Reading guide for The Hollow Ground by Natalie S. Harnett

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

The Hollow Ground

A Novel

by Natalie S. Harnett

The Hollow Ground
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2014, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2015, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. Ma and Gram have many failings as mothers. In what ways are they the same? In what ways different?

  2. Daddy tells Brigid that Gram and Ma fight so much not because they hate each other, but because they love each other. He says that one of them has got to give the love first and they're each too stubborn to do it. "So they hold onto the love for each other and it turns all ugly inside them." How accurate is Daddy's assessment of Gram and Ma's relationship? Is there any truth to his words?

  3. Ma and Daddy are greatly influenced by their pasts. Memories and repressed memories—what they remember, what they don't remember, as well as what they misremember—shape who they are. Discuss how all these different types of memories contribute to how they perceive themselves and others.

  4. In many ways The Hollow Ground is a story of survival. How well would you say Brigid survives? Do you think she has a chance at being happy in her adult life? Do you think this is also a story of survival for Ma? ?

  5. In some ways Gram is a champion of women's rights. In other ways she subverts them. Discuss how she does both.

  6. How does the author use the fire to help tell the story of this family? ?

  7. Discuss the ways the novel explores the nature of love between a parent and child. Are there any limitations to that love?

  8. The Hollow Ground could be viewed as a cautionary tale about what happens when we delve underground. Do you think mine fires such as the one that took place in Barrendale could serve as an argument against other environmental issues of concern such as fracking or oil drilling?

  9. Do you think Stepma did the right thing by sending Ma away? Do you think Ma is capable of forgiving her? Why or why not?

  10. How is Auntie's story "The Great Forgetting" meaningful to the novel as a whole

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. 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!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Do No Harm
    by Henry Marsh
    British neurosurgeon Henry Marsh might already be familiar as the subject of the Emmy-winning ...
  • Book Jacket: Everybody's Fool
    Everybody's Fool
    by Richard Russo
    Written from multiple viewpoints, Everybody's Fool features an ensemble cast of inhabitants ...
  • Book Jacket: The Strings of Murder
    The Strings of Murder
    by Oscar de Muriel
    As Jack the Ripper eludes the police at Scotland Yard in London and all efforts to catch the most ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    A Certain Age
    by Beatriz Williams

    The Roaring Twenties comes to life in this tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Since She Went Away
    by David Bell

    A chilling novel of guilt, regret, and a past which refuses to die...

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

C To T Q

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.