Bag of Bones Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. Who is the protagonist of the story and what tragedy befalls his wife very early in the story?

The novel is about a man named Mike Noonan who unexpectedly loses his wife, Johanna, in the prime of her life. She witnesses a freak traffic accident and, on her way to assist, suffers an aneurysm and dies on the street. The autopsy also shows that Johanna had a secret . She was pregnant. This event is a double tragedy for Mike.

2. What is Mike's profession and how does his work suffer after the death of his wife?

Mike barely finishes the novel he is writing at the time of Johanna's death, and finds himself unable to so much as begin another one. After years of writing, he suffers a block that has him physically ill if he even tries. With four novels in a safe deposit box, he is under little pressure for the next four years. When that time has passed and Mike still hasn't written a word, he begins to get anxious.

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