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Discussion Week 6 (final): The Rarotongans

“At the same time that he lost everything—the very direction of his own steps—he won the thing he’d held so precious he wouldn’t approach it in words.”

An ending and a beginning.

Welcome to the discussion of the final part of Leif Enger’s So Brave, Young, and Handsome—“The Raratogans”. As always, feel free to share any passages that were significant to you, or to pose additional questions.

Pop quiz (no cheating and no looking back): List all of the literary references from the book, as well as where they were mentioned.

1) What is the significance of “The Rarotongans” (and why was this chapter named after them)?

“What I’d have given for a dream or vision now, like Glendon had of Blue—in wavering times, a vision’s what you want! Instead I confess to the most unrefined and selfish longings. I wanted to walk with Susannah and be solid and foremost in her eyes. I wanted Redstart to discover from its roots upward this place where I might be of use.”—p.250

3) What was the gap between the “dream or vision” that Monte wanted to have and the longings that he actually had?

“If she [Blue] loves me back, it deepens what I owe. There aint no parity in that arrangement. That’s what I did not see coming.” Glendon—p. 274

4) What did Glendon mean? Do you agree?

5) What three words would you use to summarize the final picture we have of Siringo? Glendon? Becket?

6) If you were to choose a theme song for So Brave, Young, and Handsome, what song would it be?

7) What questions would you like ask Leif Enger about the book?

8) What are your final thoughts on the ending of the book?


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