felt an immediate connection with the book. I think it is probably because I have had some “food” issues in my past. I empathize with Josey’s relationship with food. To be honest, I have finished the book already. It was hard for me to stop reading it, so I am going to be very careful as I answer these questions each week so that I don’t give anything away for those of you who haven’t yet finished it.
2. Josey looked up to her father. He was her hero. Her relationship with her mother is so complex. I think Josey was kept in such a sheltered life growing up, that she was afraid to leave. She didn’t know any different, and she still needs her mother’s approval. She obviously can’t get that emotionally, so the only way to get anything resembling approval is to drive her to her appts and take care of her. Live her life just as her mother tells her to.
3. I believe that Josey eats to have some control in her small life. Her food stash is the one thing she has in her life that is her own. Food gives her comfort; it gives her an escape from her mother and her smothering nature and high expectations. Eating the junk food is a way to rebel against her mother.
4. I think Josey’s mother is scared that if Josey gets too confident in herself or independent, then she will leave her. I think that her mother felt trapped in her marriage and life to this powerful man and wants to keep Josey just as trapped. If Josey would break out, then her mother would be envious of that. Leaving was something she never was able to do.
5. I am not sure why Josey was such a difficult child. If her mother acted as critical and uncaring as she does now, then I wonder if Josey was playing off of that. Children sense things so well, and if her mother wasn’t giving any time or affection, it could have been a way to get her mother’s attention—even negative attention.
I just browsed my Nook library, and I have been wanting to read The Postmistress by Sarah Blake for a long time. That is my February recommendation.

Mia Maree said...

Answers from Gina Pospichal:
1. At first I thought, "This is going to be a long read" because the idea of a stranger hiding in someone's closet sounded a bit too fantastic for my taste. With that being said, I was soon enthralled by the book and found myself unable to put it down.
2. It is obvious that Josey idolizes her father (who I'm sure has tragic flaws) and has a caustic relationship with her mother. I believe that she stays with her mother because she feels guilty for her behavior. But I also think she stays because her mother epitomizes the traditional southern matriarch and, being the only child, it is expected of Josey to fulfill the role of caretaker.
3. Food provides Josey comfort. It is the only thing that she feels she has control over. In my opinion she eats because this is a way to secretly undermine her mother and her expectations.
4. Josey's mother is an egomaniac. She will always consider herself a desired Southern belle. She doesn't want Josey to look attractive because it may take the focus off of her.
5. I think Josey's behavior as a child is a perfect example of the belief that negative attention often gains more of a reaction than positive attention. Her outbursts warranted a reaction from her mother, but it also caused her mother to send her on drives with her father. Josey relished these drives. Ultimately the fits were a way of getting to spend time with her father.

My recommendation: Sarah's Key.

Amanda said...

When I began to read this book I instantly felt connected to it. I have lived this life. Minus the girl in the closet, the tantrums and hidden snack (thankfully I was never this bad). It as if my life was being described. The overprotective mother who tries to keep her daughter down, the oh so wonderful comfort of food, never ending search for approval from her mother, the hiding and sneaking around, all of this I have done.
Josey’s relationship with her father was much better than that with her mother. As was stated in the book, she did not see her father much so when she was able to be with him she really enjoyed this time. It was also time away from her mother which I am sure was a nice break. I think she may have thrown the fits because she wanted her dad around and didn’t understand why he could not be around so she took out her frustrations the only way she knew how. Her mother is very difficult to please and does not seem to give her much positive attention. She knew that if she acted out she would get some sort of response from her mother which is the attention she was longing for even if it was negative attention.
Josey stays to take care of her mother because she wants her mothers approval. She really loves her mother and she knows that it will hurt her mother emotionally if she was to leave. She knows that her mother will be angry, which is hard to deal with when you seek approval. I know from experience the challenges a mother like this brings. You are a perfect daughter until you step out of her invisible line and then you are the worst thing that has ever been born.
Josey feel empty inside. Her never ending search for approval from her mom, the death of her father, still living and breathing only for her mother, not able to do anything for herself, her longing for Adam and her insecurities all these things leave an empty feeling in the pit of her stomach that only her delicious snacks help fill. It is the only thing she can control and it makes her feel so good. She hides the snacks in the closet because she knows that her mother will not approve. She feels ashamed to eat in front of other people because she knows that it is the contributing factor to her weight problems and that other people will think bad of her but in the end her weight takes second place to feeling of being “full and satisfied”. I know this feeling all too well being a voluptuous (or as I like to call my figure) woman I know the feeling of these insecurities. I have used food to fill the empty spaces. Thankfully I have moved away from this behavior but when life gets hard I always turn to the one thing that has never let me down, my good friend, Chocolate peanut butter ice cream.
Josey’s mom is very self-centered. Her husband was never around and didn’t show her much love. She knows that her daughter loves her and she also knows that Josey is all that she has left. She does not want her daughter to look attractive or feel good about herself because she fears that others will take interest in her or that she will get the confidence to live and do things on her own. Josey’s mother does not want to be alone, she knows that Josey is attractive and that men will start to take an interest in her if she is seen in clothes that is flattering. Josey is already older and is soooo ready for a relationship, someone to comfort her and a life of her own. I write with so much confidence about these topics because I know Josey… I was Josey at one point in my life. Unhappy! I filled the void with food because at least I felt full even if it was full of food and nothing else. I maybe totally wrong about Josey but I have a feeling I know her all too well. I added a splash of personal experiences to support my thoughts. I am not really sure if we are supposed to do this during discussion. I am super excited to start reading the next chapters. I hope that Josey finds true happiness and love to fill the void, just as I have done!

February recommendation: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
by Lisa See