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The World Without You
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Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

Created: 01/06/13

Replies: 15

Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
eileenp

Join Date: 10/20/10

Posts: 33

Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

Did he do it for the sake of the family or was it all part of asking her for money? Why would she let him stay with her?


Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sallyh

Join Date: 09/07/12

Posts: 56

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RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I wish one of the characters in the book had asked Amram this! Based on his behavior, it doesn't seem that he would much care whether or not David and Marilyn stayed together, or maybe even whether he and Noelle stayed together. Why Gretchen would have let him stay there is another good question, as she didn't seem to enjoy visiting with her family. I thought that Amram's reappearance was inadequately addressed and Gretchen's appearance was sort of thrown in as an afterthought, with readers (me, anyway) wondering what that was all about.


Posted Jan. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lorie

Join Date: 05/19/11

Posts: 24

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

Amram's visit to Gretchen made no sense to me at all; it seemed quite uncharacteristic of him. On the other hand, I thought it was good that Gretchen was able to voice her opinion about Marilyn & David.


Posted Jan. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
beckyh

Join Date: 05/08/11

Posts: 41

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I have no idea and I don't think Henkin did either. That whole episode seemed out of character for Amram and Gretchen. If that was supposed to be the catalyst that brought Marilyn and David back together, it was lost on me. If Gretchen had played true to her character as presented previously, she would have simply thrown Amram out. It was also uncharacteristic for Amram to do anything that aided another or caused any inconvenience to himself.


Posted Jan. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 235

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RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I think Amran basically just ran away with no place to go so he went to Gretchen. Why she didn't turn him away probably had something to do with her thinking this was a way for her to surprise them all and gave her the opportunity to show up unannounced. I thought the whole escapade pretty much fit with all the descriptions of her that we had from others and furthered her cause to keep them all at arm's length and guessing about her and her motives.


Posted Jan. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynneb

Join Date: 08/23/11

Posts: 47

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I agree with some of the other commenters in that this part of the story was rather undeveloped. There was no understandable explanation for why Amram went to get Gretchen. It is never defined as a money question, only suggested by Noelle. We never find out the real story behind the trip.


Posted Jan. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kateg

Join Date: 04/28/11

Posts: 22

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I agree with other commenters that this was the least developed part of the book. It seemed totally out of character for Gretchen to show up even if the reason was to weigh in on David and Marilyn's pending separation. It seemed the conversation could have waited until they all arrived back in New York City. Amram must have had some redeeming qualities for Noelle to stay with him, but I had a hard time figuring them out. Noelle seemed the most screwed up and staying with such a loser (even though he was the father of her four boys) felt like perpetual penance. They were unable to discuss anything without snapping at each other and being away from Israel highlighted each other's shortcomings.


Posted Jan. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
jeffs

Join Date: 06/18/12

Posts: 47

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I have no clue. Maybe Amram wound up going to Gretchen's because he had nowhere to else to go and was too embarrassed to go back alone. Then maybe he described everything to Gretchen that was going on at the vacation house and she thought she needed to see for herself. Maybe it was also the only way to get Amram to leave her house. I actually have no idea and didn't understand it when it happened in the book so I just speculate.


Posted Jan. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
juliaa

Join Date: 12/03/11

Posts: 64

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RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I'm relieved that others are as clueless as I am about why Amram brought Gretchen back to Lenox. If it's a device to get flesh and blood Gretchen, as opposed to Gretchen the unseen check-writer, into the story, it is the one part of the novel that doesn't work well. If it's an attempt to show a "nicer" side of Amram, it isn't all that successful either. So I'm having difficulty seeing the intent behind this episode.


Posted Jan. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sandeo

Join Date: 04/17/11

Posts: 12

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

Maybe I am wrong, but I thought Aram brought Gretchen back to help diffuse the situation. Things were already bad enough when he left, but his absencence had made things worse. Bringing the family matriarch back he hoped would bring order or at least a distraction.


Posted Jan. 12, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Retired Reader, NE

Join Date: 09/16/11

Posts: 83

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RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

Good question. Amram's motivation for this action isn't clear. His M.O. seems to be "take action and think later"--with no regard to consequences. It is a weak point in the plot.


Posted Jan. 19, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Prufrock

Join Date: 11/14/12

Posts: 2

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I got the sense that Amram was a very self-serving individual and that he brought Gretchen back because he was hatching a plan to get money out of her and could also benefit and earn points with the family by bringing her back. He had essentially behaved so poorly that he needed a distraction to take the focus off of himself and onto another person who was also viewed negatively by most family members.


Posted Jan. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
sharalynnep

Join Date: 12/04/11

Posts: 33

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I don't really know. Maybe it was to show that he had some good qualities but I thought it was totally out of character. I didn't feel any better about him for doing this..


Posted Jan. 23, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I'm not sure Amram could do anything that would have made me like him...


Posted Jan. 27, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
shirleyf

Join Date: 04/25/11

Posts: 15

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I think that Amram went to Gretchen for money. However, I was surprised that she came back with him, especially in the disheveled state that he appeared to be. I was really angry that Gretchen wasn't even at the memorial for her grandson, Leo. She should have been there for the ceremony at least out of respect for her daughter and grandson. I'm not sure what she expected to do as an intervention between Marilyn and David and I thought of the late appearance as an insult to the family.


Posted Jan. 29, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Peggy H

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 38

RE: Why did Amram bring Gretchen back?

I think he brought her back to show what a " good guy" he was, a way of ingratiating himself into the family. He know he was not a favorite son-in-law. He might have felt that Gretchen would support him as she certainly felt that marriage and family were important. Remember her three marriages. Yes, Noelle did ask him if he tried to get money from Gretchen and I am assuming he did. He was certainly not my favorite character and I don't think the author liked him either.


Pegh

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