Discuss

House with open doorNow that you’ve finished reading Solomon’s Puzzle, do you have thoughts you’d like to share with other readers or a burning question to ask the author? Join the online discussion by leaving a comment below!

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Here are a few questions to get the conversation started…

  • Which character(s) surprised you? Why?
  • How do the rumors about Tom that are woven into the narrative contribute to the novel’s pace and tension?
  • Where do you see glimmers of humanity in Max?

11 Responses to Discuss

  1. Anita K. says:

    I just finished reading Solomon’s Puzzle (at 2AM this morning). It
    quickly transformed from the book I read while watching my son’s daily
    swim practice to the book I carried with me everywhere, and reading it
    where and whenever I could! I enjoyed the read so much that I dreamed
    of the story trying to figure out the next steps and relationships. My
    heartstrings were so pulled wanting to protect Ben. I so enjoyed
    reading your description of familiar landscapes and areas in
    Annapolis, perfectly brought to life. I had seen the book at the local
    quilt shops but didn’t purchase it until you came to our guild
    meeting; a regret I won’t repeat. I should have bought this book so
    long ago! Loris – do it again, please?!

  2. Christina Montanye says:

    Just finished this piece of art! Thank you for sharing your story which has profoundly touched my soul.
    I do have a few questions though about the end of the story….
    What happens to Ella? How about Max and the USNA? Oliver and his Dad? The rest of the basketball season?
    You did make me look into the well by Franklin and Crescent Avenue here in Allendale!
    Are you going to have a second novel?
    So sad the story ended. I could have read more!800 pages is not long enough for your beautiful, flawless story telling Loris!

    • Loris Nebbia says:

      Thank you, Christina. I am touched by your note. I will tell you what happens to Ella and Max (and maybe Oliver and John Saunders) in the sequel. Looking forward to the discussion in July!

      • Anonymous says:

        Does that mean there is going to be a sequel? If so, when? This is my all-time favorite book. Between the drama of Ben’s situation to the deep revelations, it draws me in. I’ve read it 5 times in the past 7 months! Thank you so much.

  3. Jenny Robinson says:

    What can I say about this book? It is incredible. It is almost 800
    pages and I finished it in under 2 weeks, and I have 3 children under
    5 years old. I do not have a lot of free time, but I made time for
    this book. I literally had to tear myself away from it at night. I was
    so drawn to the richness of the characters and the depth of them,
    especially the characters of the MacBrides. I wept, literally, at the
    end of the book with the show of love and hope for Ben’s character. I
    have been recommending this book to friends and look forward to the
    next book from Blessing House. I have also been inspired by the
    abundance of the MacBride household and have begun to stock a lot more
    food :-) Thank you for this wonderful story. ~Jenny

  4. Loris Nebbia says:

    Just some of my reflections about literature on the blog page…

  5. Frank says:

    FINDING humanity in Max isn’t the problem. Instead, I saw Max as the perfect example of a totally unredeemed human, struggling to make sense of the world around him. Tom has no trouble accepting the presence of sin, and he has a game plan to combat the fallenness of creation that includes prayer, humility toward others, and a constant effort to remove the walls that separate people from God and their fellow humans. Max, on the other hand, has established himself as the ultimate authority in his little cosmos, which makes the loss of control not just frustrating, but blindingly devastating. Max has no conception of sin as being a violation of God’s absolute nature; he only knows what he finds to be convenient for himself and what he deems to be meddling from such characters as Admiral Johnson, Miz Poulard, Gregen, and, of course, Tom.

    In the end, the difference between Tom and Max is this: Tom wishes to BECOME perfect through the honest admission of his faults; Max wishes to APPEAR perfect without compromising his own comfort and sense of dignity in the face of so many perceived injuries at the hands of others. Both these approaches are “human”, so to speak, but Max appeals to the moral code of the Adamic Man, while Tom pursues compliance with the loving commands and promises of the Second Adam.

  6. Andrea says:

    I loved the book. I was constantly surprised at how awful Max was. He does have glimmers of humanity. Like many of the people I know, he thinks of himself as reasonable and good. Many people can’t see their own sin. When we as readers see this in Max we are reminded to look for this in ourselves.

  7. Becky says:

    First off, I want to say I loved the book. It was fast paced enough to grab my attention and mystery of what the truth was in Ben’s life kept me turning the pages to discover it. The story was very compelling and I felt handled a difficult subject (abuse & alcoholism) very well. I loved Tom’s examples of discipline and mentoring of his kids (and students). I also appreciated how honesty was lauded (and showed how tangled of a web lying can lead to).

    I did have a few critiques. There wasn’t much swearing but I felt that it could have done without it. I did appreciate that the swearing was milder than it could have been. I also was a little uncomfortable with the details of Max’s sexual encounters. It wasn’t too graphic but did leave some visual impressions in my mind I’d rather not have. I guess some of that is because I once used to read romance novels and this brings back some memories I’d rather not dwell on.

    My last critique was that I would have liked a clearer salvation message. It left me disappointed when it described Tom’s salvation experience so vaguely. I also thought the Joe & Bonnie Jean would have explained it a bit clearer when Ben asked for them to explain what his “testimony” was.

    Overall, the story was a great message of forgiveness and redemption. I do love the book and would recommend it to adult or mature teen readers (because of the sensitive subject matter).

  8. Jane V says:

    Donna was the most frustrating character. Because she is a nurse and mother I wanted her to stand up for Ben and her other sons and stop protecting Max. But when she didn’t it really enforced just how much of a bully Max was to her, Ben and his mother. Fortunately I have never had to face a bully like Max.
    Tom had so much patience, love and forgiveness in his heart that, like Wendy I wanted to smack him to get him to save Ben before something drastic happened. In one respect I wanted Tom to have had more of a relationship with Kate and the rumors in the story did keep me guessing. I also wanted him to stay true to Laurie. That’s what made the book so good, I couldn’t wait to turn the pages to find out the truth.
    The only humanity I saw in Max was his love for Kate, but even that was tempered by his meaness.
    I do love the quilt shop. My dream is for a small coffee/pastry/book store like the back room of the quilt shop. The symbolism of Tom and Laurie laying the quilt on Ben at the end highlighted the comfort and love that are sewn into each of Laurie’s quilts. I want one!
    Thanks for a great book.

  9. Wendy Mays says:

    First off, I loved this book. I read non stop all through Christmas. Nearly missed my flight due to being so absorbed didn’t hear the gate change announcement. The tension throughout the book was killing me. I couldn’t read fast enough. The character that surprised me the most was Jeannie. Her spunk and self confidence was way more than I ever had in high school. I loved Tom but toward the end I wanted to smack him. I wanted him to see what was happening to Ben and to figure out what Max was doing. Probably my favorite character was Joe. As a teacher I loved the Joe’s in my classes. My favorite place was the quilt shop, Eight hands Around. I want to own a shop like that but where Laurie finds the strength to do all she did is more stamina than I have. But maybe if I had a Tom?

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