Format: Trade Paperback, 336 pages
Publisher: Vintage Canada
ISBN: 978-0-679-31180-5 (0-679-31180-7)
Pub Date: April 22, 2003
Add this item to your cart
1. At the beginning of Unless, Reta Winters lists her literary accomplishments, almost providing a survey of her career. The event that is so central to this novel, Norah’s disappearance, is mentioned almost as a side issue. What does writing mean to Reta Winters?
2. The bond Reta has with the members of her writing group are long-lasting, and at times she seems closer to them than to her family. What is Shields saying about friendships, and women’s or writers’ friendships in particular?
3. In a recent interview about the subtle use of domestic detail in her work, Carol Shields commented, “I’m always kind of interested in why people don’t write about the things right in front of them.” What is the role of everyday life in this novel?
4. Carol Shields has always been known for her biting humour. How does she use this talent in Unless?
5. What stands in the way of Norah's happiness, as far as her mother is concerned?
6. Throughout the novel, Reta tries to understand her daughter’s absence by trying to determine the meaning of “GOODNESS.” What does Norah’s sign mean - to Norah, to Reta, and to this novel?
7. Hardly, next, thereby, unless, not yet. . . . Carol Shields is famous for her wordplay, and in Unless her attention is focused on words and phrases whose meanings are elusive without context. For Reta, such words come to be intimately tied to the truth of what happened to Norah. Why?
From the Hardcover edition.
Upgrade to the Flash 9 viewer for enhanced content, including the ability to browse & search through your favorite titles.
Click here to learn more!