Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Erin's Response to Chapters 1-12

We're having to use a new linky tool this time and I'm so sorry about the three columns. I promise we'll do our best to have this figured out before next week's post. Hopefully you can all still click on all of the links for the posts. I'm afraid that if I try to correct it right now, all the links will be lost.

1. What was your initial reaction to the idea of a language lab with bonobos who are capable of having conversations with humans?
At first, I thought, "yeah right. Just more scientists and this may all be something that goes completely over my head." But then as I read more my mind obviously changed. Isabel's interaction and relationship with the bonobos and the individual personalities of the bonobos is are all so touching.

2. Isabel said early in the book that the apes know they're apes and know that the humans are humans, but they don't see any superiority with either... What do you think the major difference is between the two?
I think it's so cool that the apes see themselves as equals with the humans, but there are obviously humans who don't agree. So the biggest difference is that the apes don't have any control ultimately and the humans have all the control over the apes. That's the only hard part about having wild animals in captivity. They can be tamed, but when they're out in the wild they have choices of what they want to eat and where they want to live. If they want to go somewhere, they go.

3. What are your thoughts on John and his feelings toward Isabel? How do you think their relationship will play out?
I would imagine that her talent with the bonobos and her feelings toward them is endearing and attractive. But I hope that the relationship never comes to anything. I hope there's just an infatuation and attraction there, but that's it.

4. How do you think Isabel will respond to the apes being taken?
I'm thinking she will stop at nothing to find them. They are more her family than her actual family is, so she's going to do everything possible to make everything okay again. I'm not sure where they'll all be at that point. Where will the apes go if and when she does find them?

5. Do you think Celia is part of the team that ambushed the learning center?
At first I thought that, but now I'm becoming more and more skeptical of Isabel's fiance.

6. What are your thoughts on John and his relationship with Amanda?
Poor Amanda. It's clear that they love each other very much. I hope that Amanda can find something that makes her happy and gives her confidence. I hope they stay together through the book. I'm a sucker for a happy romance. The good thing about their relationship is that, for the most part, they get along great. And they support each other, which is very important. I just hope that Amanda can get some help and snap out of her funk.


  1. I totally agree with your point about Isabel and stopping at nothing to find the apes.

  2. I agree that Amanda needs some serious help. John loves her, but I would hope that if anyone came home to their spouse day after day and found him/her in depression as deep as that....they'd take steps to get some outside help. I can't figure out why he didn't get her help, and why his thoughts keep drifting to Isabel-whom he's met only once. I'm interested to see how it plays out-but have hopes that they can pull through together, of course.

  3. Someone else mentioned Isabel's fiance's involvement, and I thougth that was really interesting, and at this point who knows he could be involved. I too am a sucker for happy romances, so I hope Amanda and John stay together.

  4. I know I'm a little late to all of this but I started the book a few days after y'all!

    I would definitely think that Peter has something more to do with all of this than first meets the eye. I personally think that Celia had absolutely no idea what was about to happen, although the seed could have been planted since she DID go out for coffee.

    I agree that I also had never heard of bonobos before this book as well. I'm a sucker for a book about animals and this one is breaking my heart.