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The Deepest Roots
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Book Discussions - 2019 > Final Thoughts - September

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Leander Public Library | 136 comments Mod
Our featured book for September 2019 was The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo.

Our staff have been a roll with these discussion prompts lately! Once again, we had to write our own discussion prompt questions. As always, don't feel pressured to answer these; we just like to make them available for those that need and/or want them. Otherwise, we'd love to see any questions, comments, or observations of your own!

1. The novel opens with Rome riding out a tornado with her mother in their trailer. From this scene, what do you think of Rome? What kind of person would you say she is?

2. There are several different talents: Fixers, Finders, Sirens, Enoughs, Strong Backs, Wits, Sights, Readers, and Healers. Which talent would you want to have? Which talent would you absolutely not want to have?

3. Rome says, “Sometimes being a good friend means keeping your distance, even if you’re walking side by side.” Would you agree with this statement?

4. Which of the three girls do you identify with the most, and why?

5. How would you describe the friendship between Rome, Mercy, and Lux? Do you have any friendships like theirs? Have you had any arguments like theirs with your friends?

6. After her mother tells her that they’ll get her car back, Rome says, “This is just like the promises she made when I was little, back when I believed every word that came out of her mouth. But what I know at seventeen that I didn’t know at eleven is that sometimes we need those little lies to get by.” Would you agree with Rome? Is there ever any good reason to tell a lie, even a small one?

7. The girls believe that the unearthing of Emmeline’s diary is linked to the arrival of her ghost. Why do you think she may have returned? What is your belief of ghosts?


Kristen | 136 comments I was actually pleasantly surprised about how much I liked The Deepest Roots. As I've said before in various other threads, magical realism can be a real hit or miss for me. This time, though, I was enchanted with the dynamic between Rome and her friends, and pleased that the importance of friendship was the focal point of the novel. Rome, Lux, and Mercy go through some very serious and very difficult issues, from various forms of abuse to the struggle of living in poverty.

1. The novel opens with Rome riding out a tornado with her mother in their trailer. From this scene, what do you think of Rome? What kind of person would you say she is?
At the beginning, Rome comes off as a typical teenager who is used to taking the reins in her family. Many protagonists in similar situations--either poverty, or small families, and even those with absentee parents--tend to be very take-charge and more mature in some aspects while lacking in others. To me, Rome came off as a character who was tired of being forced to act older than she was, but she was also a character that loved her mother dearly while feeling disappointed in her at the same time.

2. There are several different talents: Fixers, Finders, Sirens, Enoughs, Strong Backs, Wits, Sights, Readers, and Healers. Which talent would you want to have? Which talent would you absolutely not want to have?
I think that almost all of the talents are pretty cool, but being an Enough would be pretty awesome. Imagine, always having enough of what you need, never having to worry about struggling where others might have to. (Imagine always having enough food, or always having just the right amount of money to pay for something.)

I think the problems Lux faced with her Siren ability were pretty honest, and I think that would be the one talent that I would absolutely not want to have. It seems rough on her; she is constantly on guard for what dangers it might bring to her. Sure, there's the upside of being able to talk a guy into something that you want, but that doesn't seem to justify the worry Lux is constantly under. As she points out, if she's sexually assaulted, it's easy for people to write it off as her letting her ability get out of control, or saying that she wanted it. It's rape culture on a whole new level.

3. Rome says, “Sometimes being a good friend means keeping your distance, even if you’re walking side by side.” Would you agree with this statement?
I think this is very true. I know that I, personally, like to try to fix things for my friends and family when they're going through a hard time. I like to use logic and understanding to talk out emotions and create a plan for the future. I have long struggled to realize that sometimes, people don't want you to fix their issues, they just want to vent. Sometimes they just want the company without the weight of words, to be in their own minds without being alone.

6. After her mother tells her that they’ll get her car back, Rome says, “This is just like the promises she made when I was little, back when I believed every word that came out of her mouth. But what I know at seventeen that I didn’t know at eleven is that sometimes we need those little lies to get by.” Would you agree with Rome? Is there ever any good reason to tell a lie, even a small one?
This is one of those white lie dilemmas in the making. Is it harmful to tell a white lie, if you're trying to spare someone emotional distress. I think that there is a point where honesty becomes cruel, but at the same time I tend to prioritize the truth. It's one thing to say that "that dress doesn't look good on you," and another to say "I'm not sure the shape of that accentuates you best." They basically say the same thing, but one is kinder, and acknowledges that it's just an opinion, not a given fact.

For Rome and her mom, I feel like her mom was just doing her best to convince her daughter and herself that they were going to be okay. Rome loved her car dearly, and her mother clearly felt burdened by the fact that Rome traded it for their rent. Losing that car hurt both of them in different ways. Rome's mom might've just really, really wanted to fix it--and maybe saying that she would was a way to incite a self-fulfilling prophecy.


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