Haven Books Fiction
Mara Purl's Novels & Stories
Closer Than You Think
Book Club and Reading Group Guide
Topics for Discussion "Closer Than You Think"
- Why do women stay in abusive relationships? Is there an essential
difference between an emotionally abusive and a physically abusive
relationship? Why did sally get involved with Jack? Why does Stacey
stay with Wilhelm?
- What do men consider to be the basis of their power? What makes
Jack feel powerful? Does he feel he's above the law? Is Joseph calm
and centered because of his wealth?
- What is the relationship between a small town and county law enforcement
agency? Is Del considered an intrusive outsider? Or is he being accepted
as a local? To what extent does his race influence public opinion
- What is mentoring? Is Samantha a mentor to Miranda? Does she succeed
when she tries to mentor her assistant Susan? How does the effort
to mentor reflect Samantha's own issues back to her?
- What makes some women capable of great friendships with other women?
What is the basis for the friendship between Samantha and Miranda?
Could Zelda and Cynthia be called friends? Does Sally have friends?
If not, why not?
- People tend to grow unevenly, with certain aspects of their characters
reaching maturity before others. Which aspects of Samantha are mature
and which are not? Which aspects of the town of Milford-Haven itself
are mature and which are not? How do these mirror one another?
- With so many characters' lives interweaving in the town of Milford-Haven,
is there a central character? Who would it be? Why?
- In the Pro-Growth/ No-Growth controversy in Milford-Haven, who are
the spokespersons for each side? What are positive aspects of each
stance? What are negative?
- In addition to being a writer, Mara Purl is also an actress, and
her first involvement with soap opera was as a regular performer on
Days Of Our Lives. As an actress, Mara worked from the point
of view of her character. As a writer, does Mara drive her novels
by plot or by characters?
- Why is this book called Closer Than You Think? Does this
phrase apply only to Samantha and her search for her missing child?
Is the idea carried out in Miranda's and Zack's relationship? How
does this apply to Sally? Is this a theme with aspects you can discover
elsewhere in the book?
Fiction: Milford-Haven: New
Editions: Closer Than You Think: Topics