Open Secrets by Alice Munro - Page 2 - Mothering Forums
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Book Clubs > Open Secrets by Alice Munro
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 04:15 PM 11-13-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post
Why does Charlotte say "That part is not of interest" and then give Claire that look of "vicious disgust"? What do you think that's all about?
hmmm.....she really does not want to talk about life after her 'rescue'. Or her romance with Ghurdji?

maybe she's sorry for her post - Albania life...?

Murihiku's Avatar Murihiku 01:30 AM 11-17-2008
Yeah, maybe her Albanian adventure was the high point of her life. It certainly seems the high point of the story.

Shall we move on to "Open Secrets" or would you like to take a break for a while, maybe start again in January?
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 11:07 PM 11-18-2008
Life has stabilized for me now.

I'd be happy to continue or wait. I'd probably prefer to continue. What's your preference?

I'd like to apologize again for leaving you a bit high and dry there for a bit.

It's hard when there's just the two of us. It would be easier with more of us to share. Sometimes, life just gets in the way of our personal interests.


About Charlotte..... how could you ever really return to a normal life after an adventure like that? She must find her post Albania existence terribly tiresome.
Murihiku's Avatar Murihiku 02:11 AM 11-21-2008
Sorry, I didn't see your post for a while!

I'd love to proceed because the title story is so freakin' awesome.

(Look at me, using the cool lingo.)

Glad to hear your life has stabilized--hope that doesn't mean it was rocky for a while.

So, what do you think of "Open Secrets" the story? I'm off to re-read it now . . .
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 02:34 PM 11-24-2008
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what is the title referring to? I think it ties in to the last sentence which makes me think about Maureen's relationship with her husband but does that really make sense given the subject of the story? Is the killer revealed and I missed it?
I doubt it's Mr. Siddicup. That would be way too obvious for a writer of Munro's skill. He serves as an effective distraction though.
I can't help feeling that we're meant to direct suspicion at Lawyer Stephens by how Munro sketches him as somewhat of a sexual deviant but I can't find any evidence in the text.
The title is refers to Maureens knowledge. Does she know the killer? Or is it referring to that 'memory'?
nillamama's Avatar nillamama 09:49 PM 11-30-2008
Hi there!
"Open Secrets" intriques me--wondering if I could join your discussion for a bit.

I have always felt I was missing something when I read this story.
nillamama's Avatar nillamama 09:51 PM 11-30-2008
I didn't find the text made it clear who the killer was either. And yet I felt my suspicion directed toward Theo Slater. I wonder if that is the point of the title? You feel some vague intuition, but there is no direct evidence--hence, kind of an "open secret" for the reader. ?
Murihiku's Avatar Murihiku 01:17 PM 12-01-2008
Nillamama, you are extremely welcome!

Every time I read the story, I think it's Theo Slater. His is the hand Maureen sees being punished, by his wife. And his name is kind of an "open secret" because Theo Slater sounds like Theo Slayed Her.

It's not Mr Siddicup, I'm sure.

But it could be Maureen's husband who we know is capable of sexual violence and what sounds like a bit of a psychotic break. Maybe the hand she sees is his, punished by her hand, but she denies her own knowledge to interpret it as Theo's and Marian's hands? Is Maureen a wee bit psychic or is she suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder?

I also think it's Theo because he's the only man we see having had prior knowledge of Heather--when they wrestle for the hose during the stop at the farm.
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 10:44 PM 12-05-2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by nillamama View Post
Hi there!
"Open Secrets" intriques me--wondering if I could join your discussion for a bit.

have you read the rest of the stories too?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nillamama View Post
I didn't find the text made it clear who the killer was either. And yet I felt my suspicion directed toward Theo Slater. I wonder if that is the point of the title? You feel some vague intuition, but there is no direct evidence--hence, kind of an "open secret" for the reader. ?

he never even occurred to me! I am awful with mysteries


Quote:
Originally Posted by Murihiku View Post

Every time I read the story, I think it's Theo Slater. His is the hand Maureen sees being punished, by his wife. And his name is kind of an "open secret" because Theo Slater sounds like Theo Slayed Her.

It's not Mr Siddicup, I'm sure.

But it could be Maureen's husband who we know is capable of sexual violence and what sounds like a bit of a psychotic break. Maybe the hand she sees is his, punished by her hand, but she denies her own knowledge to interpret it as Theo's and Marian's hands? Is Maureen a wee bit psychic or is she suffering from post-traumatic-stress-disorder?

I also think it's Theo because he's the only man we see having had prior knowledge of Heather--when they wrestle for the hose during the stop at the farm.
Brilliant!
Yes you're right but i need to reread....'the hand Maureen sees being punished by his wife'? i didn't get that. I was confused by Maureen's visions. you think Mrs. Slater knows he did it? That fits seeing as they saw a lawyer instead of going to the police which is...odd.
I appreciate your insight into Maureen. I can't figure her out. I can't help finding her a bit pathetic in her submissions to her husband. How does she deal with that?
But you've convinced me that it was Munro's intention to write a 'mystery'. Now that you mention it, the 'Theo slayed her' is a dead give away.
I can't believe I missed that :
Murihiku's Avatar Murihiku 03:00 AM 01-03-2009
Whoa, sorry I dropped the ball there! Do you want to resume in the New Year, or are we ready to close the secrets for now?

About "Theo Slayter/Slayed Her"--although I've read the story several times over the years, it was only as I sat down to post my comment above that the pun occurred to me, so I don't know how obvious it is. I wonder if Munro would say it was deliberate, or whether it's just one of those textual complexities out of conscious authorial intention--and do you think it matters?

Interesting connections between Mr Siddicup and Maureen's husband--they both lose some ability to communicate, and both have some weird and dark stuff in their relationship with their wives, Mr. S with her underwear(!) and the lawyer with the rape-like sex. There's a phrase I never thought I would see myself write!
BaBaBa's Avatar BaBaBa 06:25 PM 01-09-2009
Did you finish it?
I did, but it feels like ages ago now.
Sadly, I feel like we've fizzled out. But I really enjoyed it while it lasted.
She's definitely one of my favourite authors.

in case you didn't know, she ha a new short story published in December's New Yorker winter fiction issue. You might have trouble finding the New Yorker where you are (DH picks them up for me when he goes to Toronto) but they're usually available online as well. In fact, one of my favourite Munro stories 'Free Radicals' was in the New Yorker last summer.
I also seem to think she has a new collection coming out some time this year.

I'm on to some Annie Proulx now who is a new author for me and what I've read so far I really like.

Maybe catch you on the next one? :
Murihiku's Avatar Murihiku 01:52 AM 01-10-2009
I haven't finished yet, just got through "The Jack Randa Hotel" which I loved.

But yep, fizzled out! One problem for me is that the computer is in DH's very messy home office and I never had the book to hand because there was nowhere to put it. Then I got lazy about remembering details.

Thanks for the reference to the new story--I love The New Yorker anyway so I might check that out.

Thanks for starting this thread; it was great and lots of fun and let's definitely do it again one day with some other author (I'm finishing the Twilight saga right now though, not very Alice Munro at all!).
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