This reading group guide for As the Sparks Fly Upward includes topics and questions for discussion. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. In this novel, much of the material deals with marriage. In the first chapter, we see Eden and Brandon alone, and much is made of the happiness of their marriage. Do you think their fine relationship is possible, that is, is it realistic? Is too much space in the novel devoted to this theme?
2. In the first chapter we see Adam Winslow, age eight, taking advantage of his brother, Colin, age six. Does the scene foreshadow the characters of the two men well? Is, for instance, Adam painted as evil and Colin as good?
3. Queen Elizabeth has been the heroine of a plethora of novels. Is the queen (as we see her in this novel) (a) kind, (b) cruel, (c) heartless, (d) selfish? How closely does the character in this novel reflect the historical Queen Elizabeth?
4. Colin Winslow is not normal in the eyes of his parents. He does not fit into the usual pattern that most young men follow. This disturbs his parents greatly. What is to be done with a child who cannot seem to "fit in" with his world? Should parents force him into the pattern of others? What is the danger