Reading Questions for To Be Sung Underwater
9. Why do you think Judith goes to the trouble of getting sham identification cards made for "Edith W. Winks"? Have you ever been in a situation when you took a certain pleasure in your own anonymity—and the chance possibilities that came with it?
10. When he meets her, Willy calls Judith "muy peligrosa." Is he right that Judith is dangerous? Is he right about the way in which she's dangerous?
11. What do you think about the way Judith and Willy part ways, when she leaves for college in California? What would you have done in her place? If you were Willy, would you have tried to follow her?
12. When Judith sees Willy again at his cabin by the lake, he is a much-changed man. What do you think of his transformation? How might things have turned out differently for Willy had Judith stayed in Nebraska?
13. Toward the end of the book, Judith stares out the car window at "a flat treeless landscape without interest except for the occasional antelope feeding in the day's last light. Deer can jump fences, but antelope can't, or won't; she couldn't remember which. Willy had told her, a long time ago. How it was a failing that often cost them their lives." How does this work as a metaphor? Who is the antelope and who is the deer?
14. A reader at Norwich Bookstore in Vermont noted that "as looking through water blurs the lines we perceive to be straight, so does Judith view her own life, which has become not quite as she thought it would be." What was your reaction to Willy and Judith's final scene? Why does Willy do what he does? How do you imagine Judith's life a year after the book's last page?
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