Haven Books Fiction
Mara Purl's Novels & Stories
Nobody's Fault - Topics for Discussion
Book Club and Reading Group Guide
Topics for Discussion "Nobody's Fault"
- What is the function of forgiveness? How does it affect the forgiver?
Can forgiveness affect a person who has been forgiven if they did
not feel guilty in the first place? Discuss experiences of forgiveness
in your life.
- How do you feel about earthquakes? Do you feel fatalistic about
them, that there's "nothing you can do"? Or do you think
advanced technology will someday make it possible to predict and therefore
avoid devastating earthquakes? Do you avoid living in earthquake-prone
- What are the symptoms of a batterer? What are the symptoms of a
victim of domestic abuse? Is it right to interfere? Can a batterer
ever be healed? Can a victim ever rebuild a better life? What actions
to do you think Stacey will take? Is she strong enough to stand up
- How does the author evoke the passage of time through her series?
In what ways did she bring to mind the autumn season in this book?
How do seasonal references enhance the reading experience?
- Thanksgiving is a national holiday that is not necessarily celebrated
the same way by all Americans. How are Native American observances
portrayed in this book? How do you feel about the origins of the holiday?
- As she marries a handicapped man, how is Sally dealing with his
disability? Is she realistic in her assessment? Is their love more
important than any obstacle?
- As an author, Mara Purl stimulates the senses of the reader. In
this book how does she stimulate the sense of taste? Do you find it
enjoyable to read about cooking? Did you find the contrasting Thanksgiving
feasts interesting or amusing? Did you try the recipes at the end
of the novel?
- Each of the Milford-Haven novels ends with an excerpt from Samantha
Hugo's journal. In this novel, what does her journal entry evoke?
Does Samantha use her writings to try ti improve her life? Are her
concerns and issues valid?
- Mara Purl does research in the sciences and relates her ideas to
metaphysical themes. Does she succeed in showing a correlation of
thought between the sciences (seismology, plate tectonics) and the
humanities (the functions of guilt and forgiveness)?
- Why is this book called Nobody's Fault? Is this a reference primarily
residents of Milford-Haven not wanting to take responsibility for
earthquake damage? Or does the theme carry metaphorical overtones
as well? When have large external events affected your personal life?
What did you learn about yourself?
Fiction: Milford-Haven: Test Editions: Nobody's Fault:
Topics for Discussion