Book Club Discussion Questions

  1. What  relevance, if any, did the folk song The Rock Island Line have to the book?
  2. What events in the story stand out for you as memorable?
  3. What were some of the major themes of the book? Are they relevant in your life?
  4. The bonfires signify marking time “lest life pass you by”. What other symbols of the passage of time did you find in this book?
  5. Are the characters or their circumstances familiar to you?
  6. Does the book have a central theme? If so, what? Does it have many themes? If so, how do they interlink?
  7. Out of all the periods covered in this book, in which would you most like to have lived? What would be the advantages/disadvantages?
  8.  Talk about the location. Was it important to the story? Talk about the time periods of the story. Were they important?
  9. Did the book expand your range of experience or challenge your assumptions (for example did it take you to a place you haven’t been before or help you see a place you know in a different light). Did reading it help you to understand a person better – perhaps a friend or relative, or even yourself?
  10. What do you think will happen to the characters next?

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