Questions for Discussion
1. What does the title, Time is a River
, represent for you? What characteristics do the passing of time and the flowing of the river share? How did time and the river act as representations for one another in the story? Why did the river come to mean so much to Mia?
2. The road to healing does not follow a straight course. Often emotional healing takes two steps forward and one back in a circuitous route to recovery. The opening of the book reflects that backwards and forward movement. Cite the small steps forward Mia takes and the subsequent set backs as she gradually gains strength and purpose. Discuss how the movement of casting--back and forth--symbolizes this pattern of healing.
3. Go back and read the Mark Nepo poem, "Holding Each Other Up" that opens the novel. What is the significance of opening the narrative with this poem?
4. On the first page of Chapter 1, when Mia is making her way to Belle's cabin, the narrator tells us, "Mia Landan no longer believed in fairy tales" (Pg 1). By the end of the book, do you think Mia believes in fairy tales again? Discuss how the mountainous landscape and Mia's experiences in Watkin's Mill can be likened to a fairy tale?
5. Discuss Mia's relationship with her sister Maddie. How is Maddie like a mother to Mia; how is she like a sister? How like a friend? What is the difference?
6. At the start of the novel, Mia is in need of rescue and Belle is there for her. How d