Ordinary Grace by William Hunt Krueger

About the Book

New Bremen, Minnesota, 1961. The Twins were playing their debut season, ice-cold root beers were selling out at the soda counter of Halderson’s Drugstore, and Hot Stuff comic books were a mainstay on every barbershop magazine rack. It was a time of innocence and hope for a country with a new, young president. But for thirteen-year-old Frank Drum it was a grim summer in which death visited frequently and assumed many forms. Accident. Nature. Suicide. Murder.

Frank begins the season preoccupied with the concerns of any teenage boy, but when tragedy unexpectedly strikes his family—which includes his Methodist minister father; his passionate, artistic mother; Juilliard-bound older sister; and wise-beyond-his-years kid brother—he finds himself thrust into an adult world full of secrets, lies, adultery, and betrayal, suddenly called upon to demonstrate a maturity and gumption beyond his years.

Told from Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.


Hillbilly Elegy Discussion Questions

The following discussion questions for “Hillbilly Elegy” were compiled by our member Allison. Questions 2, 6, and 7 are written by Allison while the rest were adapted from LitLovers. We freely share our original discussion questions, but please consider including a credit and link to our website.

  1. What does this book bring to the national conversation about poverty in America? What did you learn about the roots and persistence of poverty?
  2. Is there a culture of cruelty surrounding poverty? Why are the poor often referred to as worthless, leaches, and lazy (or otherwise demonized)?
  3. What are the positive aspects of Appalachian culture?  
  4. Discuss the author’s resentment towards his neighbors who were receiving welfare but owned cellphones.  
  5. Vance refers to Appalachian culture as one that is “encouraging social decay” instead of counteracting it. Can you give an example to support his assertion?
  6. How has the opioid addiction epidemic affected the lives and communities of Appalachian culture?  
  7. The Rust Belt has suffered tremendous and pervasive economic hardship with the loss of manufacturing jobs. How can this area of the United States ever recover?  

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Creative Commons License

Hillbilly Elegy discussion questions are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.


Hissing Cousins Discussion Questions

The following discussion questions for “Hissing Cousins” were created by our member Heather. We freely share our original discussion questions, but please consider including a credit and link to our website.

  1. What did you learn about the two fractions of the Roosevelt family?
  2. What surprised you about the history of the Roosevelts? Were you surprised to learn about all of the adultery?
  3. The book's title suggest that the two cousins, Eleanor and Alice don't get along. Did you feel this was a true representation of their relationship?
  4. What are the similarities between Alice and Eleanor's lives? How do their lives differ? How do these different and similar life experiences influence these women's view of the world?
  5. Throughout Eleanor's life she is introduced to many strong women. How do these women help influence and shape Eleanor's character?
  6. How do Eleanor and Alice each break down gender barriers during their lifetimes?
  7. If FDR had not contracted polio, do you think Eleanor would have evolved into the woman she became?
  8. In the book, the authors discuss the speculations surrounding Eleanor's sexuality. What are your opinions on whether Eleanor was a lesbian, bisexual, or heterosexual?

Support our website!

If you like our website, please consider supporting us by buying this book through Amazon. You are directed to Amazon by clicking on the book cover to the left or on book covers displayed throughout our site. Thank you!


 

Creative Commons License

Hissing Cousins discussion questions are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.