At the request of an Ohio book club, Gathering String author Mimi Johnson developed these study questions to frame a discussion of her novel:
Gathering String is as much a character novel as it is a political thriller. Some questions of character:
- Do you see acts of heroism in the book? Name some.
- Do you feel one character stands out above the rest as a hero? If so, make your case for him/her. If not, why not?
- Do you see acts of moral frailty in the book? Name some.
- Besides Swede Erickson, whom would you identify as the most broken character? Why?
- At the end of the book, Jack Westphal says he can still feel some sympathy for Swede. Why do you think he says this?
- Jack is very angry when he finally confronts his wife, Tess Benedict, about her relationship with Sam Waterman. What do you think is the biggest driver of his anger?
- In Greek mythology, the Hermes character often acts (wittingly or unwittingly) as a guide for the others. Can you identify a Hermes character in this story? If so, make your case for him or her.
Book clubs, bookstores or libraries interested in arranging a visit from the author may reach her at mimi (dot) johnson (at) mac (dot) com.