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 of him?
- 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
- 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?
- 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: Test Editions: Closer Than You Think:
Topics for Discussion