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Day 12

Finish Chapter 3, pp. 211-End

December 14, 2020 by Claire Messud

When Mrs. Copperfield and Pacifica arrive at the restaurant to join Miss Goering, we see Frieda, for the first time, as she appears to an old friend – dismaying. “She was terribly thin and she appeared to be suffering from a skin eruption.” (p.215)

“I have gone to pieces,” Mrs. Copperfield concedes, “…a thing I’ve wanted to do for years…but I have my happiness, which I guard like a wolf, and I have authority now and a certain amount of daring…” (p.217)

Miss Goering demurs; Mrs. Copperfield, too, has judgements: “You have…lost your charm…everyone thought you were light in the head, but I thought you were extremely instinctive...” (p.218) How we are seen bears little relation to how we see ourselves.

“Although I love Pacifica very much, I think it is obvious that I am more important,” says Mrs. C (p.218). How could Miss Goering disagree, having left behind her a trail of broken hearts?

Herself abandoned at the last, Miss Goering believes she is nearer to salvation, tho “is it possible that a part of me…is piling sin upon sin as fast as Mrs. Copperfield?” (p.221) For someone without religion, what is sin?

Daily Reading

Day 1

Chapter 1, p. 1-18 (through “She was not sure that she did not find him a bit too familiar.”)

Day 2

Finish Chapter 1

Day 3

Chapter 2, p. 37-62 (through “The other two women looked across the street and they all watched him disappear.”)

Day 4

Chapter 2, pp. 63-83 (through “Oh, I’d love to Pacifica,” said Mrs. Copperfield, running out of the room.”)

Day 5

Chapter 2, pp. 83-102 (from “When Mrs. Copperfield arrived in Mrs. Quill’s room" through “Mrs. Quill was dignified and remote and did not give her the lavish thanks which she had been expecting.”)

Day 6

Finish Chapter 2, pp. 102-121 (from “Early the next morning Mrs. Copperfield and Pacifica were together in Pacifica’s bedroom" through “Listen, your pal’s been out of the room two whole minutes already. She’s gone to look for Pacifica.")

Day 7

Chapter 3, pp. 123-142 (through “She held her hand over her heart and smiled to herself.”)

Day 8

Chapter 3, pp 142-158 (from “When she arrived at the tip of the island" through “something would happen to interfere with her departure.”)

Day 9

Chapter 3, pp. 159-176 (from “She noticed with a faint hear” through “shortly she fell into a deep sleep.”)

Day 10

Chapter 3, pp. 176-196 (from “At about five thirty on the following afternoon" through “Then all three of them politely bade good-by to Andy’s back and left the room.”)

Day 11

Chapter 3, pp. 196-210 (from “Arnold’s father had been sitting in the ice-cream parlor" through “He’s never going to listen to me,” Miss Goering said to herself.")

Day 12

Finish Chapter 3, pp. 211-End

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