Suggested Essay Topics

Chapter 1 - Ruby
1. What specific details most made an impression on you? Which details seemed to communicate a mood?

2. Try to describe the personalities, beliefs, and histories of the men, based on the descriptions of them in this chapter. In particular, explore their feelings about what they are doing. Hints and indications of their feelings can be found throughout the chapter.

Chapter 2 - Mavis
1. What do you think of Mavis? Describe her based on what you learned in this chapter. Evaluate her strengths and weaknesses. Would you want to have her as a friend? Why or why not?

2. What are your impressions of the Convent and of the two women we meet there, Connie and Mother? What sense do you get of the place? Use specific details from the chapter.

Chapter 3 - Grace
1. How would you describe the conflict between Gigi’s way of living and that of the citizens of Ruby? Look at the information in this chapter and think about how Ruby is described in the first chapter. What similarities and differences do you see between the rules that govern this young woman and how this community of individuals lives? Could people learn from each other in this situation? What problems might develop?

2. What would you say are Gigi’s best and worst qualities? We see her interact with many different people in this chapter. Do you think she is a good person? Why or why not? What words would you choose to describe her, and why?

Chapter 4 - Seneca
1. What do you think of Seneca? What impressions do you get from her? Review the chapter carefully and combine the facts given with what you feel and might assume about her as a character. Support what you say with details.

2. What is your impression of Ruby, based on...

(The entire section is 762 words.)