Reading Group Guide Family Tree

April 20, 2016

Reading Group Guide QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION

1. Family Tree takes place in picturesque small-town Vermont. How does the setting shape the characters and add depth to the story?
2. Describe Annie Rush. Compare the Annie we get to know before the accident, and the woman who emerges in its aftermath. How does the accident shape her future?
3. Think about Annie’s relationship with her family, beginning with her grandmother, Sugar. How do the lessons Annie learns from Gran about cooking and life shape the woman becomes? Does any of Gran’s advice especially touch you?
4. Do you think Annie is more similar to her mother or to her father? How does her parents’ marriage affect her own outlook about love and relationships?
5. Talk about Annie and Fletcher. What draws her to him? What does she see in him that her family initially does not? How would you describe Fletcher?
6. If the incident in the repair shop had not befallen Fletcher’s father, what do you think Fletcher would have pursued as a career? Do you think the path he chose suits him?
7. Like many teenagers, adolescent Annie dreams of embracing life to its fullest. “Poised to leave home and make her own way in the world, she wanted her life to be amazing, spectacular, singular, exciting . . . everything it was not on Rush Mountain in Switchback, Vermont.” How do Annie’s ambitions shape her choices about love and career? What does she believe the world outside offers that small-town Vermont does not?
8. While Annie eventually achieves everything her younger self wants, is she truly happy prior to her accident? Could she ever be fulfilled without Fletcher? What does he offer her that no one else can?
9. What, ultimately, is the most important thing to Annie? What about to Fletcher? What are the key moments in each of their lives, and how do they affect their relationship and transform each of them?
10. Do you think that Annie has to leave home to truly find where she ultimately belongs?