I hope that you have enjoyed reading the first chapters of Still Life and have checked it out on Amazon or Barnes and Noble. If you missed them, they are posted in my blog section. These are some book club questions I have used at book clubs. They are very telling, so you may want to finish the book before reading this post. Happy reading!!!

STILL LIFE Book Club Questions 

1) In the novel, Still Life, Samantha’s jealousy over her sister’s talents shape who she becomes and how she reacts to crisis. Do you feel that sibling rivalry is a healthy or unhealthy part of growing up? Have your siblings shaped who you have become in a positive or negative way? 

I was raised the middle of seven children. I would definitely be a different person if I was a single child. My guess is I would be more confident but less persistent.

2) Do you feel that as a parent, we treat our children differently? Is this good or bad?        Needed or not needed?

My feeling is that we definitely do and it can be warranted. I stronger willed child may demand firmer or different consequences than one that is timid and/or by nature wants to please people. My opinion only. 

3) Samantha seems to fall for Seth easily in the midst of everything happening to her husband. She has her childish jealousy, her feelings of betrayal, and her anger over his driving habits that eventually lead to their family’s suffering. Do you feel that there is a perfect storm for almost any person that would allow them to crack? 

My personal findings is that the moment I begin judging others, life tries to prove a lesson to me. That said, I don’t want to tempt fate by saying I’m more unbreakable than others, but I do think that there are choices we make to protect ourselves.

4) In the novel, Jacob is actually on trial for hit and run, not texting and driving. This is because in Virginia at the time the story is written, killing someone while texting and driving would not lead to prison time. Jacob had to leave the scene of the crime in order to be prosecuted to that degree. What do you feel would be the appropriate sentence for homicide caused by texting and driving? Keep in mind, it is a law often broken by our own loved ones. What can be done in addition to what is already being done to prevent these accidents? What is different between the time it takes to read a text and look for a radio station or look at your GPS? 

We’ve come a long ways from the days of having a map open across our steering wheel, but technology is a whole new monster. It’s something we all need to watch. The hard part is the differentiation between what makes you a criminal versus a momentarily distracted human. Looking at your phone’s GPS can be illegal where looking at your car’s GPS is not, slight differences that can make for different consequences.

5) Do you feel Seth had feelings for Samantha, albeit confused ones? Was Seth a good guy or a bad guy? 

Writing Seth, I felt he was a good man that was angry and vengeful, but had confused feelings for Samantha. I didn’t want to make it completely clear because I wanted the reader to have doubts just as Samantha would.

6) Samantha owns the ugly parts of herself in order to move on with her life. Do you feel that many people as adults still carry the same childish flaws of childhood? 

I am often baffled by how much we are all still children trying to act like adults. Sometimes we pull it off wonderfully, and other times, not so well.

7) One of the things that Samantha needed to own was that it was okay if her role in life was not to shine, but to genuinely applaud others when they do. Her flaw of being too proud came back to the fact that if she couldn’t be the one “on stage” then she felt as if she was nothing of importance. Do you think that our society tends to make our children feel this way, by making them believe they can do anything they set their hearts to? Are we overlooking the fact that only a small percentage actually sit on top? Do our kids understand that it is just as important to applaud others and be humble? 

I love the idea that we teach our children to reach for the stars. I just feel that we need to do a better job of making them understand that they should become their best not the best.

9) According to Haley, Samantha stole Jacob from her, and he should have been off limits. Should Samantha have stayed away from Jacob because her sister briefly dated him?

I was one of six girls and luckily, we never really liked the same person. It would have been a bit uncomfortable for me.

10) What were your thoughts about Haley? After what Samantha had done, did she have a right to try to win him back?

I loved Haley’s character in the beginning of the story, but she lets events change her into a selfish person. I do think that the “in love feeling” can make a person act stupid, but she was not a child and she needed to back off once Jacob and Samantha became a serious couple.

11) If your husband was going to jail for many years, could you wait for him? 

This would depend on many factors—how strong was our marriage and what crime did he commit that would send him to jail.

12) Do you think that Seth was going to file a civil suit? Why do you think it was left dangling?

In my opinion, Seth would not file. I left it dangling, because it would have diminished the change in Samantha to have it all settled and happy. What she had to learn was to be happy and content despite her situation or successes.