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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Sparrow Sisters

1. What do you think is the meaning of the first line in THE SPARROW SISTERS: “All stories are true, some of them actually happened.” Do you think, for instance, that it is a reference to the story that is about to be told?

2. THE SPARROW SISTERS is set in a New England seaside village, Granite Point. Why are we often attracted to stories about small-town life?

3. Living a simple life in a small town is seductive. Yet, Granite Point becomes very complicated as it turns on Patience Sparrow. Is that particular to small towns?

4. The three sisters in this novel each play a role in their family and at the Nursery. Discuss each role and how they complement each other and sometimes conflict with each other.

5. How does the author create the tension that exists between Patience and Henry? How does she create it differently between Sorrel and Charlotte, Simon and Sorrel, Nettie and Ben?

6. THE SPARROW SISTERS has an old-fashioned feel. In fact, in the early pages it could almost be set many, many years in the past. Do you think this timeless effect makes it easier for the reader to believe the magical realism aspects?

7. There are a handful of vivid characters that inform THE SPARROW SISTERS even though they are dead. How does the author make those characters real and relevant to the sisters and to the reader?

8. The author paints both a realistic picture of Granite Point and its residents and a fairy-tale one. What elements and senses and words does she use to make her word pictures so vivid? Which of the senses she employs is most appealing to you?

9. Why do you think Henry Carlyle and Patience Sparrow are attracted to each other when they so clearly have very different views on healing?

10. Do you believe that Eliza Howard and Clarissa Sparrow were really witches? Do you believe that Patience Sparrow is a witch?

11. Do you think Rob Short will stay in Granite Point?

12. Do you feel hopeful for Sorrel?

13. Do you believe in magic?

The Sparrow Sisters
by Ellen Herrick

  • Publication Date: September 1, 2015
  • Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
  • ISBN-10: 0062386344
  • ISBN-13: 9780062386342