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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Skylight Confessions

1. There is much speculation by characters in the novel as to whether John and Arlyn were fated to find each other. Do you think they were destined to be together? Or do you think that Arlyn was meant to be with George Snow? Would Arlyn ever have met George if she hadn’t first fallen in love with John?

2. Arlyn’s hair is described as being several different shades of red in the book, from fire-red to blood-red. How do you think these varying descriptions affect the way you perceive Arlyn in these scenes?

3. Why is it significant that the Moodys live in a glass house, and that the design of this house is the crowning achievement of John’s father’s career?

4. Why do you think Arlyn haunts John Moody for so long after her death?

5. After Arlyn’s death, John and his son, Sam, manage to clash on just about everything. Is there anything besides Arlyn that you think these two have in common?

6. Birds make notable appearances in several scenes in the novel. Identify a few such scenes and discuss the role that birds play in the story.

7. Arlyn passes on to her children specific items that they wear like talismans: Sam gets her gray coat and Blanca her pearls. In what ways is each of these gifts appropriate for its recipient?

8. “Sam Moody wasn’t like other people. The things he thought most often about were dishes, bones, vases, model planes, buildings made of blocks --- things that could be broken” (page 44). What do you think this passage says about Sam’s personality? To what do you attribute Sam’s addiction to drugs?

9. Discuss the role that Meredith, as an outsider to the family, plays in the novel.

10. How do you think Blanca’s life will change after the novel ends? What do you hope will happen for her? What effect will the revelation of her true father’s identity ultimately have on Blanca?

Skylight Confessions
by Alice Hoffman

  • Publication Date: February 11, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316017876
  • ISBN-13: 9780316017879