Free Public Library
March 25, 2013
– 4:00 p.m.
What is the symbolic significance of the
red garden at the center of this collection
of stories? And why red?
2. Consider the town of
as a character. How does it change
3. What are some of the themes
that tie these stories together. Consider,
say, love and loss, or connection
of the present with the past. How are
those—and other—ideas developed?
4. Follow-up to Question 3: What
is the idea behind the bear?
5. Many of the stories are
concerned with the human connection to the
natural world. How does it change over time
in this book? Or does it change?
6. What about Hoffman's
blending of fictional characters with
real historical figures—the appearance of
Emily Dickenson and Johnny Appleseed. Why
might she have incorporated them into her
story? For what purpose?
7. Of the 14 stories, which
story do you like most? Which do you find
most intriguing ... or magical ... or
moving? Do any disappoint you?
8. What passages of particular
beauty, or keen insight, struck you as you
read this book?