Study Guide

A Break With Charity Memory and the Past

By Ann Rinaldi

Memory and the Past

We'd like to introduce you to a teen with the best memory around. Her name is Susanna and she's not about to forget anything about the Salem witch trials anytime soon. And when we say anything, we mean it. Our girl Susanna just can't get the past out of her head. And she's not the only one—in fact, the whole town of Salem has a hard time moving on. Whether it's forgetting about the old neighborhood squabbles from back in the days of yore or pushing past the whole witch madness, this town has a rough ride ahead in A Break with Charity. So the big question is: Will these folks find a way to move on, or are they forever stuck in the past?

Questions About Memory and the Past

  1. Is Susanna defined by her memories? How so? Or do you think she has control over the stories from her past?
  2. Which characters have the hardest time escaping the past? Are there any characters that are held back by their personal histories?
  3. How is Salem tied to its town's past? Can the town move forward? How so?
  4. How do Susanna's feelings about the past affect the way she sees the future?

Chew on This

The past is permanent. Susanna can't escape her past no matter how hard she tries.

The past gives Susanna a big push. Memories help Susanna move on with her life and leave the old days behind.

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