The Hummingbird's Cage
Author:Tamara Dietrich

3. The Mountain in Morro has a strong effect on Joanna. What does the Mountain symbolize? What could be the “unwavering light” at its crest?

4. Why might Laurel hear the barking dog, but not Joanna?

5. Even though Jim never physically shows up in Morro, Joanna still strongly feels his presence there—why might that be? Is it Joanna and Laurel’s inability to break free of him? Or could he be inserting himself in some way?

6. Do you think Morro is a real place? Or is it all just a hallucination of the heroine? And if it is a hallucination, does it matter?

7. Why is Joanna given the option to return to the “real world,” while others in Morro aren’t?

8. Joanna ultimately decides to leave Morro. Would you have made the same decision?

9. Joanna’s final battle with Jim echoes many of the things she’s seen or experienced while in Morro. What are some of them?

10. A freak hailstorm helps Joanna defeat Jim. Was it a natural phenomenon, or could it have been more than that?

11. Why do Joanna and Laurel put hummingbird feeders all around their house in Taos? What does the hummingbird symbolize?

12. Will Joanna ever return to Morro? If she does, what might she find there?

Photo courtesy Joe Fudge Tamara Dietrich was born in Germany to a U.S. military family and raised in the Appalachian town of Cumberland, Maryland. She has wanted to write ever since she could read.

She earned a degree in English/creative writing from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, and launched into journalism. Chasing a newspaper career, she has lived in New Mexico (twice), Maine, upstate New York, Arizona and, now, Virginia. Along the way, she has won dozens of journalism awards for news reporting, feature writing and opinion columns.

She now lives in Smithfield in a colonial cottage that predates the Revolution. She has a grown son, a dog, three cats and an English cottage garden. She gets her best writing ideas while jogging with the dog or cycling around Windsor Castle Park.