Reader Discussion Guide

Reading A Mariner’s Tale in your book club/reading group? Use these questions as a starting point. If you’d like to connect with the author live or via Zoom/Skype/phone for your book club meeting, email JOE PALMER AUTHOR HERE.

  1. What were your favorite parts of A Mariner’s Tale? Least favorite parts?
  2. What did you feel after reading it? Did you feel like a mere observer or did you feel like the author drew you into the story?
  3. Which was your favorite character and why?
  4. The author used vivid descriptions of place and setting in this story. Was it well done? Overdone? Have you ever been anywhere that this place reminds you of?
  5. Two of the themes in A Mariner’s Tale are loss and redemption. Who is redeemed and who do you think experiences the greatest loss?
  6. What objects or events in this story are metaphors for something else? Discuss.
  7. Doug and Merkel have a mentor/protégé relationship. Do you know of another older person and younger person with a similar relationship? Is it or was it successful? How does it compare to that of Doug and Merkel?
  8. Margie was originally planned as a minor, transitional character. Could this story have been told without her presence in it? Would it have made the story better or would it have not been as good without her?
  9. What are some other books that this one reminds you of? Would you recommend this book to your best friend/spouse/significant other?
  10. If you could make a movie of this book, which actors would you cast as the various characters?