What are the major themes in the book Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A theme is an idea that is examined over and over again within a book. Among the major themes in Walk Two Moons are: 1) acceptance of loss, 2) courage born of love, and 3) healing found in grief.

Throughout the book, several main character struggles to accept that death of a loved one.

From page one, Sal struggles to accept the death of her mother. Before she does, she is angry at her mother for abandoning her. Her best friend Phoebe is struggling with the loss of her mother at the same time. A critical turning point in Sal’s acceptance comes at the end of Chapter 27:

Maybe when everything seemed sad and miserable, Phoebe and I could both hope that something might start to go right (176).

Sal’s mother struggled to accept the death of her baby. As part of that struggle, she took a trip across the country, but before she could return home to Sal, she was killed in a traffic accident.At the end of Sal’s road trip, Gramps has to struggle to accept the death of Gram.

Phoebe’s mother has seemed ready to abandon her, but in reality she has been struggling to find the courage to embrace the love of her lost son, Mike:

"Mike found me and at first I was frightened of what that would mean. I’ve lived such a tiny life—"(Ch. 39, p.248).

Look at scenes with Sal’s father. Does he show signs of grief? Is that grief helping him to heal? What about Sal, Sal’s mother, and Gramps? Is grief one of the ways they learn to accept the death of their loved ones? Does that help them heal?

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The most prominent theme in Walk Two Moons is that of coming of age. Corollary themes are identity and finding self, which are related but have differing fine points. The first, the rites of passage to coming of age, is the most important theme. Sal must pursue understanding and acceptance of things that at the outset of the story are beyond her capability of grasping. For example, by the end of the novel, she must understand her mother's quest and accept her death. Not only this, but Sal must form a new resolve and embrace a new courage to go forward in her world and life without her mother.

A correlated them is that of identity. Sal's mother lost a baby by saving her other child, Sal, and as a result of the event felt at odds with her sense of identity. The same event and his wife's quest caused Sal's father to waver in his sense of identity, so much so that he had to turn his back on all that had previously identified him: the farm and the memories of his wife at home there. This abandonment of the roots of identity shook Sal's own sense of identity and prohibited her from feeling at home in the new town.

Finally, in a closely related theme, Sal had to find herself just as her mother had done. Sal had to find the answers that would quiet her tossed and torn world and connect her with her heritage and her peace of mind. Sal's mother went on her quest to her past and, following in her mother's footsteps, even to her grave, Sal must face the dangers and lessons of her own quest to find her own self.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team