Friday, October 26, 2007

Waking Rose Questions *SPOILER ALERT!*

This is just a post to post some further questions about Waking Rose: SPOILER WARNING: You do NOT want to read this post if you haven't read the books already!!!!!

I'll start with Lady Rose's question -- feel free to ask your own questions in the comments boxes (and if I neglected to answer a question you asked before, repeat it here):

Wow, so that was Dr. Murray at the Christening? It seemed a lot more like Dr. Prosser.
Question, so if it wasn't Dr. Prosser who threatened Mr. Brier, why did she than try to kill Rose? How exactly was she involved than, other than being the main doctor at the hospital? I always thought that it was Dr. Prosser who threatened Mr. Brier, especially after she attempted to poison Rose. Dr. Murray just didn't seem like the kind of person who would threaten someone like that, especially since later she wanted to keep Rose alive.

Answer: Dr. Prosser and Dr. Murray were working together closely especially during the early years. But over the years, a certain estrangement set in, mostly because of Dr. Murray's conscience. I see Dr. Murray as someone who basically became a bad person through failing to act, failing to step in. But during those early heady years when they were two feminist doctors bucking the system together, Murray was more aggressive, and it was her who made the threats at the christening, in her usual veiled style.

Here's something I wrote about Murray earlier I'd like to share:

A reader wrote to me: When Prosser appeals to Murray, and Murray seems, for a moment, to hesitate, we kept thinking Murray was going to be redeemed and help Fish. We were disappointed when he didn't.

You know, it didn't feel right for her to redeem herself. Murray was supposed to be the "principaled" villain in the whole affair: she was the one pursuing a pro-choice agenda but for "higher" ideals; unlike Prosser, who is mostly venal, nasty, and self-deceived. But Murray constantly compromised her conscience in the name of the greater good, and this had the effect of weakening her will and draining her of courage.

Hence, when Rose falls off the barn loft, she makes an attempt to catch her, but then is too scared to call 911 or actually report the accident. She goes back to work and about her business: the coward's way out. Bad for the soul.

Then she is asked to examine Rose, and chooses to put her into a medicated coma and then pretend to offer to "help" the family by admitting Rose to her facility. Not exactly pure malignant villainry, but villainry of the cowardly and pathetic kind. But she *still* can't rest: she wakes Rose up periodically to question her, but even when it's clear Rose knows nothing and is no threat to her, Murray can't ever summon the courage to actually let her come out of the coma naturally and go free. (Fortunately, she's not strong enough to actually murder her either.) So, like Herod Antipas with John the Baptist in chains, Murray just leaves Rose in limbo, and probably would have done so indefinitely until circumstances forced her hand. She's kind of the opposite of Rose, who is overflowing with courage: it's clear that Rose fascinates her just as John the Baptist fascinated Antipas, but like Antipas, Murray can't emulate her, and becomes the pawn of the modern-day Herodias, Prosser and the needle of digoxin.

So -- when Murray has an opportunity to save Fish at the barn -- three times at least -- even though she's horribly torn because now his self-sacrifice is obvious to her, she can't muster up the will to do the good thing: to defy Dr. Prosser and call the police, or even simply refuse to help. And when she colludes in what she thinks is the final act of his murder -- throwing Fish back into the fire, after he's just thanked her for saving Rose's life -- it destroys her, mentally and physically.

I think of her as someone who's destroyed by compromise. And I couldn't see her finding any real courage after so much giving in to evil.

It's actually a very sad story. I also wish it had a happier ending.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

I find it amazing how you craft your characters. While I was reading the book, I kept thinking that it sounded like Dr. Prosser, but because of the "serpent" I thought it was Dr. Murray. It was a great shock to me to read that they were in kahoots because it seemed like they really didn't like each other.
I thought of another question I wanted to ask. In WR Rose is in the play on her birthday which I read on the BaN page was April 13. But, she is still working on a paper for a class in her first semester, after her birthday, and my understanding of college course (I'm not in college yet) is that they are only 1 semester classes. So, I'm a little confused about that. Also, if Rose's birthday is in April, am I to understand that Rose was in a coma till sometime in the next year? Ok, that's it for now, but I'm sure I'll think of other questions. :) Joanna F.

"Miss Fish(y)" said...

ok, so what happened to Dr. Murray after she came back from the burning barn?
also, I thought that she was just lying to Rose in saying that she had tried to catch her. So, did Dr. Murray push Rose or try to catch her? I'm a little confused!!!
And if Dr. Murray didn't push Rose, how did she fall? Thanks!
More questions to come....

"Lady Rose" said...

Regina, I was so excited to to log on to your blog this morning and see that you put my question as a blog post! You completely made my day! Thank you for that, and for the further explanation! Wow! I'm soooo excited!!!!!

God Bless!

Clare said...

So what actually happens to Dr. Murray in the end? I know she goes to a hospital for her mental breakdown, but does she ever get better?

Anonymous said...

i'm confused about the timeline of WR, i know her b-day is in the spring but i thought she went into the coma in the fall... am i wrong? please explain :)
confused in nebraska

Alyssa said...

Wow, Regina, I am so impressed with the intricities (spelling?) of your characters. Everything is so down-to-earth, ture-to-life, and therefore the books are so believable. I never would have gathered that about Murray before! Thanks

Anonymous said...

I'm just seconding everyone's questions at the moment here because I would love to see the answers since they've been bugging me

Anonymous said...

At the end of "Waking Rose" when Rose wakes up, she walks down the stairs of the hospital and seems to recognize them (the stairs), as if she has walked them before. The narration goes on to say that she “remembers” the stairs from her coma when she was in the castle with the stairs, etc. Does this elude to the fact that while in her “coma” she actually wandered the hospital, or at least walked these stairs, with or without the guidance of the serpant, aka Dr. Murray?

Anonymous said...

I wondered the same thing about her walking down the stairs. The second time I read it, I read that part very carefully. Was she just remembering her interview with Dr. Murray or did she actually walk around the hospital during her coma?

regina doman said...

Q: If Rose's birthday is in April, am I to understand that Rose was in a coma till sometime in the next year?

A: I thought the answer to this question deserved its own post, so see the Oct. 30th post for the answer. Sharp-eyed reading!


A: ok, so what happened to Dr. Murray after she came back from the burning barn? I thought that she was just lying to Rose in saying that she had tried to catch her. So, did Dr. Murray push Rose or try to catch her? I'm a little confused!!!

Q: When Dr. Murray returned from the burning barn, she sort of robotically went back to Graceton Hall without really thinking (or caring) what might be happening there.

She wasn't lying: she did try to catch Rose. Rose slipped when the board at the end of the loft cracked, and Dr. Murray darted out of her hiding place to try to save her, unsuccessfully.

Dr. Murray was not quite evil enough to push her off (which would have been a risky thing for a villain to do, in any case: especially when Rose hadn't seen her up until that point). However, she was too cowardly to actually do something like call 911 (correctly foreseeing that it might lead to a police investigation: much easier for Murray to just quit the scene).

I hope this makes it less confusing.

Q: So what actually happens to Dr. Murray in the end? I know she goes to a hospital for her mental breakdown, but does she ever get better?

A:You know, I'm not sure what happens to her. Having learned my lesson (see the Oct. 30th post) about speculating before I've actually written the next book, I'll just say that I don't know, yet. If it becomes important for another book, I'll let you know, somehow.

Q: At the end of "Waking Rose" when Rose wakes up, she walks down the stairs of the hospital and seems to recognize them (the stairs), as if she has walked them before. The narration goes on to say that she “remembers” the stairs from her coma when she was in the castle with the stairs, etc. Does this allude to the fact that while in her “coma” she actually wandered the hospital, or at least walked these stairs, with or without the guidance of the serpant, aka Dr. Murray?

A: You are correct. The "castle" Rose thought she was in was actually the Gothic-looking Graceton Hall. She actually wandered the halls (trailing IV tubes and other paraphenalia, which she just pulled off) for a few times before Dr. Murray caught her and realized that the standard dosage wasn't keeping Rose Brier down. This is a bit of stretch medically, btw, but since I know that different patients process drugs differently, it was possible that some dosages just passed very quickly through Rose's system, and she became aware enough to move around.

It's also because Dr. Murray was alternating dosages of two different drugs with Rose to enable her to question Rose, and it took Dr. Murray a while to get the correct amounts down. When Rose was walking around the Hall, she was still fairly "drugged" and not completely conscious, hence her confusion (and her not noticing the pain from pulling out IVs). She never really truly "wakes up" until she survives the poisoning at the end, as I think the narrative makes clear.

Anonymous said...

Another bit of clarification is wanted regarding Rose's conversations while partially out of it. I have lent out my copy, so forgive me if I am remembering this inaccurately, but when Fish wakes up Rose and she is "talking" to him, she doesn't seem to be actually speaking out loud and not too much farther along we are told that she has a hole cut in her trachea? for the breathing tube or something. Could you please explain a bit more of what was going on at that time medically?

And did Rose ever fully remember what went on during her questioning sessions with Dr. Murray? She certainly seemed to remember telling her about Fish. And was she ever aware of Fish visiting her? Lastly, just how well did she remember when he first kissed her?

Arianna C.

regina doman said...

Q: When Fish wakes up Rose and she is "talking" to him, she doesn't seem to be actually speaking out loud and not too much farther along we are told that she has a hole cut in her trachea?

A: When you have a hole in your trachea (Rose had a tracheoctomy (not sure of spelling) which basically puts a hole in your trachea) you can't speak if the tube is removed unless you cover the hole, which I believe Fish does, to understand what Rose is saying. She *is* talking out loud, but in a whispering sort of voice, and she's very woozy. Does that give you a more clear picture?

Q: And did Rose ever fully remember what went on during her questioning sessions with Dr. Murray? She certainly seemed to remember telling her about Fish.

A: She would remember, but it would be confused in her mind. The main reason she remembered telling Dr. Murray about Fish was because it was so important to her to keep his secret, the one secret he had ever entrusted to her.

Q: And was she ever aware of Fish visiting her?

A: No. During that time, she was fully "under." If you are really interested in knowing, Dr. Murray was drugging Rose with two different drugs. One drug would be administered via a single injection, and each injection would keep her under for about 24-48 hours.

The other drug would keep Rose under so long as it was dripped continuously into her system via an IV. This was the drug that was a 'milky white' substance that Fish noticed at one point in the book, and at the end. If the drip was turned off, Rose would come out of the coma, at least partially, within a few minutes. Then Dr. Murray could administer the "truth drugs" and question her.

When Dr. Murray had finished, she typically gave Rose another injection that would put her under for 24-48 hours.

Since Dr. Murray wasn't particularly interested in preserving Rose's health or comfort, I believe the dosages occasionally overlapped and caused problems, such as Rose's continual confusion when she was occasionally "brought to the surface."

Those are the rough medical facts, but you have to allow me some poetical license in how I applied them in the story. :)

Q: Lastly, just how well did she remember when he first kissed her?

A: Judging from her blushing, probably quite well! :)

Alyssa said...

Thanks so much for answering all these questions! I've always wondered myself! (And thank you guys, for asking them!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for the explanations! They are much appreciated! And it does really help me envision what is taking place during the narrative because I love my details.

Arianna C.

"Lady Rose" said...

Thanks for the continued explanations. One request, PLEASE don't let any of your characters EVER have holes in their traechea, or in their neck, period, again. Ugh! It made (and still does) make me feel so uncomfortable just hearing someone mention it!

Where did Blance and Bear go on their honeymoon?

God Bless!

Miss Fishy said...

Ok, even though I don't have the book for the page number (my sister lent it out!), I am going to ask this question anyway...
There was this one part where Rose was listening to Fish recite a poem and then all the sudden I turned the page and she was in the car with him on the way back to collage...I thought I had missed a page at first. After talking with my sisters they said they were confused also...could you please explain?
Thanks!

Delaney said...

Regina said: "She *is* talking out loud, but in a whispering sort of voice, and she's very woozy."

That part where she's talking in italics always seemed to me as though she was sort of still hovering over the border between her dream and what was really happening. I thought that was really neat. :D

regina doman said...

Q: One request, PLEASE don't let any of your characters EVER have holes in their traechea, or in their neck, period, again. Ugh! It made (and still does) make me feel so uncomfortable just hearing someone mention it!

A: Sorry: it's just that someone asked. :)

On a more serious note, one situation that definitely influenced the writing of the book was the tragic death (murder) of Terri Schiavo. I was so grieved by the entire fiendish legalized killing of a beautiful and maligned handicapped woman that I resolved that I would not go out of my way to sanitize or minimize the medical aspects of Rose's being in a coma, merely because I wanted to demonstrate that these kind of medical humiliations (a tracheostomy, a catherer, being completely helpless) don't make one any less of a human being.

It's said that Charlotte Bronte wrote Jane Eyre to prove that an plain, unattractive woman could still be an interesting heroine: I guess I wanted to demonstrate in Waking Rose that a girl in a coma could still be a vibrant and fascinating character, especially since being in a coma is a situation which some people would find so abhorrent that they would consider her a non-human "vegetable" or better off dead.

So - I am sorry for the very unromantic trial that Rose was subjected to, but to do less would not have been truthful of me.

I have to say though, that I love how after a while, Fish scarcely notices the tubes and other medical paraphenalia around Rose, and isn't bothered by them. He really truly becomes her caretaker and her helpless condition makes him love her even more. That is one thing about this book that really makes me love Fish.


Q: Where did Blance and Bear go on their honeymoon?

A: I think that Bear preferred to keep that a secret. At least, I haven't heard. :)

Q: There was this one part where Rose was listening to Fish recite a poem and then all the sudden I turned the page and she was in the car with him on the way back to collage...I thought I had missed a page at first. ...could you please explain?

A: You're not the first person to be confused. Nothing was missing: there was a section break there that fell between pages. Another similar break occurs later on in the book when Fish is talking with Hunter. The good news is, we're planning on reformatting the font of the book, and when we do, we'll make sure that those section breaks are more clearly marked.

"Lady Rose" said...

Well, can you ask Bear where they went? Or do you have his number so I can call? (I am assuming they don't have e-mail, since Bear prefers to be... oh what was it, um, well for the same reasons he didn't have a cell phone.) Though if Blanche has e-mail, can you give me her adress, and I can ask her? (Rose and/or Fishes would be fine too, or do they not know either?) *laughs*
If anyone ever tells you, please, let me know!

regina doman said...

:) Will do!

Madame Royale said...

You know, it's really funny that you say that, Lady Rose, because the other day, I was talking to my friend on the phone about the books and said something about the Sacra Cor guys, and my mom started laughing. I asked her what the matter was and she said that it sounded as though I was talking about real people. In my mind, when you are reading the books, they ARE real people with real problems; I think that is why there is so much suspense at the end of the books. :) So then I was talking with my mom and I asked her if she thought there were any guys alive that are like the Cor guys (chilvilrous, etc.) (you know, real men?) and she said yes. hmmmm..... where are they???? So yeah, if someone could get me Rose's #, I would really appreciate it. :)

Author's Husband said...

I personally know four guys that the Sacra Cor guys are based on. Sorry ladies, but they're all married.

However, there are other guys out there like them. My brother, Jake, at TAC comes to mind. And his friend, Francis, from Canada. And I think my brother, John Mark, in Michigan is a bit like the Sacra Cor guys too.

regina doman said...

Q: In Waking Rose, Rose has that whole scene where she's walking back from play practice and is freaked out; she hears someone following her, but can't see anyone. Who was following her? It can't have been Donna, because Rose didn't see anyone? What was it?

A: Yes, it was Donna. (She was just hiding in the bushes. Sorry, I thought that was obvious.

"Gianna" said...

Another wedding question. What music was played at Blanche and Bear's wedding?

regina doman said...

You know, I'm not sure. I'm sure it was perfectly elegant though. Probably classical.

Anonymous said...

Madame Royal, I totally agree. One of the greatest aspects of these books is that you can relate to the characters, they ARE REAL, and you keep wishing that you'll meet everyone in real life. :)

I think of myself as really lucky because in the homeschool group that my family belongs to, there are some real gems of people. I know quite a few boys who are maybe not quite as hmm, unusual let's say as the Cor boys, but they are definitely real men, well boys I guess. :) Chivalraus, etc., etc. :)

Joanna F.

"Gianna" said...

I believe that real men and boys are out there, but I haven't found any yet. After reading these books, I was delighted by the realization that chivalry is not dead. Now I'm just searching for it.

Anonymous said...

ok - I haven't read the book (I'd like to though)... I'm a bit confused, after reading all of these comments - what exactly does happen in the end? happily ever after? I heard it was a "sad" ending, but...? does fish DIE? please say no!!!! please, tell me what happens!!

regina doman said...

Anonymous, is that really fair to ask? Do you * really * want to know? I don't think so! I will just say it has a very *satisfying* ending and you will be very happy when you read it.

Now -- go get the book and read it!

:)

Anonymous said...

Okay. I just finished the book, and I LOVED it!! But I'm a bit confused: What exactly happened in the barn when Rose's accident happened?

~Bella May~

regina doman said...

Rose wasn't pushed: she walked to the edge of the loft, the board cracked, she fell and grabbed the ladder, and it fell off with her. The hidden person rushed out to try to help her, but wasn't successful. Then the hidden person panicked and left. Does that make sense?

Sorry this took so long to answer! Just finished writing The Midnight Dancers! (www.themidnightdancers.com)

Anonymous said...

OK, that makes sense to me, but I'm still a little confused. It was Dr. Murray who was in the barn when Rose fell, right? What was she doing there in the first place?

~Bella May~

regina doman said...

Hi Bella May,
She was in the barn looking for Rose's dad's papers that she had talked about. Dr. Murray had known where the barn was from before when the doctors were threatening the Brier family. She thought she would just look around and destroy any evidence. But she got spooked after Rose fell and never went back (till the climax).

Does that make sense?
Peace and good
Regina

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOHH!! I get it now! Thank you! But now I have another question:
On pg. 198 in WR, when Fish was reading his notes to Rose in her coma, it says, "...A few times, it struck him (Fish) that if he had done things differently, he might still be sitting and reading his notes to Rose, but she might be alert and aware." I don't get how that works, because what would he have done? Rose probably would still have gone to Mercy College, still have wanted to investigate that report for her paper, and the boards would still have been unstable and she still would have fallen and still probably slipped into a coma. I don't see how (with what Fish knew at the time) he could have done any thing to alter the situation. I hope my question makes sense! Please help!!
God bless,

~Bella May~

regina doman said...

Q: On pg. 198 in WR, when Fish was reading his notes to Rose in her coma, it says, "...A few times, it struck him (Fish) that if he had done things differently, he might still be sitting and reading his notes to Rose, but she might be alert and aware." I don't get how that works, because what would he have done?

Fish is going on the supposition that any one choice he made would have led to his life being completely different. Mainly here he's just thinking that if he had asked Rose on a date sooner, everything would have been different. The accident was such a combination of chance factors (to him at this point) that it seems plausible that if any one thing had been different, she wouldn't have fallen down. Does that make sense?

Anonymous said...

Yesyesyes!!!! That makes sense!! Thank tou so much for answering all these inquiries of mine!!!
God bless,

~Bella May~

Anonymous said...

Why does Blanche drink wine at the restaurant if she knows she is pregnant? I really don't know much about this type of thing but I have always heard that you shouldn't drink during pregnancy. Sorry if this seems off the wall...just curious!

fishfanatic;) said...

Hey Anonymous, um i don't think Blanche Brier would drink! just my opinion. she doesn't seem like the type.

By the way, Regina, thanks for making such an awesome character as Fish!!!! He totally rocks! I met you at the IHM conference in June, I was the one with the "Someday my Fish will come" t-shirt...it was awesome meeting you! just a personal note, i think that the world would be a better place if all the guys would act like fish ;) keep up the good work, you and your characters ROCK!

fishfanatic;) said...

hey, i know that Author's Husband said he knows guys like the Cor Guys, but does anybody know of any guy like Fish?? I'm still waiting for mine...Bear is totally amazing, and the Cor guys just totally rock, but Fish is really the one i fell in love with, and so far i haven't met any guys like him...Waking Rose has given me hope, though that there are fishes out there somewhere!

fishfanatic;) said...

Hey by the way, just wondering, in Waking Rose, Fish mentions to the Cor guys that Dr. Prosser couldn't have been the suspect in the barn because she wouldn't have known how to get to the barn. How did Dr. Murray know how to get to the barn? Did she follow Rose out or something? just curious...