The Box Garden Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Box Garden

Charleen is thirty-something and newly divorced, left to support herself and her son on her meager income as a researcher and writer for a journal. She contemplates her life through smart and funny anecdotes about her past and her failed dreams of being a poet while she rediscovers joys in life through her friends and a new love interest. Just when she finds herself happy with her life changes, her father has a massive heart attack, her mother remarries, and she travels across Canada for the wedding. Much of the book describes Charleen's relationship with her mother, which is loving although very strained. Both women have ended a relationship with a husband and both are attempting to find their new roles. Everyday domestic activities provide material for squabbles, like whether to draw the curtains or how to prepare a meal, and Charleen struggles with whether to allow her mother to continue to scold her like a child.
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The review of this Book prepared by Jessica Marler

Chapter Analysis of The Box Garden

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1960's-1970's Family, struggle with    -   Yes Struggle with:    -   Mother (or standin) Family, caring for ill    -   Yes Who is sick?    -   Father because he/she is    -   physically ill Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Profession/status:    -   writer Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   White (American)


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   4 () The Americas (not US):    -   Yes The Americas:    -   Canada

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

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Carol Shields Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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