have to admit that I hard a difficult time getting through this book during a
difficult time in my life. I thought it would be a fun and easy read,
instead I found myself all kinds of irritated with Arianna, her parents, and
Rachael throughout. Quite a lot of Arianna's struggles mirror my own in
some way and it proved to be triggering. I look forward to
re-reading the book when I'm in a better head space.
further ado: The three questions I'm answering.
1. After Arianna is initially rejected by
Francesca, she wrestles with the idea of telling her co-worker and friend,
Rachel, about it. But then she confesses to herself that by revealing the
criticism she may also be revealing a weakness about herself.
"But if I tell Rachel about that conversation, then I'll
also have to admit that I don't have a clue, and that maybe, just maybe, I
believe that there's some truth in Francesca's fears."
The first thought that came to my mind was: IMPOSTER SYNDROME.
Is this unique to women? Have any others in this book group felt this way?
Here’s my personal take on
this question. I definitely have the imposter syndrome due mostly to being
raised by a narcissist. Everything I have accomplished to the present feels
like random luck that no one has figured out that I’m not that great. I still
get this feeling even though in the depths of a really shitty year, I got the
best performance review of my career. It’s a weird place to live, and I can completely
identify with Arianna and the downward spiral that accompanies any rejection
(real or perceived). I don’t know that
this is unique to women, but maybe women are more affected depending on how
they are raised. When you are raised in
a family that demands nothing less than perfection, it’s too easy to view any
type of rejection as a personal attack. When you view rejection as a personal
attack, then every single criticism feels like a revelation of your failings as
a human being. Instead of taking constructive criticism (although Francesca’s
criticism wasn’t exactly constructive) as an opportunity to improve whatever it
is you’re working on, you immediately feel like a complete failure and you don’t
want to reveal that feeling to anyone.
2. Arianna has several major
events that are downplayed by Rachael. How would you have reacted if this had
happened to you? Would you have made the effort to repair the friendship?
had some trouble figuring out where the relationship between Rachael and
Arianna was going even though I have read the other two books. I guess in knowing that Rachael was planning
another wedding and wrapped up in the wedding, I’d give her a pass. It seemed
to me that Arianna didn’t know how to separate her romantic relationship with Rachael's brother from her relationship with Rachael, so she chose to ignore it while going through all these major life changes.
Many times throughout the book, it seemed that because boundaries had not been
set regarding Arianna’s relationship with Ethan, it was constantly the elephant
in the room when the two friends got together.
I’d say Arianna was more at fault for how their relationship started
falling apart. I was frustrated at both friends for dancing around the issue
and making everything worse.
3. A constant theme in Apart
at the Seams is whether Arianna's relationship with Noah is appropriate.
Arianna wants to believe their friendship is acceptable because she desperately
needs someone who understands the pressures of producing creatively. Rachel
seems to believe her relationship with Noah is unaccceptable, possibly even
bordering on a possible emotional affair. How do you judge Arianna's friendship
with Noah? Would you be comfortable engaging in a similar friendship yourself?
Would you be comfortable with your partner doing so?
Arianna’s relationship with
Noah turned to emotional affair pretty quickly in my opinion. If it weren’t an
emotional affair then she would have been able to continue accepting his help
to launch her fashion. Because she became too emotionally involved (in her
head) she ruined a potentially good work relationship. I work with mostly men,
and yes, I’ve been attracted to some (very few, it’s engineering after all), but I keep them at arm’s length to a certain degree. Then again, I
married an engineer who understands my line of work and my ambition so I very
rarely feel like he doesn’t get it. I’m not particularly comfortable with close
friendships between opposite sexes as a rule, so I don’t pursue them and I’d be
upset if he did.
To continue the next leg of the book tour, click on over to Lavender Luz