Breaking TWIG Questions and Topics for Discussion: (Spoiler Alert: Questions may contain spoilers)
1. What was your response to Breaking TWIG? What did you like best about it?
2. What was unique about the setting of the book? How did it enhance or take away from the story?
3. Describe the characters and plot. How do the characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? Did the plot pull you in?
4. What specific themes did the author explore? Did certain parts of the book make you feel uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way?
5. Frank felt guilty for sending Donald to live with his grandparents and blamed himself for Donald’s actions. How much responsibility (if any) does a parent bare for the actions of their grown children?
6. A major theme in Breaking TWIG is surviving abuse. Becky, Helen, and even Henry were victims of emotional and/or physical abuse as a child. How does each character deal with the abuse? How are their personalities shaped by it? In your opinion, who suffered the greater abuse?
7. Becky said having one person who loves and believes in you is all a person needs to keep hope alive. She had her grandpa, Dad, Frank, Johnny, and Anna. Henry had his mother, while Helen had nobody. How influential a role was this love or lack of love on how each character developed as an adult?
8. Does Becky change her feelings about her mother after she learns the truth about Helen’s childhood? Were your feelings or opinions changed toward Helen? Is it possible to have understanding without forgiveness?
9. Did Helen love Becky at all? Does Becky’s struggle exemplify the strength of the human spirit? When forced to go to Starview Mountain with Donald, Becky makes a critical choice with moral implications. Would you have made the same choice?
10. Did the book end the way you expected? Did Becky make the right decision? Do you believe Grandpa Eli was right—do we each determine our own truth?
11. In the Deep South of the 60’s and 70’s, women had much fewer legal rights than women of today. Example: In Louisiana a married woman could not make a binding contract (like buying a sofa on credit) without her husband or some male co-signing. How did Helen use her “womanly charms” to get around these limitations? How do women rise above the limitations they often encounter?
12. Even as an adult, Becky felt she could not leave Sugardale because she had promised her father to care for his home and garden. What is our obligation to others verses what we owe ourselves?