Discussion questions for The Solace of Stones: Finding a Way through Wilderness:
- In what ways is silence prevalent during the author’s childhood and teen years? In her family? In the rural Montana community where they live? What are the positive and negative effects of silence on people?
- How do masculinity and toughness shape the family, and the community members? In what ways can this be beneficial to men, women and children? In what ways can it be detrimental?
- In the chapter “How to Build a Log House,” the mother leaves her husband and children temporarily, and she considers leaving for good. Did she make the right decision to return and continue building the house? What would you have done in her situation?
- In what ways is the log house like a character in the book? (How does the house’s growth and appearance evolve over time? How does the author relate to and engage with it over the years? How does its role change as the family changes?)
- How would you characterize the author’s childhood relationship with her parents? Does that relationship change by the end of the book? If so, how?
- For local readers: Do you agree with the author’s assessment, in “Shifting Currents,” of the present-day changes and issues in Lincoln County? If not, what is your perspective?
- What theme, character or experience did you relate with most in the book, and why?
- When you finished reading The Solace of Stones, did you feel the end of the story was hopeful, depressing, or somewhere in between? Why?
- Takeaway questions: If you could break the silence about anything in your life, what would it be? What would you say?