Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Room of Tears

Book menu for Room of Tears by Linda Merlino

Room of Tears is a mysterious, haunting, and beautiful story.  When I first glanced at the cover, I felt it's too soon to read a book about 9/11. I'm glad I pushed through it. Ms. Merlino has combined unusual ideas and concepts into this brief but lyrical novel. 

ISBN of edition I read: 9781927792100 (trade paperback)

Food mentioned in Room of Tears :
Coffee, 3, 71
     Espresso, 18
Canolis, 3
Napoleons, 3
Lemonade, 8, 12
Irish whiskey, 14
     Italian red, 14
     Grenache, 98
Calamari, 17
Chili, 21
Cookies, 21, 72
Fried plantains, 45
Empanadas, 45, 78
Revoltillos, 45
Spaghetti and meatballs, 60
Italian frittata with cheese, spinach, and mushrooms, 71
Lasagna, 72
Brownies, 72
Cheese and crackers, 81
Sandwiches, 94
Pancakes and sausage, 107
Sliced fruit, 107
Danish, 127

Books/Authors mentioned in Room of Tears:
Everyman / Anonymous, 1, 40, 80, 110
"Sonnet 60 ", William Shakespeare, 110
Nostradamus, 142

Title mentioned on pages 24, 109, 113:
p. 24 "I close the door to my bedroom and cry. I have cried for so many days that it has become a room of tears."

p. 109 "No one would question Antonio, not even Peter. Not until he became Pope, as his mother predicted, then the two men would sit in the Room of Tears with her handwritten letter, and Antonio would finally be able to explain."  

p. 113 "'The conclave has placed me here, in the Room of Tears.' Peter gestured with wide arms to the walls around them."

Discussion questions for Room of Tears:
1. How do Diane's journal entries affect the overall story?
2. Describe the deal Billy makes with God.
3. After reading the ending, were you compelled to go back and reread certain passages?  Which ones? Why?
4. What surprised you in this story?
5. Describe Room of Tears in a single word.
6. Before reading the book, what was your reaction to the cover?