Where I share my love of books with reviews, features, giveaways and memes. Family and needlepoint are thrown in from time to time.

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Apologize, Apologize! by Elizabeth Kelly - GIVEAWAY!


Apologize, Apologize!
by Elizabeth Kelly

Welcome to the perversely charmed world of the Flanagans and their son, Collie (yes, he was named after the dog breed). Coming of age on Martha's Vineyard, he struggles within his wildly wealthy, hyperarticulate, resolutely crazy Irish-Catholic family: a philandering father, incorrigible brother, pigeon-racing uncle, radical activist mother, and domineering media mogul grandfather (accused of being a murderer by Collie's mother).  It is a world where chaos is exhilaratingly constant and money is no object. Yet it is one where the things Collie wants -- understanding, stability, a sense of belonging -- cannot be bought at any price. Through his travails, we realize what it really means to grow into one's family: to find ways to see them anew, to forgive them, and to be forgiven in turn.

Elizabeth Kelly is a magazine editor and award-winning journalist with several Canadian National Magazine Awards and nominations to her credit. Apologize, Apologize! is her first novel. It will be published as part of Knopf Canada's "New Face of Fiction" program in April, 2009. She has a profoundly (some might say tragically) Catholic education, attending a Catholic elementary school, a convent high school, and then St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, where she majored in English, multiple fianc├ęs, and truancy. Years of poverty, strong opinions, and poor judgment ensued. Today, a largely unrecognized authority on Guns N' Roses, she lives in a century-old house in a little eastern Ontario village where she hides from visitors and nightly prays that she won't one day be found under an avalanche of old newspapers, partially consumed by dogs—one Labrador Retriever named Chip in particular.



Giveaway



I have three copies of this paperback book to giveaway courtesy of Hachette Books. For your first entry (MUST DO THIS ONE FOR ANY OTHER ENTRIES TO COUNT) Collie is one of the characters names in this book - what is the most unusual name you have ever heard.  Oh - and leave your email address.

For additional entries you can sign up to follow (old followers let me know), Twitter or post it on your blog. Each entry must have it's own comment. (Four entries total.)

This giveaway if for U.S./Canada only - no PO boxes and will end Apr 20!


Reading Group Guide:
1) Throughout this account of Collie Flanagan’s life (so far), he appears to be the only conventional—or perhaps even sane—member of his family. However, the novel is told from his perspective. Do you feel like you can trust what he’s saying?

2) What do you think of Collie’s mother? Does she seem to have lived a life of passion, or is she defined only by her rebellion against her aristocratic roots?

3) Should Collie have gone in after Bingo and the others, knowing as he did that there was no hope?

4) In one interview, Elizabeth Kelly referred to Bingo as “representative of full-blown adolescence, but in all its glory,” and as something of a heroic character as well. What do you make of him?

5) Elizabeth Kelly has clearly had a lot of fun creating the hilarious and often manic characters at the heart of this novel. How did you react to the various Flanagan family blowouts? Did you more often cringe or laugh out loud?

6) Talk about the role of money in this novel: who has it and who doesn’t; how it can be a motivator, or stunt one’s ambitions; how it insulates the Flanagans, yet forces them into the limelight; and so on.

7) “Dignity is the last refuge of scoundrels,” Collie’s father was known to say, and he certainly was one to put himself into undignified positions, despite his charm and sharp clothes. What do you make of him as a man, and as a father?

8) Who is your favorite character in this novel, and why?

9) Collie and Bingo have a relationship that’s not always straightforward, yet at its heart is a strong sibling love. What does each expect, and receive (or not), from the other?

10) What was Collie hoping to achieve in El Salvador? Did he change as a result of his experiences there?

11) What are Collie Flanagan’s personal strengths? Were there small events that stood out for you as monumental in terms of proving his character?

12) More than any other member of the Flanagans, Collie has a close—if complex—relationship with his grandfather, Peregrine Lowell. Why is that so? How has their relationship developed by the end of the novel?

13) The Flanagans inhabit a world of elite privilege, yet are so self-absorbed you can’t help but wonder whether they’d even notice if the rest of humanity ceased to exist. Does Collie rise above all that, or is he just like the rest of them?

14) Collie’s father has a knack for showing up wildly drunk for even the most staid of events, including the funerals held for his wife and son. Talk about how his disappearances and arrivals function in the novel.

15) Whenever anyone talks to Collie about the events of the day Bingo and his mother died, they always get the details wrong. What is Kelly saying about living up to the expectations of others in this novel? Should Collie have stood up for himself more often?

16) The Flanagans are a wild and wildly humorous bunch, and even their seemingly unwarranted jabs at Collie are terrific. Discuss the role of cutting humor and over-the-top judgment in the novel.

17) At the end of the novel, Collie appears to have come to terms with his family, or at least seems to have achieved some measure of peace. What does the future hold for Collie Flanagan?

56 comments:

rubynreba said...

I just recently heard the name Echo and had not heard that before.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

I am a follower.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Natalie W said...

Audra. Have a friend who named her child Audra.
Thanks!
Nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

Natalie W said...

I'm an old follower too
nataliew2(at)gmail(dot)com

scottsgal said...

A girl I worked with had a son named Gage
msboatgal at aol.com

scottsgal said...

already a follower
msboatgal at aol.com

Jonita said...

I always love what celebrities name their babies. I mean, Apple? Moses? Crazy stuff, LOL, but whatever! Then again, my youngest son's name is Jarek, which isn't exactly common, so who am I to talk?

jonitathebookchick@gmail.com

Jonita said...

I am a current follower through GFC.

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

Tweeted!

http://twitter.com/jonitabookchick/status/11331092831

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Jonita said...

I've added your contest to my sidebar over at http://book-chic.blogspot.com!

jonitathebookchick(at)gmail(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

Yriccia is one the most unusual names I've heard. I think it is a very pretty name..

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

I follow on google friend connect.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I think the name Rumer is a bit strange (Bruce Willis and Demi Moore's daughter).

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Simply Stacie said...

I follow.

simplystacieblog at gmail dot com

Crystal said...

Ireland is the most different name I can recall at this moment. I'm use to it now, but I remember when I first heard my son say it I thought it was different.

crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

Crystal said...

I'm an old follower.

Crystal said...

I tweeted.

http://twitter.com/cfulcher/status/11365797046

Colleen Turner said...

My son's name is Chase, which people have told me is different, but I just love the name Gennis. I have a student at the school I work at with that name, and I love it!
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Colleen Turner said...

I am a follower via email, google connect and facebook.
Thanks,
Colleen
candc320@gmail.com

Benita said...

I had a student whose name was Lesbia.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

I'm a follower via GFC.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Isi and Jas' mom said...

The most unusual name I have hears is Jellybean.
mstlee2000 @ hotmail.com

Isi and Jas' mom said...

I am an old follower via GFC
mstlee2000 @ hotmail.com

AmandaSue said...

I went to school with a boy named River which I thought was a bit different.

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

AmandaSue said...

I'm an old follower thanks.

unforgetable_dreamer_always(at)hotmail.com

Darlene said...

I've got this posted at Win a Book for you :)

enyl said...

When I was growing up I had a neighbor named Andwelle.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

GFC follower.
enyl(at)inbox(dot)com

enyl said...

Tweeted.
twitter.com@enylstil#apologize

traveler said...

A name that was unique was Tye. Thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

a real librarian said...

I once met a girl named "Paige Turner." Loved it!! Thanks for the chance to win!!

areallibrarian[at]gmail[dot]com

Sophia said...

I have some Indian friends (as in Asian-Indian, not Native American) and thought her name seems regular to me since I'm used to it, I guess it's kind of unusual to other people. Her name is Hrishita (pronounced: Ri-shee-tuh). Ever heard of it?

Thanks for the opportunity and I hope I win!

mashimaro401[at]yahoo[dot]com

angie said...

My cousin's name is pretty unusual. Her name is Deysiah. Like deja vu.
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

angie said...

I am a follower
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

angie said...

I tweeted http://twitter.com/bangersis/status/11498639962
email bangersis(at)msn(dot)com

Sandee61 said...

I'm an email subscriber to your blog.

Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

Sandee61 said...

The most unusual name I have heard is Dweezil (Frank Zappa's son's name). His daughters name is Moon Unit!

Sandee61

Muzzley56[at]aol[dot]com

suzie said...

a very long time ago
Elvis Presley Turtle
9oofus(at)gmail(dot)com

suzie said...

old follower
9oofus(at)gmail(dot)com

suzie said...

tweeted
http://twitter.com/suzquiz/status/11733462375
9oofus(at)gmail(dot)com

suzie said...

blogged
http://suzquiz.blogspot.com/2010/04/booksandneedlepoint-giveaway_06.html
9oofus(at)gmail(dot)com

ossmcalc said...

As a high school teacher, I have heard some very interesting names. Those that stand out include Rajaneesh LeTart Slappy, Vageena, and the twins Lemongello and Orangello.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I am a follower of your blog.

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/11809569538

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Darcie K. said...

My friend named her baby Nevaeh because it is Heaven spelled backwards.
dmkayes@gmail.com

Darcie K. said...

I follow via Google Friend Connect
dmkayes@gmail.com

Karin said...

I had a grandmother named Beline-- I always thought it was a bit different.

karin56381 (at) gmail.com

ChristyJan said...

My Grandma's name was Lawana (which isn't a name you hear everyday) My 3 year old granddaughter is named after her (middle name)

hawkes(at)citlink.net

ChristyJan said...

GFC follower

hawkes(at)citlink.net

Anita Yancey said...

My husband works with a guy whose first name is Sheriff. I think it's pretty unusual. He gets teased a lot because he is a police officer. Please enter me. Thanks!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Anita Yancey said...

Old Follower!

ayancey(at)dishmail(dot)net

Linda Kish said...

Celebrities seem to come up with the weirdest names. I really don't understand Apple or Sparrow just to name two.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

catss99 said...

i always thought ginger was a weird name
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

follow
catss99@yahoo.com

thaeter7 said...

My mothers name is most unusual and I have never run across anyone with the same name"Midah"
rally_thade17@hotmail.com

thaeter7 said...

I follow
rally_thade17@hotmail.com

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