I 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.
Without 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?
· I 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?
To continue the next leg of the book tour, click on over to Lavender Luz