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.

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!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Leonardo da Vinci
    Leonardo da Vinci
    by Walter Isaacson
    The name Leonardo da Vinci is one of the most recognized in all of Western history, and his ...
  • Book Jacket: The Immortalists
    The Immortalists
    by Chloe Benjamin
    On a summer day in 1969 in New York City, the Gold children agree to seek out a mysterious ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...
  • Book Jacket: The Kites
    The Kites
    by Romain Gary, Miranda Richmond Mouillot
    Published by New Directions for the first time in English, Romain Gary's The Kites tells a story of ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

A story that is at once quirky, charming, heartbreaking, suspenseful and poignant.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Days When Birds Come Back
    by Deborah Reed

    A graceful testament to endurance, rebuilding, and the possibilities of coming home.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

Education is the period during which you are being instructed by somebody you do not know, about something you do ...

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

Word Play

Solve this clue:

A J O A Thousand M B W O S

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.