Promise Not To Tell Discussion * spoilers*
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    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    Default Promise Not To Tell Discussion * spoilers*

    1. In the opening of Promise Not To Tell, Kate Cypher says, "I killed someone tonight." How did this shape your first impressions of Kate? Does her confession make her more trustworthy, or less so?


    2. Promise Not To Tell interweaves past and present from chapter to chapter. How did this affect your reading of the story? Do you think this was an effective structure?


    3. Del and Kate are both outsiders, but in different ways. What are the differences? What are some of the similarities between the two girls?


    4. Kate finds clues that her mother might have been out in the woods the night Tori was murdered. Should she have investigated this further or even gone to the police with her suspicions? Why or why not?


    5. Kate says that once she loves someone, it's for life. How does the Nicky Kate meets as an adult compare to the Nicky she knew as a child? How have her feelings for him changed?


    6. When Nicky tells Kate that he thinks Del has come back, Kate thinks about the pervasive legend of the Potato Girl. Why do you think Del has achieved such mythic status in town and what role do you think this plays in how people view Tori's murder?


    7. Del's sheriff's star plays an important role in the story. Kate refers to the star as a talisman. What do you think the star symbolizes to Del? To Kate (as a kid and as an adult)? To Del's killer? Are there other talismans in the book?


    8. How were you affected by Del? As you learn more and more about the secrets she kept, do you see her as a strong person or someone that needed to be protected?


    9. At one point, Kate confesses that if she could go back and change any part of her life, the two moments she would redo take place on the day Del was killed. How does Kate's guilt over what happened that final day shape the woman she grows up to become?


    10. Promise Not To Tell takes place in the fictional town of New Canaan, Vermont. Much of the book is set at New Hope and the Griswolds' farm down the road. How important is the setting in the story?


    11. Kate is a skeptic who struggles to find rational explanations for the bizarre events that begin happening to her. Would the story be different if she weren't so skeptical? Were you, as a reader, skeptical as well?


    12. This book has elements of a coming of age novel, ghost story, and mystery. How would you define it? How does it compare to other books you've read in these genres?


    13. All of the main characters are keeping secrets, some dangerous, some incriminating, some shameful. What importance do these secrets play in the story? Is there power in keeping a secret? Honor?


    14. The final chapter is told from Opal's point of view. Why do you think the author chose to make this shift?

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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    1. In the opening of Promise Not To Tell, Kate Cypher says, "I killed someone tonight." How did this shape your first impressions of Kate? Does her confession make her more trustworthy, or less so? I don't know why, but in my mind it made it less so. I really felt she was the target of a future crime or that it was self defense.


    2. Promise Not To Tell interweaves past and present from chapter to chapter. How did this affect your reading of the story? Do you think this was an effective structure? I have read other books which did the same thing and so it did not really matter to me. Either way, the history of the past needed to come out and the effect worked.


    3. Del and Kate are both outsiders, but in different ways. What are the differences? What are some of the similarities between the two girls? I think that the differences were in how they handled their situations... but the similarities were in the broken homes and poverty. Both outsiders in many different aspects.


    4. Kate finds clues that her mother might have been out in the woods the night Tori was murdered. Should she have investigated this further or even gone to the police with her suspicions? Why or why not? I would have thought she should have. Simply because you are always told not to with hold evidence. That is more incriminating that just bringing out the truth of it all... Just my thoughts.


    5. Kate says that once she loves someone, it's for life. How does the Nicky Kate meets as an adult compare to the Nicky she knew as a child? How have her feelings for him changed? As a child it seemed more like an infatuation. As an adult, she seemed to carry the history of the past + her own life experiences - so she could be more calculating and responsible (if you will) in her decisions.


    6. When Nicky tells Kate that he thinks Del has come back, Kate thinks about the pervasive legend of the Potato Girl. Why do you think Del has achieved such mythic status in town and what role do you think this plays in how people view Tori's murder? If there are no answers and a case goes unsolved they seem to carry on a stigma or legend of sorts - wherever they are. It is as if people need to create an ending of their own to come to terms with it. I think it is the same with the Potato Girl or Del. I think that the myths surrounding Del's murder and the fact that they did not solve it just brought everything to life with Tori's murder.


    7. Del's sheriff's star plays an important role in the story. Kate refers to the star as a talisman. What do you think the star symbolizes to Del? To Kate (as a kid and as an adult)? To Del's killer? Are there other talismans in the book? I think it symbolizes all the injustices that Del is faced with daily. Maybe a dream of justice in the future. To Kate, I think it is a kinship or group symbolism. As an adult it is a reminder of the betrayal and murder.


    8. How were you affected by Del? As you learn more and more about the secrets she kept, do you see her as a strong person or someone that needed to be protected? I could feel her pain and inner strength. I see her as both. It was hard reading about her - brought back many unwanted memories of my childhood.


    9. At one point, Kate confesses that if she could go back and change any part of her life, the two moments she would redo take place on the day Del was killed. How does Kate's guilt over what happened that final day shape the woman she grows up to become? I think it gave her a resolve to excel and become a spotless person - but also made her paranoid and secretive - to the point her silence drew her to make dumb decisions because of her inability to communicate in a healthy fashion.


    10. Promise Not To Tell takes place in the fictional town of New Canaan, Vermont. Much of the book is set at New Hope and the Griswolds' farm down the road. How important is the setting in the story? The setting gives it a certain feel that I found very essential to the story.


    11. Kate is a skeptic who struggles to find rational explanations for the bizarre events that begin happening to her. Would the story be different if she weren't so skeptical? Were you, as a reader, skeptical as well? I was not as skeptical. I think it would have been completely different had she been less skeptical.


    12. This book has elements of a coming of age novel, ghost story, and mystery. How would you define it? How does it compare to other books you've read in these genres? It was not as developed and mature as others I have read in the same genre. But it was an interesting read.


    13. All of the main characters are keeping secrets, some dangerous, some incriminating, some shameful. What importance do these secrets play in the story? Is there power in keeping a secret? Honor? I think that the secrets help bring to light the importance of not keeping secrets. That all secrets are dangerous - that there really is no reason to keep them because it can only do harm.


    14. The final chapter is told from Opal's point of view. Why do you think the author chose to make this shift? I think because she was kin to Del and her spirit dwelled near Opal - to protect her. Almost as if you were looking through Del's eyes, if she had lived and had a more innocent childhood. It was rather bittersweet.


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    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    I'll answer these as best I can, though it's been a bit, so I'm trying to remember all that I read.

    1. In the opening of Promise Not To Tell, Kate Cypher says, "I killed someone tonight." How did this shape your first impressions of Kate? Does her confession make her more trustworthy, or less so?
    For me it made me a bit doubtful about her trustworthiness from time to time, over all though I always felt she wasn't involved.


    2. Promise Not To Tell interweaves past and present from chapter to chapter. How did this affect your reading of the story? Do you think this was an effective structure?

    I did like the structure of the story, it was an effective way to give the background necessary, while still focusing on the more current murder and status of characters.


    3. Del and Kate are both outsiders, but in different ways. What are the differences? What are some of the similarities between the two girls?

    Del is different because of her family's socioeconomic status, her family being poor farmers. She's motherless, and not very well cared for. Kate and her mother live in a very non traditional setting .


    4. Kate finds clues that her mother might have been out in the woods the night Tori was murdered. Should she have investigated this further or even gone to the police with her suspicions? Why or why not?

    I think she was just trying to look out for her mother's best interest. I always had the sense that it was very doubtful that she was involved with he crime.


    5. Kate says that once she loves someone, it's for life. How does the Nicky Kate meets as an adult compare to the Nicky she knew as a child? How have her feelings for him changed?



    6. When Nicky tells Kate that he thinks Del has come back, Kate thinks about the pervasive legend of the Potato Girl. Why do you think Del has achieved such mythic status in town and what role do you think this plays in how people view Tori's murder?

    Small towns rarely see such brutal crimes, and especially those involving children, that alone would lead to the legend status. The murder of Tori is so much like Del's that it seems inevitable that the two would be linked.


    7. Del's sheriff's star plays an important role in the story. Kate refers to the star as a talisman. What do you think the star symbolizes to Del? To Kate (as a kid and as an adult)? To Del's killer? Are there other talismans in the book?

    To Del I think it symbolizes a power that she really didn't have in her difficult life. To Del's killer it was a prize from his crime, and also evidence that could link him to the crimes.


    8. How were you affected by Del? As you learn more and more about the secrets she kept, do you see her as a strong person or someone that needed to be protected?

    Both, She was certainly someone than needed protection, but she was very strong.


    9. At one point, Kate confesses that if she could go back and change any part of her life, the two moments she would redo take place on the day Del was killed. How does Kate's guilt over what happened that final day shape the woman she grows up to become?


    10. Promise Not To Tell takes place in the fictional town of New Canaan, Vermont. Much of the book is set at New Hope and the Griswolds' farm down the road. How important is the setting in the story?



    11. Kate is a skeptic who struggles to find rational explanations for the bizarre events that begin happening to her. Would the story be different if she weren't so skeptical? Were you, as a reader, skeptical as well?

    I think if she just went with the bizarre events and wasn't skeptical it would have been more of a ghost story instead of a mystery. I was skeptical.




    12. This book has elements of a coming of age novel, ghost story, and mystery. How would you define it? How does it compare to other books you've read in these genres?

    mystery, I enjoyed it, it was a quick read. Honestly, I don't read much of this genre, so it is hard for me to compare it


    13. All of the main characters are keeping secrets, some dangerous, some incriminating, some shameful. What importance do these secrets play in the story? Is there power in keeping a secret? Honor?

    I think it just adds to the mystery of the story.



    14. The final chapter is told from Opal's point of view. Why do you think the author chose to make this shift?

    I can't really remember this well
    Last edited by Finzmom4; 04-06-2008 at 02:38 PM. Reason: to add color to one of my answers

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    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJWilkes View Post
    1. In the opening of Promise Not To Tell, Kate Cypher says, "I killed someone tonight." How did this shape your first impressions of Kate? Does her confession make her more trustworthy, or less so? I don't know why, but in my mind it made it less so. I really felt she was the target of a future crime or that it was self defense.


    2. Promise Not To Tell interweaves past and present from chapter to chapter. How did this affect your reading of the story? Do you think this was an effective structure? I have read other books which did the same thing and so it did not really matter to me. Either way, the history of the past needed to come out and the effect worked.


    3. Del and Kate are both outsiders, but in different ways. What are the differences? What are some of the similarities between the two girls? I think that the differences were in how they handled their situations... but the similarities were in the broken homes and poverty. Both outsiders in many different aspects.


    4. Kate finds clues that her mother might have been out in the woods the night Tori was murdered. Should she have investigated this further or even gone to the police with her suspicions? Why or why not? I would have thought she should have. Simply because you are always told not to with hold evidence. That is more incriminating that just bringing out the truth of it all... Just my thoughts.


    5. Kate says that once she loves someone, it's for life. How does the Nicky Kate meets as an adult compare to the Nicky she knew as a child? How have her feelings for him changed? As a child it seemed more like an infatuation. As an adult, she seemed to carry the history of the past + her own life experiences - so she could be more calculating and responsible (if you will) in her decisions.


    6. When Nicky tells Kate that he thinks Del has come back, Kate thinks about the pervasive legend of the Potato Girl. Why do you think Del has achieved such mythic status in town and what role do you think this plays in how people view Tori's murder? If there are no answers and a case goes unsolved they seem to carry on a stigma or legend of sorts - wherever they are. It is as if people need to create an ending of their own to come to terms with it. I think it is the same with the Potato Girl or Del. I think that the myths surrounding Del's murder and the fact that they did not solve it just brought everything to life with Tori's murder.


    7. Del's sheriff's star plays an important role in the story. Kate refers to the star as a talisman. What do you think the star symbolizes to Del? To Kate (as a kid and as an adult)? To Del's killer? Are there other talismans in the book? I think it symbolizes all the injustices that Del is faced with daily. Maybe a dream of justice in the future. To Kate, I think it is a kinship or group symbolism. As an adult it is a reminder of the betrayal and murder.


    8. How were you affected by Del? As you learn more and more about the secrets she kept, do you see her as a strong person or someone that needed to be protected? I could feel her pain and inner strength. I see her as both. It was hard reading about her - brought back many unwanted memories of my childhood.


    9. At one point, Kate confesses that if she could go back and change any part of her life, the two moments she would redo take place on the day Del was killed. How does Kate's guilt over what happened that final day shape the woman she grows up to become? I think it gave her a resolve to excel and become a spotless person - but also made her paranoid and secretive - to the point her silence drew her to make dumb decisions because of her inability to communicate in a healthy fashion.


    10. Promise Not To Tell takes place in the fictional town of New Canaan, Vermont. Much of the book is set at New Hope and the Griswolds' farm down the road. How important is the setting in the story? The setting gives it a certain feel that I found very essential to the story.


    11. Kate is a skeptic who struggles to find rational explanations for the bizarre events that begin happening to her. Would the story be different if she weren't so skeptical? Were you, as a reader, skeptical as well? I was not as skeptical. I think it would have been completely different had she been less skeptical.


    12. This book has elements of a coming of age novel, ghost story, and mystery. How would you define it? How does it compare to other books you've read in these genres? It was not as developed and mature as others I have read in the same genre. But it was an interesting read.


    13. All of the main characters are keeping secrets, some dangerous, some incriminating, some shameful. What importance do these secrets play in the story? Is there power in keeping a secret? Honor? I think that the secrets help bring to light the importance of not keeping secrets. That all secrets are dangerous - that there really is no reason to keep them because it can only do harm.


    14. The final chapter is told from Opal's point of view. Why do you think the author chose to make this shift? I think because she was kin to Del and her spirit dwelled near Opal - to protect her. Almost as if you were looking through Del's eyes, if she had lived and had a more innocent childhood. It was rather bittersweet.



    How insightful!!!!

    Enjoyed reading your take on it all. I wish we'd have done this a bit closer to reading it.

    After reading your #14, I remember the ending a bit better now.

  5. #5
    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3weeparakeets View Post



    7. Del's sheriff's star plays an important role in the story. Kate refers to the star as a talisman. What do you think the star symbolizes to Del? To Kate (as a kid and as an adult)? To Del's killer? Are there other talismans in the book?

    To Del I think it symbolizes a power that she really didn't have in her difficult life. To Del's killer it was a prize from his crime, and also evidence that could link him to the crimes.

    I forgot to answer Del's Killer. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm I often wonder what the perps are thinking when they save trophies. What amazes me is how intelligent some of them are and yet they are so Stupid that they cannot resist the taking of something as a "trophy". After all, look at him. He was a psychologist or professor or a bit of both? It has been a while... either way, you would have thought that he would be capable of using his scruples - even after a murder he committed - to not save anything.


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