But, to my mind, that it too simple a summary for this book, rich with character and story and images and metaphors. And theology too: In a sermon this Lent about baptism, I talked about Edward's being thrown overboard into the sea as a kind of baptism, a death and resurrection and a beginning of a journey.
Without further ado, here are some possible ideas for conversation/discussion:
1. Did you enjoy this book? Why or why not? What did you like/dislike about it?
2. Talk about Edward's journey, the people he meets and what he learns from them. What about Abilene, Nellie and Lawrence, Lucy and Bull, Bryce and Sarah Ruth.
3. What about Pellegrina, her repeated phrase, "you disappoint me," and her scary fairy tale?
4. Edward stares up at the stars frequently throughout the book. He sees different things there. throughout the book. What do you think is the significance of the stars?
5. I saw baptismal imagery in this book. Did others see other theological/biblical images or ideas? Talk about those.
Here are some passages from the book that struck me:
About Nellie: "Before, when Abilene talked to him, everything had seemed so boring, so pointless. But now, the stories Nellie told struck him as the most important thing in the world, and he listened as if his life depended on it."
Bull to Edward, about his travels as a hobo, "we are going nowhere. That, my friend is the irony of our constant movement."
Bryce, to Edward: "I come to save you."
About Sarah Ruth: "It was a singular sensation to be held so gently and yet so fiercely, to be stared down at with so much love."
Lucius Clarke, the Doll Repairer, about Bryce: "He gave you up so that you could be healed. Extraordinary."
The Old Doll, to Edward, "If you have no intention of loving or being loved, the whole journey is pointless." and finally, "Open your heart. Someone will come for you."
What are some significant passages for you?
I'm looking forward to the discussion. I have a deep love for children's literature, and often find theological themes of depth in these stories.