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A Northern Light
by Donnelly, Jennifer
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1. Why doesn't Mattie's father want her to work at the Glenmore? Does that seem like a good decision?

2. Mattie promised her dying mother that she would stay home and take care of her sisters. Does it seem fair that she should have to sacrifice her dream? What would you do in Mattie's place?

3. Mattie's friend Weaver gets involved in several confrontations. Why does he get involved? Do you think he is doing the right thing?

4. Mattie keeps Grace's letters secret for a long time. Was this the right thing to do? Why or why not?

5. What kind of person is Royal Loomis? What does Mattie like about him?

6. Why has Mattie's teacher, Miss Wilcox, come to teach at her school? What will happen to her if she doesn't return to her husband? Is this situation fair?

7. What do Mattie and the other waitresses do to "Table Six"? Would you have done the same?

8. Mattie asks Weaver, "Why aren't people plain and uncomplicated? Why don't they do what you expect them to do, like characters in a novel?" Do you agree with Mattie? Are characters in books simpler than people in real life?

9. Describe Mattie's friend Minnie's relationship with her husband. Does this seem like a realistic view of marriage in the early 1900s?

10. What does Mattie decide to do at the end of the book? Do you agree with her decision? Why or why not?

Additional discussion questions from: Publisher's Reading Guide
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