1. Were you surprised by Singer's death at the end of Part Two? If so, what was most surprising to you about it?

2. At the beginning of this final section, Doctor Copeland is very bitter and angry. Why do you think he feels this way? Do you think he has a right to be?

3. Do you feel Jake Blount has changed throughout the course of this novel? If so, in what ways?

4. There are some religious undertones in many of the passages of these final chapters. How might they relate to Singer and his death?

5. Once Singer has exited the novel, which of the four remaining main characters do you feel you connect with the most? Which one do you feel is portrayed most sympathetically—or do you think they are portrayed in the same fashion?

6. The finale of Mick's story is very short, yet a great deal of the novel was taken up by her coming-of-age. Do you feel satisfied by the way her story ended?

7. Think through the journeys these characters took. Do you feel they ended someplace different than where they started?

8. How much do you think the time period and region in which this book is set contributes to the way things end up?

9. Do you read the ending of The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter as positive, negative or neutral?

10. Now that you've finished reading, do you feel Carson's book captures the way you personally feel about loneliness and isolation? In what ways?


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