Study Guide

Where Things Come Back Family

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Even though our seventeen-year-old narrator may be loath to admit that he has all the warm and fuzzy feelings about his family, Cullen really is attached to his family in Where Things Come Back. He's basically best friends with his younger brother, Gabriel, and is completely devastated when he disappears without warning one day. He tries to take care of his mom and his Aunt Julia during their difficult family trials, and though Cullen has a rough and tumble relationship with his dad, at the end of the day, they're still on the same team.

In short, those Witters stick together. Which is a good thing considering the predicament they find themselves in.

Questions About Family

  1. How does Cullen's mom'srelationship with her sister change over the course of the novel?
  2. Why is Cullen so attached to his younger brother?
  3. Why does everyone in the family cope differently with Gabriel's disappearance?
  4. Why is Benton's family so mean to him? 

Chew on This

The close bond between Gabriel and Cullen transcends mere brotherhood; they're also best friends and need each other to feel right in the world.

Even though Cullen's mom acts like nothing is wrong after Gabriel disappears, she is the family member who is actually suffering the most internally from his absence. 

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