Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- What were your views on polygamy before reading the book? Did they change after you finished reading?
- Discuss Golden's progression from lonely polygamist to social polygamist. How does a renewal of faith assist this transformation?
- Compare and contrast Golden's behavior at the two funerals. How are they similar? In what ways are they different?
- How does Glory affect the other family members and Golden in particular?
- Discuss the motifs of creation and destruction that appear throughout the novel.
- Do you think Rusty is a representative figure for all of the Richards children in the novel, or is he in some ways unique?
- Trish is one of the most conflicted mothers in the novel. What do you think of her decision at the end? Was it the right thing to do?
- How has the family changed at the conclusion of the novel? Do you think they are happy with their decisions?
- Discuss Rose-of-Sharon's reaction to Rusty's accident. Do you think you would have reacted the same way if you were in her place?
- Why do you think Golden isn't able to consummate his affair with Huila?
- Physical appearance is described with exacting clarity throughout the novel. Golden is described as bucktoothed and "Sasquatch," and Glory as "lopsided" and "overstuffed." Why do you think there is such a heightened awareness of the body?
- What is the effect of polygamy on the women in the novel? How do you think their lives and personalities would be different if they weren't in a polygamous relationship?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of W.W. Norton & Company.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.