1. What does Lyman hope to accomplish during the writing about his grandparents' lives?
Insight into his own troubled life and the opportunity to escape the reality of his present day situation by stepping into the past through his grandmother's art, letters and newspaper clippings.
2. What makes Lyman wonder about his grandmother's sexual preferences?
Letters from Susan to Augusta are laced with effusive love and compliments beyond what was considered normal even in Victorian times for correspondence between two female friends.
3. Why is Lyman so uncomfortable around Shelley?
Because Shelley represents such a sharp contrast between his Victorian-era grandmother and present day woman. Lyman wants to immerse himself in his grandmother's world of the past and his interactions with Shelley bring him rudely back to the present.
4. What attracted Susan to Oliver?
He was big and strong and completely different from the men surrounding her as suitors. Also, his timing was perfect in that Thomas had recently chosen Augusta over her.
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