Adam certainly has a lot to learn. The Inquisition grips Portugal, and those who befriend Adam may not be well intentioned. His mother and sisters wait for him to rescue them from poverty, but he is distracted by a number of local beauties. Then he commits a social faux pas so severe he forever ruins his chances for making a good match. Swept up in a struggle that will require him to come into his manhood -- the struggle between wickedness and humanity -- it seems Adam will never find his way to success, to love, or to peace with the life fate has given him.
Reading Group Guide
- We learn at the beginning of the story the reasons for Adam's journey and subsequent employment. Is he a sympathetic character as a result of his circumstances? How does he change throughout his time in Portugal? What are some examples of his naïvetß and what do you feel was his greatest challenge? What would you consider are the most significant, life-changing events throughout his story? What is your opinion of Adam?
- Adam Runaway could be called 'a novel of embarrassment'. Discuss in what ways you think this might be true statement -- or not.
- Discuss the character of Gomes. How do his childhood experiences affect him? Do you think he is a product of the abuse he experienced in the past? Do you think that any of his actions were justified or were they all simply immoral? Do you feel his end was a just one? Why or why not?
- Dona Maria Beatriz Hutchinson, Gabriella Lowther and Nancy Hanaway all represent different things to Adam. Discuss the importance of women in Adam's life. What does he learn from his experiences with each of these women?
- Family is a prevalent theme throughout the novel. Discuss the different examples of families within the novel. How do these families compare? In what ways are they similar? How does each family's class standing contribute to their relationships? How do Adam's views on family and responsibility change th