Preventing Alex's blow up about Libby

Use this forum to discuss the April 2018 Book of the Month, "Ironbark Hill" by Jennie Linnane
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Re: Preventing Alex's blow up about Libby

Post by ValBookReviews »

That goes to show you, there is no perfect plan to keep anyone from blowing up; so no, I do not think that there was another way to take care of the situation that would have prevented someone from getting pulverized by Alex.
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Post by AngharadB »

I agree with others, if it hadn’t have been this it would have been something that Natalie had less control over.
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Post by sarahmarlowe »

No, I don't think there was any way around it. Alex was an alcoholic filled with rage. He had to have some outlet for his anger, one way or another. Some people are just that way. It's difficult to walk on eggshells on the time. Sometimes they get cracked, and vengeance falls.

Like you, though, I thought Natalie's plan was brilliant!
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Post by Prisallen »

I agree that no matter what she did to save Libby, she would have made him furious. I, also, agree that she didn't realize how bad it was going to be.
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Post by Kansas City Teacher »

Helpme71 wrote: 24 May 2018, 09:22
cpru68 wrote: 15 Apr 2018, 17:42 I think Alex was always looking for an excuse to beat Natalie to a pulp to help relieve his anger issues. Alex with his hair trigger anger and alcoholism was always going to find some place of contention with her. I liked the idea of her hiding the heifer, and we see in that act a way of self preservation without involving her siblings to protect them. Natalie had to work the system she was in so she could keep all of her responsibilities balanced. She was tip toeing through life and hanging on to her most prized possession while dealing with an unstable household. That heifer was her lifeline to something normal.
I agree with you entirely. Alex had issues that were going to make him explode, regardless of who it was against. Since Natalie is only his step-child and not his biological child, it only makes sense that he would target her, as the "odd one out". Alex is an abuser who would've snapped, regardless of what Natalie had done differently to resist his plans to sell Libby.

I also think that harming a child's "pet" is emotional abuse...just another way to get her..... What she did was was very courageous and shows her bold personality.
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Post by LyorBoone »

Could Natalie have prevented a blowup over Libby? I think it was a possibility. If she managed to sell the cow for more money to a kinder keeper of animals, I would say their was a decent chance. But it would cost her the cow. Though it remains a win in Libby’s safety. Could a life threatening blowup be avoided on a long term basis? I would say it’s possible, but it would likely come with the cost of a broken spirit. So maybe the real question is what options of avoidance had a price that Natalie would be willing to pay?
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Post by JGretz-7 »

Alex's alcohol-induced rages could have been triggered by anything. I think that Natalie did what she had to in order to keep her cow safe. I don't think she realized the extent that Alex would go to in his beating. He completely lost all self-control.
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