A Monster Calls
by Patrick Ness
A Monster Calls Theme of Family
The O'Malleys aren't exactly the Cosbys. Conor's got an absent father, a grandmother he doesn't exactly get along with, and a mother with a terminal illness. It's a recipe for a lot of family drama, and sure enough, we get it in spades. We enter Conor's life at a time when his notion of family is changing really fast, and A Monster Calls is all about how our boy copes with that fact.
Questions About Family
- Why doesn't his dad want Conor to come to America and live with him? What does that tell you about the guy? And what does it say about Conor that he wants to move to the States with his old man?
- Why are both Conor's parents so reluctant to tell him that his mother is dying?
- Do you think Conor and his grandma will make it work when he moves in for real? Why or why not?
Chew on This
Conor's grandma's denial that she's aging is similar to his mom's denial that she's dying.
When Conor's dad says that his house is too small for Conor to come live with him, what he really means is that his life (or maybe his heart) is too small. He's only got room for one family, both literally and metaphorically.