I love to talk with book clubs! If your book club decides to read The Promise of Pierson Orchard, I’d love to hear about it! And…if you’re interested, I would be happy attend your meeting (if I’m close enough) or Skype or Facetime with your club. Please contact me to make a request.
Here are some potential questions for your discussion.
Each character in the story sees Minden is different ways. What does that tell you about each of them?
Do you think the fracking storyline serves as a metaphor for what’s happening to the characters in the story? If so, how?
Which character(s) could you relate to best and why? Which character(s) didn’t you like and why? Who was the most courageous character in the story?
Jack puts a lot of stock in the role of fate. How much do you think fate plays a role in your life?
After reading this book, how do you think you’d react if fracking came to your town? Which character’s reaction could you most relate to?
What about Patrick? Is he a fool or a hero for standing by Stella?
How is the idea of boundaries explored in the novel?
How did you feel about the affair between LeeAnn and Wade? Was it a betrayal that Jack should have forgiven? Were LeeAnn and Wade pushed into each other’s arms by the circumstances they found themselves in? Did it result in something positive or negative for Jack and LeeAnn’s marriage? Why or why not?
What do you think of Stella’s decision back in the day to leave her kids behind with their father? How would you feel about her as an adult if you were Wade or Jack? Is their anger justified?
Do you think Wade is a victim or a coward? Was he right to leave Minden in the end? Do you think he’ll ever come back?
What do you think Jack’s fistfights are all about? Is it his way of coping or something else?
How did you feel about Gabriel and Rose? LeeAnn sees them as having an ideal marriage. How did that ideal affect her throughout the story?
What do you admire about LeeAnn? Or dislike? What kind of a mother do you think she’ll be?
Where do you see these characters five years down the road?
In the end the town is leaning toward allowing drilling, but on their terms. What do you think will happen to Minden, Pennsylvania?
Book Club Drink Ideas:
*Mulled Cider (8 servings)
2 quarts apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole cloves
1 sliced orange
Simmer in a large pot for about 10 minutes. Serve warm in mugs.
* For spiked cider, add a cup of rum after simmering and before pouring into mugs.
Or try a chilled sparkling or hard apple cider or this recipe for appletinis!
Book Club Game Idea:
Cast The Promise of Pierson Orchard as a movie. Pass around a bowl with folded slips of paper containing the names of the characters in the book. Each member (or team of 2) draws a character and casts their part in the movie version. Take turns reading out everyone’s choices.
I’ve done many readings, as well as talks for groups about writing, including workshops at conferences. If you’re interested in a speaking engagement, please contact me.
Selected Essays, News, and Interviews