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Sufficient Grace

Sufficient Grace

A Novel

  • reading group guide
Set against the backdrop of two neighboring Southern towns, Sufficient Grace is the powerful, affecting story of two families over the course of a year, from one Easter season to the next. One quiet spring day, Gracie Hollaman hears voices in her head that tell her to get in her car and leave her entire life behind -- her home, her husband, her daughter, her very identity. Gracie's subsequent journey releases her genius for painting and effects profound changes in the lives of everyone around her.

A spellbinding work, Sufficient Grace explores the power of personal transformation and redemption, and the many ordinary and extraordinary ways they come to pass through faith, love, motherhood, art, even food. This poignant, poetic study of the human condition affirms the enduring importance of relationships and the strength we derive from them, even though we sometimes have to leave behind an old identity in order to discover our soul.

Beautifully paced, filled with unforgettable characters, Sufficient Grace reveals the vital place that spirit and belonging have in every inner life -- and in the everyday world.
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  • Atria Books | 
  • 336 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743284486 | 
  • March 2007
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Reading Group Guide

Sufficient Grace By Darnell Arnoult: Reading Group Discussion Guide
INTRODUCTION
Description
One quiet spring day, Gracie Hollaman hears voices in her head that tell her to get in her car and leave her entire life behind -- her home, her husband, her daughter, her very identity. Gracie's subsequent journey will effect profound changes in the lives of everyone around her. Ultimately, her quest leads her into the home of Mama Toot and Mattie, two strong, accomplished women going through life changes of their own. As the bonds between these women grow stronger and the family Gracie left behind comes to terms with their loss, both worlds slowly and inevitably collide.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. How would you characterize the voices that Gracie Hollaman hears as she prepares to leave her home forever? What do these voices suggest about Gracie's mental state, and in what ways do they connect to a religious framework?
2. "People say men have midlife crises, but it's the women." Why does Ed Hollaman initially interpret Gracie's disappearance as her abandonment of him? What does his reaction to her absence suggest about the nature of their marriage and their feelings for each another?
3. When Mattie Riley discovers Gracie Hollaman lying on Arty's grave, why does she see it as some kind of divine signal? How does Mattie's grief over her husband's untimely death affect her decision to take Gracie into her ho see more

About the Author

Darnell Arnoult
Photo Credit:

Darnell Arnoult

DARNELL ARNOULT was born and raised in Henry County, Virginia. She lived for twenty years in Chapel Hill and Durham, North Carolina, where she received a BA in American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MA in English and Creative Writing from North Carolina State University and worked at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University. She is also the author of What Travels With Us: Poems, published by Louisiana State University Press and winner of the Appalachian Studies Association's Weatherford Award. Her fiction and poetry have been published in a variety of journals, and she has taught creative writing to adults for over fifteen years. She and her husband live on a small farm near Nashville, Tennessee.

Visit the author at www.darnellarnoult.com

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