Topics for Discussion
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Book Club and Reading Group Guide
Topics for Discussion
- What is the function of forgiveness? How does it affect
the forgiver? Can forgiveness affect a person who has been
forgiven if they did not feel guilty in the first place?
Discuss experiences of forgiveness in your life.
- How do you feel about earthquakes? Do you feel fatalistic
about them, that there's "nothing you can do"?
Or do you think advanced technology will someday make it
possible to predict and therefore avoid devastating earthquakes?
Do you avoid living in earthquake-prone areas?
- What are the symptoms of a batterer? What are the symptoms
of a victim of domestic abuse? Is it right to interfere?
Can a batterer ever be healed? Can a victim ever rebuild
a better life? What actions to do you think Stacey will
take? Is she strong enough to stand up to Wilhelm?
- How does the author evoke the passage of time through
her series? In what ways did she bring to mind the autumn
season in this book? How do seasonal references enhance
the reading experience?
- Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is not necessarily
celebrated the same way by all Americans. How are Native
American observances portrayed in this book? How do you
feel about the origins of the holiday?
- As she marries a handicapped man, how is Sally dealing
with his disability? Is she realistic in her assessment?
Is their love more important than any obstacle?
- As an author, Mara Purl stimulates the senses of the reader.
In this book how does she stimulate the sense of taste?
Do you find it enjoyable to read about cooking? Did you
find the contrasting Thanksgiving feasts interesting or
amusing? Did you try the recipes at the end of the novel?
- Each of the Milford-Haven novels ends with an excerpt
from Samantha Hugo's journal. In this novel, what does her
journal entry evoke? Does Samantha use her writings to try
ti improve her life? Are her concerns and issues valid?
- Mara Purl does research in the sciences and relates her
ideas to metaphysical themes. Does she succeed in showing
a correlation of thought between the sciences (seismology,
plate tectonics) and the humanities (the functions of guilt
- Why is this book called Nobody's Fault? Is this a reference
primarily residents of Milford-Haven not wanting to take
responsibility for earthquake damage? Or does the theme
carry metaphorical overtones as well? When have large external
events affected your personal life? What did you learn about