Telling Secrets Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. To whom is the book "Godric" dedicated?

2. When the dwarves are offered food, what do they think it is?

3. To the author's mother, being beautiful was her ______.

4. Who made no new friends while living in New York for almost twenty years?

5. In the Introduction, what is the title of the book the author cites as dealing with the interior of his life?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why/how does the author identify with one of the stained glass images?

2. How did author's mom respond to his fictionalized version of his father's death and how did her reaction to this fist telling affect the author's writing about the death later?

3. Why did the author's mother have so few friends as she got older?

4. What was on the stained glass pieces in the author's office?

5. Why did the author feel like a dwarf as depicted in C. S. Lewis' "The Last Battle?"

6. How is the author's story, our story?

7. Describe the author's mother's bedroom in her 79th street apartment.

8. How do ministers lose touch with God?

9. What illness did the author's daughter have and how did it affect her?

10. How does the author describe God loving us, and loving his daughter?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Part Three of the book, the author talks about the groups that meet in the basement. He specifically details what each group does or does not do. Then he states that the church could learn a lot from such groups since the church, in his opinion, is more like a dysfunctional family, while the groups operate closer to what God intended for His church. Discuss this rationale. How are the groups like families at their best, and operating closer to what God meant for the Church? How does the church resemble a dysfunctional family? What would have to happen, according to the author, for the church to have only God and themselves left?

Essay Topic 2

The author's mother is quoted in Part One of the book as saying, "If I didn't have something to look for, I would be lost." Answer either A or B.

A. Why does she make this statement? Discuss the significance of the mother losing her beauty and trying to find it daily with her make-up and other enhancements, in relation to her state of mind, her health, and her relationship with her sons and her caregivers/friends.

B. Why does the author describe the statement as one of his mother's "most shimmering utterances?" How does this theme of "lost and found" play out throughout the details of the author's life described in the book - his family (mom and brother, wife and kids), friends, students?

Essay Topic 3

Explain what the author means when he writes that by watching and listening we are praying. How does God speak to us in quietness? What is "God's place" in us? What deadens us to God's presence within us? How does Psalm 131 illustrate these points from the author?

(see the answer keys)

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