The Unfinished Garden, Reading Guide

Reading Group Guide (Spoiler Alert!)

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  • Do you believe in the healing power of gardening?
    James is an unlikely hero. What do you think draws Tilly to him?
  • Do you have a favorite moment, scene, or line in the book?
  • What roles do trust and mistrust play in the characters’ relationships?
  • Why do you think issues of control appear repeatedly throughout the novel?
  • Is it reasonable for Tilly to cling to guilt after carrying out her husband’s final wishes?
  • What role does Isaac play in helping her navigate her feelings?
  • What are the parallels between Tilly’s guilt and James’s fear?
  • How does the parent/child relationship impact other relationships in the novel?
  • In what ways do you think Sebastian and David have played important but different roles in Tilly’s life?
  • Finding the balance between closing yourself off and opening your life to others is an important theme of the novel. How do you think the characters achieve this?
  • In the final chapter, Tilly says that she needs James. In what ways do you think Tilly and James need each other?
  • How do you think Tilly’s relationship with James will differ from her marriage to David?
  • How has Tilly changed from the beginning of the book to the ending? What events have caused her to change?
  • What obstacles, if any, do you see for James and Tilly in the future?

Please download this printer friendly version of the reading group guide The Unfinished Garden.

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