QUESTIONS FOR READERS
THE ROPE SWING by Candace Kearns Read
- How has society changed between present day and the 1970’s in terms of social services, parenting laws, expectations, etc.?
- How compatible do you think Joe and Candace are? What draws them together? What keeps them together?
- Why did Candace feel anger and resentment when she first learned about her half-sister at the age of 32?
- How does the appearance of Candace’s half-sister Nancy change the dynamics in the relationship between Candace and her mother?
- Do you like Carol? Hate her? A little of both? Why or why not?
- To what extent do you feel Candace brought her problems upon herself?
- An earlier draft of the book ended before Carol’s death. Why do you think the author decided to extend the story to include those scenes?
- In a memoir, the author uses fictional techniques to tell a true story. Was this book successful in telling a true story that read somewhat like fiction? Why or why not?
- What do you think the ultimate message of the book is?
- Can anyone ever save a person who doesn’t want to be saved?
- In what way does Candace harm herself in the process of trying to help her mother?
- In what ways are Candace and Carol similar? How are they different?
- Why do you think the author chose to alternate POV’s between the adult and child narrators?
- Why do you think the story is told in present tense?
- What does it mean when the adult Candace says she keeps trying “like Sisyphus” to save her mother from herself?
- How much responsibility do you think we should take for our relatives when they have acted with selfishness and/or self-destructiveness?