Reading guide for Run by Ann Patchett

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  • First Published:
    Sep 2007, 304 pages
    Jul 2008, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lee Gooden

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The first chapter of the book focused on the statue and who should rightfully inherit it. How did this chapter affect your impressions of the book? Did the statue play the role you thought it would?
  2. What year would you place the story? Is it modern day or some other time in the past/future?
  3. The author uses the statue to introduce the issue of race and family relations. Was this effectively played out?
  4. The boys kept finding similarities in their "sister" Kenya – when the fact was…she wasn't related at all. Even Doyle was noticing the physical similarities….were they seeing it because of suggestion?
  5. The book shows us a family that is dysfunctional and secretive. It also appears they are cut off from Bernadette's and Father Sullivan's other siblings, presumably due to the statue.   Does this family reflect your vision of family?
  6. Father Sullivan played a pivotal role in deciding the statues owner and dividing the family. Did he continue to play a significant role in the book? What would the book have looked like without him?
  7. How did the younger Sullivan's revelation of his past to "Tennessee Williams Moser" impact the story?
  8. What is the author's underlying message here? Is she presenting a new definition of family, a commentary on socioeconomics or something totally different?
  9. The book closes with Kenya running. Does this ending meet your expectations?
  10. Are you satisfied with how the author tied up the issues of race, family, parental responsibilities? What would you want changed or delved in to with greater depth?
  11. Now that the book has ended, what do you think will happen to the characters next?

Discussion questions compiled by the Pierce County Book Club of Puyallup, Washington.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Harper Perennial. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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