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BOOK CLUB: Suzanne's relationship with Ellen


Both Artist and Patricia brought up some great points about Suzanne's relationship with Ellen from the previous thread which I thought could lead us to another discussion question! I noticed that there was a great question listed at the end of the book, so I'm going to just paste it here.

Describe the relationship between Ellen and her sister, Suzanne. Do you think Suzanne has a positive or negative influence on Ellen and her decision making? Do you feel Suzanne is a truer friend to Ellen than Margot? If so, how? If not, why not?
Jul 22, 2009 @ 10:53 pm

11 Replies



interesting question.I do kind of think that suzanne is truer than margot because margot betrayed her by keeping the secret about leo.I don't think suzanne would ever betray ellen like that.Suzanne tries to help ellen by giving her advice,even though she sometimes does not follow her own.
Jul 22, 2009 @ 11:56 pm
Ali de Bold

Both are good friends

I don't think one is better than the other. Suzanne is just more blunt, whereas Margo has her southern manners. They both support her through the different challenges she faces and they both try to stop her from ruining her life. I don't think the fact that Margo withheld Leo coming back makes her less of a friend. Friends make mistakes too.
Jul 23, 2009 @ 09:28 am

Friend vs Sister

I think Suzanne and Ellen are more "sisters" than "friends". That's not to say that they are not also friends! But there are things that can be said, exchanges that can be had, and actions that can be taken between sisters that may not happen between friends! Suzanne can be as blunt and honest as she feels she has to be with Ellen, regardless of whether it hurts or is warranted. In the end, they are sisters and they will always love each other.

Margot and Ellen are the very best of friends and share everything in their life. However, Ellen admits a number of times about feeling "out of place" within Margot's family and sometimes having to pretend to be someone she is not to fit in. This uneasiness puts a slight strain on the friendship.

There is no denying Ellen and Margot are wonderful friends, and I wish I had a friend with whom I could be that close.

I talk to my sister all the time about almost everything. We exchange advice and opinions and I can tell her things that I would not tell anyone else. But I categorize our relationship as "sisters", not "friends". The two terms are almost synonymous. There are subtle differences. I can't be certain, that if we were not related, I would be as open with her! We know so much more about each other than any two friends could know, because we grew up together, share a family, share major parts of our lives.

My sister and I fight. Believe me... we fight! Some incidences would ruin any conventional "friendship". But as sisters we can (or perhaps, we must) over come those episodes. The sister bond is a complex one.

Perhaps my own situation clouds my views about Ellen and Suzanne and Ellen and Margot. Neither bond is less significant or important than the other. But they are undeniably different, and as such they interactions will be different. Ellen is blessed to have both.

Jul 23, 2009 @ 10:28 am

Can't compare ....

Margot is Ellen's friend, she's also Andy's sister, so yes she is Ellen's bestest friend and has her best interest at heart, when it involves just Ellen. When it involves Andy and Ellen, she will naturally even unknowingly side towards Andy and block of Ellen.

Suzanne is Ellen's friend AND her sister - so from whichever direction or circumstance she comes towards Ellen, she always truly only has her best interest at heart.

Jul 26, 2009 @ 03:53 pm

Everyone is different

I feel that although Suzanne is often negative and hard on her sister she does ultimately have her best interest at hand. She loves her sister and you can tell even though it may come off strong and maybe a little harsh but Suzanne is just one of those strong women. Ellen knows her sister loves her and is a true friend to her.

As with Margot. She loved Ellen too as much as she loves her brother Andy. Margot just presents her love and feelings a different way. Often between friends you find your bestie doing things you may not feel is right and try to help them the best they can. Margot was in this situation and she did what she felt was right for her friend and her brother. She wasn't doing it for herself she was acting out of love for her friend and family.

I think both Suzanne and Margot are two really different and strong individuals who love and care for Ellen and just want to see her happy. With whoever that may be ;)
Jul 26, 2009 @ 05:30 pm


I agree with Misschickie. Friends have their own set of friendship-morals. It's a tough spot to be in. Not knowing how things will turn out, Leo could be the love of her life and she should give it a try, or perhaps he just wants a friend...there is no way of either friend knowing what will happen. Also, we all know that girls stick together. If Ellen decided to have an affair perhaps her friends would keep quiet, because they are her friends, not her husband's. They may disagree, give her a good talking to, and perhaps not talk to her for a bit out of anger, but in the end they are girlfriends.

And it's true, sister-sister realtions are far more complex than girlfriend friendships. Sisters can be harsh, blunt, even downright mean, but that doesn't change anything. In a way it is much harder for a friend to be in this position, as they risk losing their friend through honesty. Margo is also, as mentioned, polite.
Jul 28, 2009 @ 11:18 am

different people, different perspective

I think both Susanne and Margot are good for Ellen but in their own way. Susanne is very cynical, somewhat jaded, but she is also very honest with Ellen. She speaks her mind and it is what Ellen needs. Susanne was the one who got through to her when Ellen needed to hear the truth the most.

I think Ellen looks to Susanne as a mother figure but Margot is a "girl's best friend" kind of friend, someone to hang out with, to share your secrets with, to chat about nothing with. It's difficult to compare Susanne and Margot because they have different influences on Ellen. Margot gives gentle nudges to guide Ellen along while Susanne simply gives her a kick in the rear and say, "Hey, snap out of it, girl!"
Jul 30, 2009 @ 03:34 pm


I think Suzanne loves Ellen, is her friend and her sister. I also think she is a bit jealous of Ellen and Margot's friendship and doesn't like Margot so much because of it. But I think Suzanne is looking out for the sisters best interest and that is proven at the end of the book when she talks "since" into Ellen about getting away from Leo and going back to the husband who really loves her.
Aug 04, 2009 @ 12:31 pm

equal but different

i dont think either one is truer than the other. theyre both different types of friends, different people. my sister is my friend. probably if we had been strangers, we wouldnt have been friends, because we have little in common. but we didnt have to be friends just because we are sisters, some arent. ellen and her sister are both sisters and friends, even though they didnt have to be. and margot is as good of a friend, just different.
Aug 05, 2009 @ 01:56 am

Suzanne vs. Margot

Blood is thicker than water!

Suzanne tells Eleln it like it is. Or how she sees it and since she is Ellen's sister that means she and Ellen share common ground; the same history, sadness and up bringing. She may be a little jealous of her but when it comes down to it, Ellen is her flesh and blood and she genuinely wants what's best for her.

Margot wants Ellen to be happy too but she is married to her brother and ultimately her loyalty lies with him. How could she support Ellen when she knows the impact of her actions directly affect her own brother. It would be an incredably difficult position to be in.

Having said all that I think both these sisters really love and wants what's best for their respective sibling. How can you fault either of them for that.
Aug 07, 2009 @ 02:36 pm

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