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Buzz Book Club: Four Blondes, Section Two

Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! Now that we've read the first two stories in Four Blondes, I gotta say this second section was better crafted than the first but these characters give Janey a run for her money in the "abhorrent" department. Still, that's good stuff to discuss, especially since they're a little less materialistic and far more pretentious.

If you're new to the Book Club, this is how it goes: every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in May). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next assignment: Read the entire third story titled "Platinum." We'll chat about this third section a week from today, Friday, May 23.

To discuss the second section of Four Blondes (in which we read to the end of the story titled "Highlights (For Adults),"

.

  1. Well, not many of you could relate to the first character, Janey last week. How do you feel about Winnie? Do you find her more relateable?
  2. Along similar lines, which do you find more able to stomach: Janey's empty materialism and blatant social climbing, or the judgmental and controlling Winnie?
  3. I personally found this story difficult to enjoy with two such miserable main characters. What was your experience of reading this section? Did you find it funny and interesting, or difficult?
  4. This section brought us not just Winnie's point of view but her husband James' as well. I sometimes found myself wishing Bushnell had focused on just one of them. What do you think of Bushnell's decision to tell the story from both perspectives?
  5. Marriage does not look appealing in this story (or at least Winnie and James' marriage doesn't)! Do you think Bushnell is using James and Winnie's marriage to say something about marriage itself?
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adw7984 adw7984 8 years
1. I cannot relate with Winnie. She seems to be almost the exact opposite of Janey, but both characters are too extreme. I do not relate to either character. 2. I don't know which is easier to stomach....I guess Winnie only because she is focused on her career. But on the other hand, I can't imagine letting my career run my life. She barely spends any time with her child and she treats her husband like a child. 3. I agree, I did not find their unhappiness funny at all. I found it really sad because it probably rings true of a lot of marriages that have two hard working spouses. 4. I think that by using two points of view it was hard for the reader to decide who to like. I would have preferred just one character for this reason. 5. I think Bushnell is portraying a marriage that probably exists more than we think. Unhappy spouses, children with full time "cleaning ladies"; it's sad but true.
VThyne VThyne 8 years
Well, I think that the author had some negative insights on marriage in this section of the book, but that is not necessarily her point of view, it's reality. I am not married, but from what I observe and what I've heard it's not all fun and games. It is hard work. And since no one can say what is going on in the marriage that is in the book, we can't judge and say that these two shouldn't be together. I would say that such unhappy people shouldn't be, but who am I to say? As far as being a controlling, work-obsessed woman, I kinda think that is a correct portrait. Of course, this is fiction and most people aren't like that. But I believe that there might be some people like that. People who work a ton, like that kind of lifestyle and are too comfortable with it to make any changes (getting out of their marriage) I did like that the author used two different points of view. It showed us that both parties were unhappy and there wasn't just one person. This showed both points of view and made it a bit more equal.
LaLa0428 LaLa0428 8 years
I must say I liked Winnie a little more than Janey, but not a whole lot. This book is starting to worry me, I feel like she is taking some serious extremes with these characters. There's no happy medium, where Janey was a complete wh***, Winnie is a tyrant. I'm not sure if she is purposely taking shots at marriage, but it sure feels like it. And James, seriously? He has to be the most whipped man ever. The side characters once again were deplorable. It wasn't a bad experience as much as it was draining, they were just so unhappy.
partysugar partysugar 8 years
Ok this doesn't answer your questions but I can't believed she took unlikeable Janey and made her into an entire book (Trading Up)...I guess it made for a great beach read though.
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