Reading guide for These Granite Islands by Sarah Stonich

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

These Granite Islands

by Sarah Stonich

These Granite Islands by Sarah Stonich X
These Granite Islands by Sarah Stonich
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2001, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2002, 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. Cathryn and Isobel have a special, yet unusual, friendship. What is it that first draws them to each other? There are many disparities between the two women - why and how does their friendship work? How do they enrich each other's lives? In what ways does Isobel's friendship with Cathryn change her life?

  2. Isobel was not only complicit in Cathryn and Jack's affair; she helped them carry it out. Why did she do this even if she believed it was morally wrong?

  3. The summer of 1936 was clearly one of the defining moments in Isobel's life. In what ways did her marriage change after this summer? In what ways did her relationships with her children change? In what ways did she herself change?

  4. If the story were contemporary, Cathryn's manic illness might have been properly diagnosed and attended to. What other outcomes of the story were dictated by the era?

  5. Isobel had always been uneasy in Cypress, and after the disappearance of Jack and Cathryn, her reputation was nearly ruined. Victor had been embraced and revered in the community. How did this particular tension affect their marriage?

  6. How did Isobel's and Victor's family histories shape and influence them? As partners in their marriage? As parents to their children?

  7. Isobel seems to have deliberately chosen a solitary life after Victor's death. Why? What role might the circumstances of that one summer played in determining that 'choice'?

  8. How do the many losses that Isobel suffers affect her in her old age? Does she ultimately resolve these losses? Does she make peace with her memories?

  9. What closure, if any, could Thomas derive from his mother's story? How did his own curiosity about the past affect his relationship with his mother?

  10. Some questions remain unanswered in the novel, such as Liam's death and how Isobel comes to imagine the fates of Jack and Cathryn. Is it necessary that these questions be resolved? Identify other mysteries and open-ended questions in the book, and discuss how you interpret them.


Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Back Bay Books. 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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Inflamed Mind
    The Inflamed Mind
    by Edward Bullmore
    It is common knowledge that depression diminishes the quality of sufferers' lives, but few people ...
  • Book Jacket: The Adults
    The Adults
    by Caroline Hulse
    Things have already fallen apart on the first page of The Adults. The novel opens with an emergency ...
  • Book Jacket: News of Our Loved Ones
    News of Our Loved Ones
    by Abigail DeWitt
    The Delasalle family of Abigail DeWitt's News of Our Loved Ones are no strangers to the dark specter...
  • Book Jacket: My Sister, the Serial Killer
    My Sister, the Serial Killer
    by Oyinkan Braithwaite
    While the title of the novel gives away the plot, My Sister, the Serial Killer is essentially a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Becoming
by Michelle Obama

An intimate, powerful, and inspiring memoir by the former First Lady of the United States.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    At the Wolf's Table
    by Rosella Postorino

    The internationally bestselling novel about the women conscripted to be Hitler's food tasters.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Uncommon Type

Uncommon Type
by Tom Hanks

Surprising, intelligent, heartwarming, and a must-have for Tom Hanks fans!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Tell I T T M

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.