I recently read Apart at the Seams by Melissa Ford and agreed to participate in a book tour. I enjoyed reading the book as it was about an independent woman named Arianna. On the surface she was independent and had a great life ahead. She was a budding fashion artist, a single mother, and recently decided to invite her boyfriend Ethan to move into her apartment. Of course, life has a way of providing roadblocks and choices. Arianna through all her experiences learns what is important to her in both career and relationships.
After Arianna is initially rejected by Francesca (her supervisor), 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 the conversation, then I’ll have to admit I don’t have a clue and that maybe, just maybe, I believe that there’s some truth in Francesca’s fears.”
Is this unique to women?
I think the feeling of being perceived as weak if she tells Rachel or Tabitha is unique to women. I think men have a tendency not to take the criticism as an attack on them. Their thought process goes more to back to the drawing board.
I definitely was able to identify with Arianna. I was a new manager and had a plan for changing my staffing pattern. I presented it my superior and it was rejected and I was told my idea would not work and was not one that fit in the hospital plan. I like Arianna never told anyone because I was afraid I would be seen in a bad light. In my career, I have seen other females keep silent for the same reason but not talk about it until years later.
A constant theme in the book 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 pressure of producing creatively. Rachel seems to believe her relationship with Noah is unacceptable, possibly even bordering on an emotional affair. How do you judge Arianna’s friendship with Noah? Would you be comfortable in engaging in a similar friendship yourself ?
I do not see anything wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. Throughout my life I have had male friends even when I was dating and married. We went to have coffee or go to a restaurant. I think this is the way it began for Arianna and she even told Ethan about her meeting Noah for coffee. It did change into an emotional affair when she began to text Noah, go to the office for fittings and continue to want to see him after the clothing design was over. I think she tried to convince herself nothing was happening but the jewelry store incident opened her eyes.
If I was in a relationship I would not have been comfortable with a similar male friendship. The texting and feeling like a teenager with a crush, withholding information from Ethan about her and Noah would have definitely made me think I needed to cut the relationship between myself and the male friend.
Were you rooting for things to improve for Arianna and Ethan’s relationship?
I wavered during the book. At first, I saw Ethan as someone who was immature and not responsible. He didn’t take the job that paid the most money but rather one that fit his hours and creativity. I started to root for them when I saw his support of Arianna and her first fashion design. I thought his support of her through her mother’s illness was great. As I read the cliché “opposites attract” described Arianna and Ethan. I thought once they started talking they realized that they were meant for each other. I found myself truly rooting for them once Arianna came clean about her relationship with Noah and truly hoped she had not ruined what she had with Ethan. Arianna, Beckett and Ethan belonged together.
Please continue to the next leg of this book tour by visiting the main list at LavenderLuz.com.
I agree with you about the emotional affair. Once Arianna started hiding things, well, that’s a sign that something’s not right (that’s what I’m trying to teach my children, anyway).
And I’m nodding yes to this, too: “I think men have a tendency not to take the criticism as an attack on them. Their thought process goes more to back to the drawing board.”
Thanks for book touring with us, Kathy!
I enjoyed reading the book and really found it more complex than just a quick summer read. Arianna was very complex and I don’t know we truly know her by the end. I think she is just beginning to know herself. Thanks for organizing this book tour-I did enjoy it.
“I think men have a tendency not to take the criticism as an attack on them.”
I agree with you on this and I wonder about the nature vs nurture aspect of this. Are men and women hardwired to approach criticism this way? Or is it engrained in us from a cultural/societal stand point? As a teach I haven’t been in the position to have ideas rejected by my superiors very much but I know it would do a number on my self-esteem and feelings of self-worth. I would not handle it well, but I can’t pin point anything from my past that would explain such a reaction. Maybe women just are this way and men aren’t. I wonder…
In my case I think it is both engrained but also feel it is partially the way male and females are hardwired. I know if I talk to a male friend about an incident in my day it is very much a different reaction than a female friend. The male friend has a tendency to just say ok tomorrow will be better and that is what happens in life at times. The female will tend to be more emotional and sympathetic. It certainly would be an interesting study. Thanks for dropping by and commenting
Good thought, Esperanza. I think almost entirely, if not actually entirely nurture. I see how differently my daughter responds in different situations (with people who draw a distinction between the sexes vs people who don’t).
And in this case I think also a product of her relationship with her coworker, who seems good-hearted in a way but perhaps not very empathetic!
I too wavered about who I wanted to see Arianna with, nostly thougfh I was rooting for Noah due to the chemistry woven into the story between them both. However, with Ethan she had a comfortable, loving relationship although not perfect and with it’s problems. With Noah, he seemed too perfect due to the fact that they shared interests and viewpoints but i had a feeling that they might not get along actually living together. We didn’t get to see Noah in the same way as we saw Ethan. I wouldn’t be surprised that if she had actually went for Noah that they would not have lasted very long and the initial attraction would have died down quickly. I do believe that opposites attract for a reason and I think it keeps life lively and interesting.
Annie I agree with you. I think she and Noah leading the busy life and long hours would have eventually grown dissatisfied and unfulfilled. Thanks for stopping by and for your comments
Thank you so much for reading and participating in the tour!
You said this perfectly: “I do not see anything wrong with having friends of the opposite sex. Throughout my life I have had male friends even when I was dating and married. We went to have coffee or go to a restaurant. I think this is the way it began for Arianna and she even told Ethan about her meeting Noah for coffee. It did change into an emotional affair when she began to text Noah, go to the office for fittings and continue to want to see him after the clothing design was over. I think she tried to convince herself nothing was happening but the jewelry store incident opened her eyes.”
It didn’t start out as an emotional affair, but it certainly ended up there. I don’t think I could pinpoint where it switched over, but you definitely found the point where it switched back.
I also tried to pinpoint where the relationship became different but I tend to think it just evolved for many reasons. I am looking forward to reading the first 2 books and hopefully the sequel to this one. Thank you for your comments
I always felt that Ethan balanced Arianna… I kept wanting them to TELL each other what they were thinking and feeling instead of keeping it all in. I felt like there would have been less pain that way.
Elizabeth I agree. I think the lack of honest and open communication is a downfall in many relationships. Thanks for stopping by and your comments
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I appreciate Lori’s reminder about Arianna hiding things; a telling sign, and not a good one. Great point! And I so agree with Elizabeth. TALK! 🙂
I think communication is a key to having a good relationship
Even though I wasn’t exactly rooting for Ethan, I kinda felt as though Arianna was more hard on him than she would have been if Noah wasn’t in the picture.
I definitely agree but I think she came to realize this after the jewelery store. Thanks for stopping by
I agree with your sentiment that men tend to not take criticism too personally. A friend recently posted a quote from Hillary Clinton’s book “Hard Choices” – “Learn to take criticism seriously, not personally.” Great advice.
And Lori’s reminder about how hiding things is a sign that something isn’t right is spot on.
She is learning a lot about herself, and when she stops fooling herself about Noah, and lying through omission to Ethan, she is actually growing up before our eyes. She does a lot of emotional growing up, Arianna. The main difference between Ethan and her is that he has a very clear mental picture of who he is and what he wants, while Arianna is clueless, but holds on to things she thought defined her (she has always said she would never marry – first lesson. Stop using big words, Ari. Never is a long time. And unless you meet someone who is worth marrying, you can’t have an informed opinion.:-)).
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