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. The author likens his mother, in her later years, to a millionaire who what?

2. In complaining about her looks, what did the author's mother say "don't fit?"

3. How many years had the author been married by the mid 1970's?

4. What was the make of the family car used for the 1936 suicide?

5. In the mid 1970's, how may teenage children did the author have?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. How does the author describe his father's suicide?

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

5. What did the author say he would deal with in this autobiography "Telling Secrets?"

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

7. How did the author's mother's aging affect her life?

8. Why does the author write "The Wizard's Tide" and what differs in the book from his childhood memory of his father's death?

9. What did the author deal with in first two autobiographies?

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

On page 10 of the book, the author writes that "don't talk, don't trust, don't feel" is supposed to be the unwritten law of dysfunctional families. How does this "law" manifest itself in the author's life as a child when his father commits suicide, as well as in the immediate events following his father's death (e.g. the lack of a funeral, the family move out of the country, the mother's behavior, ...); and how does the "law manifest itself in later events involving the author and his brother's relationship with their mother as she aged?

Essay Topic 2

In the Introduction, the author writes that 1) telling secrets makes it easier to see where we have been and where we are going; 2) it makes it easier for others to share their secrets; and 3) that exchanges like this is what being a family, and being human is all about. Using details from Part One, Part Two and Part Three of the book, provide details from the authors life experiences that support each of the three statements (1,2 3) above?

Essay Topic 3

Why does the author attend St. Barnabas Episcopal Church? How is this place more at home for him than another Church? Why does the author enjoy the chanting so much? Who is Robert MacFarlane, and how does he impact the author's connection with this church?

(see the answer keys)

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