Monday, June 15, 2009

Group Discussion Questions for "Talking to the Dead"

Here are some themes to consider:

1. Friendship. Maggie thrust hers onto Kate, Heather forged
an inappropriate one. Kate offers her friendship to Sekeena.
Examine the role friendship played in Kate’s unfolding drama.

2. Loss. Loss comes in many forms in Kate’s story. There are the
obvious losses brought by death, but there are many more.
Examine the levels of loss Kate experienced.

3. Mental health. Kate’s grief and guilt expressed itself in many
different ways. Examine the evidence that suggests Kate was
mentally ill, and the evidence that suggests she was mentally

4. Love. Kate’s understanding of love changes throughout the book.
Love is expressed and rebuffed and rejoiced in at different times.
Examine the different kinds of love in the book.

5. Humor. Even in the throes of her sorrow and grief, Kate experienced
moments of quirkiness, of lightness, and even humor.
How was this accomplished in the book?

6. Therapy. Kate underwent several types of therapy. How did each
help her? In what ways did they fail to help her?

7. Faith. Kate wrestles with God. Jack’s faith inspires her, and The
Reverend’s faith frightens her. Explore Kate’s journey toward
faith—its small but important beginnings, to the end of the
book. What do you think about Kate’s faith experience?

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