Chapter 1 - Ruby Questions and Answers
1. How far is the Convent from Ruby, and how far is Ruby from the nearest town?
2. How many women are in the Convent?
3. What are the names taped above two of the bedroom doors?
4. What is one thing that the women who currently live in the Convent have in common with the nuns who once lived there?
5. What was the message on the iron door of the Oven?
6. How many horses entered the race that Ossie organized and did they all run?
7. What medal decorated the ribbon for the winner of the race?
8. Who awarded the medal to the winner of the race?
9. What did the veterans want to name the new town?
10. How long did the settlers call their new town New Haven?
1. The Convent is seventeen miles from Ruby, and Ruby is 90 miles from any other town.
2. It seems that there are no more than four women in the Convent. We know this because there are nine men, and we are told that the nine men are more than twice the number of the women.
3. The names taped above two of the bedroom doors are “Seneca” and “Divine.”
4. The women who live in the Convent now, like the nuns before them, sell the produce and barbecue sauce they grow and make.
5. The message on the iron door of the Oven is not revealed in the first chapter.
6. Ten horses entered the race that Ossie organized, but only three horses actually ran.
7. Ossie’s Purple Heart decorated the ribbon for the winner of the race.
8. The little girl with the most poppies in her hair awarded the medal to the winner of the race.
9. The veterans wanted to name the new town after the battles they were in. Those who fought in the Pacific theater suggested Guam or Inchon, whereas the ones who fought in Europe wanted names from their battlefields.
10. The settlers called their new town New Haven for three years.
Chapter 2 - Mavis Questions and Answers
1. How did the neighbors react to the deaths of Mavis’ twin babies?
2. What event surprised Mavis as much as it surprised everyone else?
3. How many times had Mavis been a patient at the County Hospital, and how many of those times were for childbirth?
4. What information from Mavis deeply disturbs her mother, Birdie Goodroe?
5. On what does Mavis get drunk when her car runs out of gas?
6. What are some of the unusual details about Connie?
7. What food does Connie offer Mavis? Does Mavis eat the food?
8. Why does Connie think that shelling pecans is a good job for Mavis?
9. What is the population of Ruby, according to the sign Mavis sees?
10. What did Mavis dream about the night after she first met Mother?
1. The neighbors seemed pleased when the babies died.
2. The event that surprised Mavis as much as it surprised everyone else was Mavis’ stealing the Cadillac.
3. Mavis had been a patient at the County Hospital 15 times; 4 of them were for childbirth.
4. The information from Mavis that deeply disturbs Birdie Goodroe is Mavis’ assertion that her family is trying to kill her.
5. When her car runs out of gas, Mavis get drunk on the Old Times whiskey her husband left in the car.
6. Some of the unusual details about Connie are: her hairstyle (described as Hiawatha braids), her fondness for aviator sunglasses, and her direct, almost brusque way of speaking.
7. Connie offers Mavis a potato, and Mavis, despite her nausea, eats and enjoys it.
8. Connie says that shelling pecans is a good job for Mavis, because Mavis has the perfect fingers and fingernails to do the job right and get the nut meat out whole.
9. According to the sign that Mavis sees, the population of Ruby is 360.
10. The night after she first met Mother, Mavis had a dream in which a lion cub attacks and eats her. The lion cub in this dream had blue eyes, just like Mother’s eyes.
Chapter 3 - Grace Questions and Answers
1. Whom does K. D. remember in connection to the lace he sees in the house?
2. To what does Deek liken the credit union Misner has founded?
3. What specific memory comes back to K. D. when he thinks about this new woman, whom he so desires?
4. What does Reverend Misner say that the Fleetwood women promised to bring out?
5. When Reverend Misner sees K. D. speeding down a street, what is the young man driving?
6. According to Dice, what, other than the fig trees, makes the town of Ruby worth visiting?
7. How had the citizens of Wish, Arizona, reacted to their local landmark?
8. How does Dice respond when Gigi tells him she hates rhubarb?
9. How much did Roger Best charge for the removal of Mother’s body?
10. How much time had passed between Mother’s death and Mavis’s return to the Convent?
1. K. D. remembers his Aunt Soane in connection to the lace he sees in the house. He remembers that she worked lace like a prisoner, making more lace than could ever be used.
2. Deek likens the credit union Misner has founded to a piggy bank.
3. When K. D. thinks about this new woman, the memory that comes back to him is of a time when he was a boy. While traveling with his uncle Steward, K. D. once saw a big swimming pool, full of white children and outside his reach. He never forgot it.
4. Reverend Misner says that the Fleetwood women promised to bring out coffee and rice pudding after the men have their family meeting.
5. Reverend Misner sees K. D. speeding down a street driving Steward Morgan’s Impala.
6. According to Dice, the other thing that makes Ruby worth visiting is the rhubarb pie a person can get there.
7. The citizens of Wish, Arizona, hated their local landmark and wanted to destroy it with explosives.
8. When Gigi tells Dice she hates rhubarb, he says that she “ain’t lived at all.”
9. Roger Best charged 25 dollars for the removal of Mother’s body.
10. Seven days had passed between Mother’s death and Mavis’ return to the Convent.
Chapter 4 - Seneca Questions and Answers
1. During the debate about the Oven, to what had Deacon Morgan taken exception?
2. How did Dovey Morgan feel about the issues in the debate?
3. What kind of food had Dovey offered the Friend when he visited?
4. What had Soane shouted when she saw her sons at Thanksgiving in 1968?
5. How many quail had Deek killed while hunting?
6. How many towns did the Morgan men and boys plan to visit? Did they get to all of them?
7. Why did Deek decide not to go after Sweetie?
8. How did the hitchhiker manage to avoid injury when she leapt out of the truck?
9. How did the Convent women seem to Sweetie when she arrived?
10. What was Seneca considering doing when she was approached by Norma Fox’s chauffeur?
1. Deacon Morgan took definite exception to someone referring to his grandfather Zechariah as “a former slave.”
2. Dovey Morgan felt ambivalent and undecided about the issues in the debate.
3. Dovey had once offered the Friend a slice of bread and apple butter when he visited.
4. When she saw her sons at Thanksgiving in 1968, Soane shouted, “Prayer works!”
5. Deek killed 12 quail while hunting, 6 of which he had given to Sargeant Person.
6. The Morgan men and boys planned to visit seven towns, but they visited only four of them.
7. Deek decided not to go after Sweetie because he felt opening the Morgan bank on time was a greater responsibility.
8. The hitchhiker (Seneca) avoided injury because the truck was climbing an incline.
9. The Convent women seemed like predatory birds to Sweetie.
10. When she was approached by Norma Fox’s chauffeur, Seneca had been waiting for a bus and was thinking about going to see a movie.
Chapter 5 - Divine Questions and Answers
1. What name did Anna Flood use when she thought about Reverend Pulliam?
2. Which biblical verses had Misner planned to allude to at the wedding?
3. What animal-related incident were various people interpreting as an omen about the wedding?
4. How did the groom respond to this supposed “omen”?
5. What had K. D. done with the letters he received from Arnette?
6. What biblical verse had Reverend Pulliam featured in a sermon about Arnette’s “outrage at the Convent”?
7. What were some of the manifestations of the trouble between the Morgans and the Fleetwoods?
8. Who begins to play the piano at the wedding reception?
9. What did Billie [Delia] Cato specifically warn Pallas not to be worried about at the Convent?
10. What kind of job does Gigi assume Pallas’ mother held?
1. When she thought about Reverend Pulliam, Anna Flood used the name “Senior ‘Take No Prisoners’ Pulliam.”
2. Misner had planned to allude to Revelation 19:7 and 9, and Matthew 19:6 at the wedding.
3. Various people at the wedding were concerned about the buzzards (vultures) seen flying north over the town. They interpreted this as a bad omen about the wedding.
4. The groom’s response to this supposed omen was one of scorn. He felt that those who paid attention to it were simpletons.
5. K. D. had put the letters he received from Arnette in a shoe box in his aunt’s attic.
6. The biblical verse Reverend Pulliam featured in a sermon was Jeremiah 1:5.
7. Some of the indicators of the trouble between the Morgans and the Fleetwoods included the time Jeff Fleetwood pulled a gun on K. D.; the time Menus Jury had to stop a shoving match between Steward and Arnold Fleetwood; and the time Mabel Fleetwood didn’t send a cake to the All-Church Bake Sale.
8. Kate Golightly begins to play the piano at the wedding reception.
9. Billie [Delia] Cato specifically warns Pallas not to be worried if she sees the women in the Convent walking around naked.
10. Gigi assumes Pallas’ mother had been a stripper.
Chapter 6 - Patricia Questions and Answers
1. What mistake had Pat made the previous school year regarding her students’ Christmas decorations?
2. Were the Morgan brothers inclined to approve Roger Best’s bank loan?
3. What did Pat look at in the yard through the open window?
4. What had Fairy DuPres fed the baby that she and her people rescued on the way to found Haven?
5. According to Pat’s history project, how long had this particular group of “8-Rocks” been in this country?
6. What was left when Billy Cato died?
7. What exactly had Fairy DuPres said to Steward Morgan in response to his words about Roger’s decision to bring and marry Delia?
8. How long did Billie Delia stay at the Convent?
9. How and when did Nathan DuPres and his wife, Mirth, lose their babies?
10. According to Pat’s realization, is God’s “Furrowed Brow” the one referred to in the Oven’s inscription?
1. The mistake Pat made the previous school year regarding her students’ Christmas decorations was to let her very young pupils apply the glue and glitter themselves. She had to clean their faces and hands.
2. Yes, the Morgan brothers were inclined to approve Roger Best’s bank loan.
3. Pat looked at her mother’s grave in the yard through the open window.
4. Fairy DuPres had fed the baby a water-soaked meal cake.
5. According to Pat’s history project, the group of “8-Rocks” had been in this country since at least 1770.
6. Nothing was left when Billy Cato died except a few “effects,” including a crushed gold ring.
7. Fairy DuPres had said, “God don’t love ugly ways. Watch out He don’t deny you what you love too,” in response to Steward Morgan’s words about Delia.
8. Billie Delia stayed at the Convent for two weeks and a day.
9. Nathan DuPres and Mirth lost their babies in a tornado in 1922.
10. According to Pat, the “Furrowed Brow” does not refer to God. It is the brow of Zechariah and those who followed him, of ancestors watching over their children and grandchildren, exhorting them to remain true to their (skin-based) identity.
Chapter 7 - Consolata Questions and Answers
1. What made Consolata’s violent illness as a child almost pleasant?
2. How much time passed between the first time Connie saw “the living man” and the next time?
3. What errand brought the man out to the Convent?
4. What particular detail about Deek did Connie notice and love?
5. What had Sister Roberta most particularly warned the Native American girls against?
6. According to Consolata’s memory, over how many years had these women come to the convent?
7. How many children had Mary Magna “rescued” from the streets in South America?
8. Where had Mary Magna’s non-rescued children ended up?...
(The entire section is 284 words.)
Chapter 8 - Lone Questions and Answers
1. What was written on the sign that Lone almost knocked down?
2. What kind of herb was Lone searching for near the Oven?
3. How old is Lone in the present?
4. Do the men go anywhere after leaving the Oven and before going to the Convent?
5. Whom does Lone seek out once she gets her car out of the ditch?
6. What time did the Convent women wake to prepare for the day?
7. Who shoots the white woman?
8. About whom did Dovey Morgan once have a strange, portentous dream?
9. Who took the knife out of Menus Jury’s shoulder?
10. When Roger Best goes out to the Convent, what is he unable to...
(The entire section is 267 words.)
Chapter 9 - Save-Marie Questions and Answers
1. What had Sweetie refused to discuss?
2. How was Esther, Jeff and Sweetie’s second child, given her name?
3. What didn’t Pat Best tell Richard?
4. Who wept before the entire congregation of the Holy Redeemer?
5. Where do the Carys live, and how do we know this?
6. What was the first question that Manley Gibson asked his daughter, Gigi?
7. What part of Pallas did Dee Dee Truelove feel she had been unable to capture in the many portraits she had painted?
8. What does Mavis do when Sally hugs her tightly?
9. How does Seneca’s friend clean the wounds on Seneca’s hands?
10. What is...
(The entire section is 308 words.)