October 28, 2011

Reading Buddies: A Monster Calls [5]

Last set of questions for this month's buddy read. :)

Part 5: What's the Use of You - The Truth

1. What is more painful to Conor than the death of his mother? Why does he need to be honest?

The truth - and the acknowledgment of it - was what was more painful to Conor than the actual death of his mother. It was what made the monster "walk" again, that truth. And the truth was that in the deepest recesses of his heart, Conor had the smallest of wishes that his mother's suffering would end soon. There is nothing shameful or evil about that, in my opinion, but it was painful in the sense that Conor knew that only by letting his mother go would she be truly become at peace.

And that was also the reason why he needed to be honest - to help him and his mother both to move on.

2. At the end of the novel, Conor says something very important to his mom. Why must he say it? Why must she hear it?

It's been several weeks since I read the book, so I am relying on my recollections of the story in answering this particular question. Conor knew he must tell his mother what was in his heart - knew that she must hear it - because it was the truth, and hasn't it been oft-repeated that the truth will set us free?

3. This isn't related to just Part 5, but to the whole book: what makes A Monster Calls such a powerful novel? If you could talk to Conor, what would you tell him?

The power and persuasive effect of A Monster Calls lies in the fact that it deals with mature and real subject matter: death, loss, and eventually, acceptance. I've read very few YA books that tackle themes of such nature, and I truly appreciate this work. I hope that lots of people will read this, as well.

If I could talk to Conor, this is simply what I'd tell him: Life is what you make it. Learn how to play with the cards that life deals you with, and you'll be okay.

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