By turns poignant and wry, Molly Moynahan's Stone Garden introduces a candid, young narrator struggling to cope with the sudden and violent death of her lifelong friend, Matthew Swan. From the novel's arresting first chapter, Alice gives us a provocative portrait of her life without Matthew, a loss that coincides with her senior year in high school. Though Alice had known him since childhood and fallen in love with him as a teenager, certain aspects of Matthew could only be discovered once he was gone. She seeks solace in talks with his unconventional mother, while her own parents make awkward attempts to help her grieve. She befriends a classmate who witnessed a frightening crime. And Alice begins volunteering at a writing program for prison inmates, which takes her perception of the world in a startling new direction. With each of these small, healing doses, Alice learns to embrace life again.
Wrought with sensitivity and sparkling wit, Stone Garden captures the transition from innocence to understanding that we all must make. We hope that the following questions will enhance your discussion of this mesmerizing novel.