Readers and reading groups are invited to discuss the topics below relating to the material presented in this issue. Send answers to editor@summersetreview.org and you will be eligible for a complimentary copy of Volume One of The Summerset Review. All questions must be answered and received by December 1, 2008.

Include your name, town, state, and country (if outside the USA) in your entry. The editors will decide the winner(s) and send out notification when the new issue is released. We plan to announce the names of those who are awarded free copies, so if you do not want your name to appear in the journal, please let us know. Postal and email addresses of all entrants will not be published, circulated, or archived.


1. In "Mermaid Baby," immediately after learning there was a problem, the protagonist narrates, "I looked at the screen, connected dots of white and black. I could see my baby's hand." This section of the story then ends abruptly. Discuss the effectiveness of the narrative approach used here.

2. In the end of "A Thing Held Dear," Vassily says, "I only wanted to taste the honey." Relate this to Auguste's desire to see grace, both in the form of the ice performer, and perhaps more substantially in the form of his deceased wife.

3. Discuss a particular portion of "Bath Romance" that made the city especially alluring to you.

4. Discuss the use of seeds as a metaphor in "Seed Words."

5. In "Stand Up, Scout," Penelope's speech at the bat mitzvah comes about from her mother's insistence of speaking truth to power, even when it's unpopular. Many years later, Penelope criticizes her mother, believing the woman lied about a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird. Discuss whether you feel this actually was a lie, and if Penelope's underlying sentiment might be more regret for her own actions and discretions when younger.