Questions and Topics for Discussion
1) Noah Locke is an interesting protagonist. While much of the action centers on him, often -- in large part due to his quiet, somewhat stoic nature -- it is difficult to tell what is going on beneath the surface. The novel's third-person omniscient point of view makes it possible for the author to describe Noah's thoughts and feelings, but even so, it is difficult for the reader to decipher Noah's true emotional state. Did you feel, by the end of the novel, that you understood what motivates Noah as a character? Why do you think that he came back from the war unable to settle down in one place?
2) On page 4, we learn that Noah "always believed there would be a place to stop the walking, to stay, to become his own forest, show his own seasons." What is it about the Valley of Light that allows Noah to finally, at least for a little while, find a modicum of peace? He has walked through countless numbers of towns and met scores of good people, and yet he has never felt the tug to settle down. Does the novel give a clear sense of why this is? Were you surprised that Noah did not decide to stay in the Valley of Light?
3) Although organized religion does not seem to be a central focus of this novel, religious connotations and symbolism abound. Noah himself is on a quest, it seems, wandering aimlessly in a kind of emotional desert, a journey that brings to mind the stories of Moses. Names (of the town, of the characters) appe