The Arms of God

The Arms of God

by Lynne Hinton, Jackie Lynn

Paperback(First Edition)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780312361617
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication date: 10/31/2006
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.61(d)

About the Author

LYNNE HINTON is a writer and journalist. She is the New York Times bestselling author of Friendship Cake, Hope Springs and Forever Friends (The Hope Springs Trilogy), among other books, and writes a monthly column for The Charlotte Observer. She lives in New Mexico, where she serves as a pastor.

Reading Group Guide

Alice is making her daughter dinner when her mother Olivia, who left her at a day care center when she was four, appears at her door. Alice has learned almost nothing about Olivia, when suddenly Olivia dies, leaving Alice to sift through her belongings. As she pieces together her mother's life, Alice learns how a woman can become so desperate that she leaves her child— and so courageous that she finds her again.

Not since her bestselling book The Friendship Cake has Hinton created characters who are so filled with heartache and fragile hope.

1. Olivia dies only a short time after reappearing in Alice's life. Do you think that she knew she was going to die? If she did, was it the knowledge of her imminent death that led her to seek out her daughter? If you knew you had three weeks to live, who would you try to find?

2. Alice reveals some of her difficulty in living with her mother's decision to abandon her. What do you see in Alice that might be the result of such an action?

3. Do you think that Olivia should have explained why she did what she did? How frustrating do you think it would be not to hear an explanation or an apology? Was it enough that she just showed up?

4. After leaving the hospital, Alice decides to go to her mother's residence. What did the place, the room, say about Olivia? What do you think was the most important thing she found?

5. The book makes clear that Alice never really knows about her mother's past. How differently might have Alice turned out had she known her mother's history?

6. How much of your mother's story do you know? How much of a mother's life story affects the life story of her child?

7. Olivia not only finds her daughter, she finds her best friend Tree. How important is a long-term friendship? Do you have any friends from your childhood? How are they different from your other friends?

8. The story deals a lot with racism. What do you think about the state of our nation regarding race relations? How integrated is your life? The lives of your children?

9. How do you define hope in this story? The hope for Olivia? For Alice? For Anna?

10. Regardless of the judgments that can be made about Olivia and her choice to abandon her daughter, she did show up. How important is it to make amends for past wrongs?

11. What would be your wish for each of the characters in this story? Alice, Tree, E. Saul, and Anna.

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The Arms of God 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a throughly depressing book. I've read her other books and enjoyed them. This book rambles, tries to include too many side lines (all depressing) and you never end up caring about anyone in the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago