January 16, 2009

The Almost Moon: The Ending

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , at 1:14 pm by Ms. Davis

How did you interpret the novel’s ending? Does Helen seek to atone or make amends for what she did? Do you envision some way for her to make things right?

The Almost Moon: Helen’s Parents

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , , at 1:13 pm by Ms. Davis

In many ways, Helen was closer to her father than to her mother. What does she mean, then, when she says, “My father had been pity to her blame, warmth to her cold, but had he not, in the end, been colder than she?” (page 277). How does her father’s death change the way Helen thinks of her parents’ marriage? Was he right to have stayed with Clair, or should he have left for Helen’s sake, if not for his own?

The Almost Moon: Helen and Jake

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , , at 1:04 pm by Ms. Davis

When Jake and Helen meet, he is her teacher and she is his muse. What causes them to drift apart and divorce? When he returns, they have very different perspectives on their breakup. Do you think one’s explanation is more accurate that the other’s? How has their relationship changed over the years?

The Almost Moon: Helen and Motherhood

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , , at 1:02 pm by Ms. Davis

At an early age, Helen willingly gives up her education to be a mother and wife. In what way does Helen’s relationship with Clair inform her choices as a mother? Do you think she is conscious of avoiding or repeating the mistakes of her own upbringing? Would her daughters say that she had been a good mother? Why do you think she is closer to Sarah than to Emily?

The Almost Moon: Helen’s father

Posted in The Almost Moon at 12:58 pm by Ms. Davis

In chapter 12, Helen’s father takes her to Lambeth, “the drowned town where he’d grown up” (page 95). What is the significance of the plywood people Helen sees in her father’s childhood home? Why does he select these particular moments of his life to commemorate? What does Helen learn about her father during this visit that she may not have known or confronted before?

The Almost Moon: Mr. Forrest

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , , at 12:55 pm by Ms. Davis

What role does Mr. Forrest play in Helen’s life? Helen describes her visit to Mr. Forrest’s house in chapter 9 as a sort of turning point in her adolescence. How does their conversation and the art Mr. Forrest shows her change Helen’s view of her own life and that of her parents? In what way is the manuscript that Mr. Forrest shows Helen especially important to her?

The Almost Moon: Title?

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged at 12:48 pm by Ms. Davis

On pages 133-134, Helen’s father compares Clair to the moon, which is also a reference to the book’s title. What does he man by this comparison, and to what extent do you think the metaphor is apt? What does Helen take away from the conversation? Does it help her understand her mother any better?

The Almost Moon: Hamish and Helen

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , , at 12:45 pm by Ms. Davis

What moves Helen to seek a physical connection with Hamish? Did you think their interaction was more than just physical? Was their relationship troubling to you, and if so, why? Was Natalie right to be angered by it?

*question is from the back of the book

The Almost Moon – Helen’s sanity

Posted in The Almost Moon tagged , at 12:42 pm by Ms. Davis

The Almost Moon is written in the first person – Helen tells her own story. Who might her intended audience be? Do you think that in telling her story Helen is searching for justification? Is Helen sane? What passages support your suspicious?

*question is from the back of the book