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Sun Going Down

Sun Going Down

A Novel

  • reading group guide
From an award-winning author whose ancestors lived the adventures in this novel comes a spectacular new epic about the American West.

Part history, part romance, and part action-adventure novel, Sun Going Down follows the fortunes of Ebenezer Paint and his descendants—rough and tough individuals who are caught up in Civil War river battles, epic cattle drives through drought and blizzards, the horrors of Wounded Knee, the desperation of the dust bowl, and the prosperity of the roaring 1920s.
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  • Touchstone | 
  • 592 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781439165072 | 
  • August 2009
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Meet Jack Todd

Jack Todd talks on writing fiction based on truth and how his grandparents inspired characters in "Sun Going Down."

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Reading Group Guide

Questions for Discussion:
1. Sun Going Down is populated with a lively, colorful cast of characters, but nature also plays an essential role in the novel. In many ways, it helps determine the plot, providing an element of suspense or affording the characters certain opportunity. Discuss three examples that exist throughout Sun Going Down when nature determines a character's fate.
2. Discuss courtship and marriage as it is portrayed in Sun Going Down. When Eb Paint marries Cora, she has already been married twice and they have not spent much more than a few months together. How would you react if you were forced to decide to marry someone you'd only known for just a few months? Although Eli and Livvy also only knew each other for a short time before they were married, they have a successful marriage. What makes their marriage work?
3. When Eli marries Livvy, he tells her that the bruises and scars around his neck are not from his attempted hanging for stealing horses, but from a joke that went a bit too far. Why did he lie to her? Given the harsh times in which they lived, would she understand the need to steal horses in order to survive or to make up for what was already owed Eli and Ezra?
4. Why does Eli banish Velma from the Fanciful when she becomes pregnant, especially given the fact that everything that he has was built on what he called his "black money" - the money he earned from stealing horses? Is t see more

About the Author

Jack Todd
Photo Credit:

Jack Todd

Jack Todd is the author of the novels Sun Going Down and Come Again No More and the memoir Desertion, which won the Quebec Writer’s Federation First Book Prize and the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction. Visit his website at JackToddTheAuthor.com.

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