1. With is, arguably, a novel about
innocence and experience. Where does Robin's innocence and experience begin?
Which is better, innocence or experience?
2. When did you realize the point of view in the first chapter was not a
human's but a dog's? What was your reaction?
3. How would you describe Robin's relationship with her mother Karen?
Healthy or unhealthy?
4. Apart from his pedophilia, what sort of person is Sog? Does he have any
admirable qualities at all?
5. What does Robin's step-grandfather, Leo Spurlock, contribute to Robin's
story? What would With lose without his presence?
6. How would you describe Hreapha's relationship with Robin? How does it
compare with Hreapha's mothering of her pups?
7. Why does Harington stage Sog's death in the outhouse? Are there any
symbolic implications to the location or to the way he dies? And what
bearing does Sog's dying in the outhouse have on Robin's subsequent life
8. Which of Robin's experiences and lessons living alone on Madewell
Mountain (after Sog dies) do you wish you could have had? Which ones would
you wish your children or grandchildren could have?
9. How do Robin's cut-out dolls help her survive her loneliness, and what is
their significance for the story?
10. Why name Robin's lover "Adam"? What associations does that name have?
What implications might it have for the way Adam's in-habit can never leave
11. Apart from Hreapha, which member of Robin's menagerie is your favorite,
12. Why does Robin settle for sending a letter to her mother after her visit
to Latha instead of just returning to her?
13. Why is it necessary for Adam to have such an extensive career in the
California wine industry?
14. How did you feel when the tenses began to change at the end of the book?
What do the tense changes accomplish?
15. How can the book end with Robin thanking Sog? What would she have lost
if Sog had never kidnapped her and she had had a "normal" childhood in