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Will a short story collection work for a book club?
Umm . . . yeah!

Here are some discussion questions for your book club. Kevin is also available to meet with your club via FaceTime or Skype.
  1. Of the fourteen stories in Auras, was there a story or character that stood out to you?  Why did that story hold special meaning for you?

  2. Was there a story where a character’s actions didn’t make sense to you? Why did you feel that way?

  3. In many of the stories, characters faced challenges to their personal beliefs and morals. In “Something Worthy of his Shame,” for example, Matthew abandoned his responsibilities on the ship to help an attractive woman search for her lost son. In “First Night,” Brian was tempted with unfaithfulness during his separation from his wife. In “Skimming,” Amy was tempted with the opportunity to use her status in her community to become a thief. What did you learn from these stories about the capacity of human beings to betray their own values?

  4. Regret was a theme in several of the stories in this book. The first story, “A Sentimental Person,” was tinged with regret. Amy from the story “Skimming,” carried regrets with her. Chet from “Laura-Jean” was steeped in regret. How does regret function in these stories? How do the characters cope with their desire to fix a past mistake? Is there a character whose regret feels the most deeply entrenched? Which character feels closest to letting go of their disappointment in themselves?

  5. In some of the stories from Auras, characters seemed to experience growth or learn something important about themselves or the world around them. Which characters do you believe made important steps forward in their life? How did that change come about?

  6. At the end of the story, “World Upside Down,” the story’s narrator, Ryan, says, “I’m not a fundamentally different person. But I want to be. And that’s how people change, right?” Do you agree with Ryan? Why or why not?

  7. The story, “Crime and Punishment,” asks how a person can find a punishment to fit a particular offense, whether it’s possible, and whether it matters? What did you think about Sarah’s decision to withhold the punishment she’d planned for Mark?

  8. Erika Bing, the main character of the story, “Barred Owl,” has a tense relationship with her pastor and friend, Darren. She has an innate reverence for his position but a deep-seated fear that he will betray her. How does she learn to navigate these competing tendencies? 

  9. “Auras” is the only story in the collection with a magical element—Markus’s ability to both see and hear the Coronavirus, Covid-19. How did you feel about the introduction of magic in a set of stories that were otherwise written in a realistic style? How did it impact you to know that he had this special ability?

  10. What are your biggest take-aways from this book? Are there characters, or stories, or particular moments that you will carry with you? 

Want Kevin to meet with your book club?

Get in touch so we can start working together.

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