Why does Francie's teacher dismiss her essays? How is this a turning point for Francie? Her teacher felt her subject matter was inappropriate. She began to write sadder, more troubled stories after her father's death and the teacher felt she should write only happy stories. She began writing stories that were based on her sad feelings, but turned around to be happy and discovered she wasn't being true to herself and her writing no longer satisfied her.
Now for my own thoughts and observations. This book started out slow for me, but after Johnny's death and the focus of the book was mainly the women it became more interesting. Not that I didn't like the character of Johnny or any of the other men, the book just seemed to make more sense and flow better when the men were just secondary figures. It almost seems that getting together with Johnny was all a mistake, and that life for Katie and the children didn't improve until he was out of it. But would Francie have grown into the same woman without Johnny in her life? Would Lee have been Francie's Johnny? But if she doesn't love Ben it would be a mistake to marry him. So many questions left at the end of this book! I definitely wound up liking this book and may even re-read it sometime to see if I can pick up on some things I may have missed this time.