Intending to delve deep into her family’s history, honoring her mother’s last wish, Susannah Connelly leaves her home in Connecticut and travels to the fabled Camargue region of France. In this astonishingly beautiful and mystical place, where sunlight exposes the power of nature, and the light of the moon creates shadow, mystery and excitement, she unexpectedly finds love with an American expatriate horse rancher, Grey Dempsey. Yet old secrets swirl within the fog-shrouded landscape. And Sari, Grey’s teenage daughter, cannot forget a terrible night five years earlier that left her injured and unable to trust again. Before they can truly move forward, the three must each confront the past and go back to that night to find a way to forgiveness and healing.
The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Luanne Rice’s Light of the Moon
. We hope they will enrich your experience of this captivating novel.
Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. Discuss your reaction to the opening scene described in the prologue. How do the events of that night establish an overall tone? In what ways does your opinion of what happened change by the end of the novel?
2. What is your first impression of Susannah Connolly? How do you see her relationship with Ian and what does that imply about Susannah’s understanding of herself in the initial scenes?
3. Describe the significance of horses and horsemanship throughout the novel. How does it relate to Susannah’s and Sari’s lives? What role does the imagery of the white horses play in the lives of the other main characters?
4. How does the title, Light of the Moon, play out as the novel’s plot unfolds? In what ways does the image of the moon’s light relate to Sari, Susannah, and Maria specifically?
5. Discuss the relevance of the story of the peasant saint Sarah as it relates to both Susannah and Sari.
6. What characteristics differentiate Ian and Grey? Discuss the different impact each man has on Susannah. How does her motivation for wanting to be with Grey differ from her reasons for being with Ian?
7. How do cultural differences and heritage influence the interactions between characters? Discuss Sari’s essence as half-Romany, half-American and the effect it has on her personal life.
8. Discuss the theme of womanhood and motherhood as represented by the Sarah circle. Why does Susannah, an outsider and virtual stranger to the Manouche Gypsies, gain access to such a sacred, hidden community?
9. What role does memory play throughout the novel? How does each character’s perception of the past shape their present?
10. Sari’s color-blindness is a frequent topic of discussion and debate in the novel. In what ways does her condition limit her? Discuss the night visit with Laurent to the city of Avignon and what it says about both characters.
11. How would you describe the relationship between Laurent and Sari? Does it mirror any other relationships in the novel? How does the tone shift between the two of them throughout the chapters?
12. Which of the novel’s locales captured your imagination the most?
13. In what ways is Light of the Moon a novel about second chances and redemption? Discuss this theme as it relates to the lives of Susannah, Grey, Sari, and Maria.
14. Discuss the significance of profession and location in the lives of characters. How does each one’s job and surroundings help to define them as a person, shape their outlook, and influence their lives?
15. The night Sari catches Grey and Susannah in each other’s arms brings on a flood of memories and emotions that undoes all progress Sari has made. Does this scene echo the prologue, or are there significant differences?
16. Discuss the impact of familial obligation and history on all the characters involved in the final reunion in the ending. What are your final impressions of the structure and importance of family? What new perspectives on life and love do the relationships described in Light of the Moon impart to you as a reader?
17. What themes regarding healing and hope are woven into this and other books by Luanne Rice?