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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Dreaming Water

1.Gail Tsukiyama uses the Eleanor Roosevelt quote "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift." at the beginning of Dreaming Water. Why does she use it? How does this division shape the story?

2. Why do you think that Gail Tsukiyama chooses to have Dreaming Water occur over a two-day period?

3. Gail Tsukiyama deliberately chooses a disease that manifests itself in very specific ways. Why does she choose Werner's Syndrome?

4. Why is the third voice in the novel Josephine's and not Laura's?

5. What role does water play in the book? What does it mean to Hana? Cate? Max?

6. What role does memory play in the story? How do the characters rely on memory?

7. How does Cate and Max's different cultural backgrounds add to the story?

8. How does the time that Max spends in the internment camp shape the rest of his life?

9. Max's car means so much more to the family than a means of transportation, what else does it symbolize?

10. What role does nature play in Hana and Cate's lives?

11. How does Laura help Hana and Cate come to terms with Hana's illness?

12. Why is Hana able to connect to Josie in ways that Laura isn't?

13. What's the significance of everyone returning to the beach in the end? Is the ending fulfilling? Could it have ended in another way?


Dreaming Water
by Gail Tsukiyama

  • Publication Date: May 1, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312316089
  • ISBN-13: 9780312316082