Study Guide

Cold Mountain Home

By Charles Frazier

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We all want to get home, from Harry Potter wanting to settle in at Hogwarts to Odysseus wanting to reach Ithaca in the great-granddaddy of homecoming stories. Inman is just part of a long line of characters yearning for home. For him that means coming back to Cold Mountain and to Ada, and trying to find a place where he can heal and be at peace.

Ada is already living near Cold Mountain, but she too needs to find a home, in this case by finding a relationship to her farm that will let it truly be home for her. This is one of the biggest themes of Western literature, and Cold Mountain is a magnificent take on it.

Questions About Home

  1. What does home mean to Inman? What does it mean to be at home somewhere, and why is Cold Mountain where he thinks he'll find it?
  2. Can another person be your home, or at least part of what it means to have a home?
  3. Ada's already in a place she's lived for years. Why doesn't it feel like home to her at the beginning of the book, and what would it take for it to be home?
  4. Do you think Inman and Ada have found what they wanted or needed to call home by the end of the book? If so, does it look the same or different than you expected?

Chew on This

It may not look like a stereotypical happily-ever-after, but Ada and Inman do find a home together near Cold Mountain, however briefly, and that makes the book's ending satisfying.

Ada's farm can only become her home after she learns how to care for it.

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