Reading guide for The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The End of the Point

by Elizabeth Graver

The End of the Point by Elizabeth Graver
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2013, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2014, 368 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The End of the Point begins with an epigraph from William Starr Dana's Plants and Their Children. How does this quote set the tone for the novel? How does it reflect the story's themes?

  2. The novel is told through three main points of view - Bea's, Helen's, and Charlie's?over a period of more than fifty years. What does each perspective and timeframe bring to the story? What would the book lose or gain if the author had set it in one era and/or followed a single character's perspective?

  3. What is Bea's relationship to various members of the Porter family? How does it evolve over time? Discuss Bea's bond with her charge, Jane. Is she too close to Jane—closer than Jane's biological mother? Do you think such a deep and close bond between nanny and child could exist in the United States today?

  4. Bea has an offer of marriage from Smitty, the soldier she meets at Ashaunt during World War II. Why does she turn him down? Do you think this is ultimately the right choice for her? Though she spends most of her life in America with the Porters, she eventually returns to her native Scotland. Why?

  5. Helen, who comes of age in the 1940's and 50's, is torn between a number of ambitions and drives. How do the circumstances she was born into inform who she is? What do you view as her strengths and weaknesses as a sister, wife, intellectual, and mother?

  6. The Porters are a wealthy American family. What privileges does their wealth afford them? How might their money be detrimental to themselves or others?

  7. Many major events and trends of the twentieth century - World War II, the Vietnam War, women's liberation, psychoanalysis, environmentalism, land development—are portrayed in the story. How are these wider contexts made visceral through the characters' experiences? How do these wider movements affect the characters' relationship to Ashaunt?

  8. When he is older, Charlie remembers that his mother accused him of courting suffering. Did he? What about Helen herself? Bea? How do the three of them change over the course of the story?

  9. Would you characterize the three protagonists as idealists? Why or why not?

  10. What other authors or books might you place in the same literary "family" as The End of the Point, and why?

  11. Author Gish Jen writes, "In this globalized age, with everyone talking about migration, here comes Elizabeth Graver to remind us of just what place can mean. The attachment in this book . . . transcends time and personality. It is deep, extraordinarily ordinary, and finally provocative." What might be "provocative" about the book's evocation of place? What sorts of questions does the novel prompt us to ask about how we live our 21st-century lives? Is there a place in your own life that you feel a great attachment to?

  12. Discuss the novel's final scene. Why end here?

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.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  Buzzard's Bay

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    All Tomorrow's Parties
    by Rob Spillman
    In this absorbing memoir, co-founder of Tin House magazine, Rob Spillman, recalls his artistic ...
  • Book Jacket: Strangers in Their Own Land
    Strangers in Their Own Land
    by Arlie Russell Hochschild
    Arlie Russell Hochschild's dive into the heart of Tea Party America is as good a glimpse of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    After receiving a letter from his childhood friend's father, Aaron Falk, a Melbourne police officer ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Victoria
by Daisy Goodwin

"A hit…The research is impeccable, the attention to detail, perfect." - The Sunday Mirror (UK)

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Piece of the World
    by Christina Baker Kline

    A stunning novel of friendship, passion, and art from the #1 bestselling author of Orphan Train.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.