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

2. How many years after his father's suicide did the author write "The Return of Ansel Gibbs?"

3. What renders distinctions between past, present and future meaningless, according to the author?

4. According to the author, what is the doorway to healing and forgiveness?

5. What title did the author write when he was in his fifties and his mom was in her eighties?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the author feel about his kids once they were older and how did this affect his life once they left home as adults?

2. What did trying to help his daughter reveal to the author about his emotional state?

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

4. What techniques does the author use to help him say good-bye to his father?

5. Why does the preaching at St. Barnabas impress the author?

6. How do our other selves develop as explained in Part Two of "Telling Secrets?"

7. Why is the church a dysfunctional family and how does the author suggest fixing this?

8. Why does the author's perceptions about Florida change?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

What happened in the author's dream about a hotel (provide details)? What did the room come to mean to the author? In reality what represented Eden to the author and why?

Essay Topic 2

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 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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