BKMT READING GUIDES
The Girl in the Garden
by Melanie Wallace
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When June arrives on the coast of New England, baby in arms, an untrustworthy man by her side, Mabel—who rents ...
When June arrives on the coast of New England, baby in arms, an untrustworthy man by her side, Mabel—who rents them a cabin—senses trouble. A few days later, the girl and her child are abandoned.
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Mabel knew before the girl came to speak with her what she’d say: that the man who hadn’t so much as posed as the girl’s husband hadn’t returned and wasn’t going to. She?—?Mabel?—?had surmised?—?no, she later told Iris over the phone, correcting herself, not surmised but known?—?from the moment she first saw them that he’d already washed his hands of her. For when he got out of the car he disregarded the girl, left her to open the passenger-side door and manage to get to her feet, stand, with that sleeping infant in her arms. He didn’t even glance behind him to check on her, just walked toward the office porch and left her to trail him. ... view entire excerpt...
Discussion Questions1. The girl in the garden, June, is rescued by Mabel. But their relationship is not the primary focus of the novel. Instead, Mabel acts like a catalyst for June and local loner Iris to forge a bond. Why do you think Wallace chose a third character to help in bringing the two women together?
2. Why do you think it important that the backdrop of the novel be during the Vietnam War?
3. Loss and healing are very important theme in THE GIRL IN THE GARDEN, how do the characters help each other in moving beyond their past traumas?
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