Moonrise (King) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1.  Houses play an important role in Moonrise in any number of ways, and they are often contested spaces--either inherited, temporary, or uncomfortable, etc. How does architecture contribute to our understanding of the characters in the novel? How are the houses revealing of larger constructions of "home"?

2. Early in the novel, Tansy observes, "The graveyard is where all our stories end." Is this true? How does the nocturnal garden at Moonrise challenge (or confirm) Tansy's claim?
 
3. Water is an important symbol in Moonrise, as it is in all of King's work.  It takes many forms here: the drought, the experience at the falls, Kit's Oriental garden, the rain at the novel's conclusion, to name a few.  How does water function as a symbol in the novel?
 
4. Moonrise is told from three distinct narrative perspectives. What might we conclude about the voices that are absent from the novel, however, most obviously Rosalyn's?
 
5. One of the concerns of the novel is the legitimacy of narrative: Emmett possesses the authority of his news channel, and thus is a "trusted interpreter" of events.  How is Helen's cookbook also an important text?  Rosalyn's journal?   Myna's poems?
 
6. Like Maxim de Winter, Emmett is the older, wealthier, and arguably more powerful partner in his marriage, and, in fact, his role in Helen's success remains unclear. (Kit and Tansy intimate that he assisted in the creation of Helen's cooking show, but this rumor is never disproved.)  How does power play out in their relationship? What parallels are evident here between Moonrise and Rebecca?
 
7. What role does nature (butterflies, the garden, the mountains, etc.) play in the novel? How is it both threatened and threatening?
 
8. Moonrise is filled with unconventional relationships-the friendship between Willa and Linc, the connection between Tansy and Noel, and even the "sisterhood" of Rosalyn and Kit.  Many of these characters define themselves in very conventional ways according to expectations of class and gender. How do these friendships allow characters to see themselves in new, less restricted ways? What risks are inherent is stepping out of these established boundaries?
 
9. Meals become a site of dramatic tension throughout the novel. Revisit some of the scenes that revolve around food, and examine the ways that the food itself speaks to issues that the characters themselves are unable/unwilling to articulate.
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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