Discussion Topics

Warning: spoiler alert!

  1. Discuss how the themes of acceptance and forgiveness were borne out in the novel? What would you have found the hardest to forgive? Why? How important do you think forgiveness is to healing?
  2. When Samuel returns to Rebecca in 1917 he says: ‘Never give up hope, Rebecca. Sometimes it’s all we’ve got.’ How did the concepts of hope and faith play out in the novel?
  3. Silas is a deeply superstitious man. When Samuel finally challenges him about his beliefs, Silas replies: ‘Ah Samuel, perhaps that is the difference between you and me. Maybe if you believe in it, it will happen and if you don’t believe in it then it won’t. Either way, no harm done, except my way, I’m better prepared.’ What are your views on the topic?
  4. When we first meet Rebecca she has this sense of being trapped on Second Chance Island. Out of all of the women in the novel, who do you think was the most trapped?
  5. In Revelations Samuel and Rebecca lose the person they are possibly closest to – yet neither of them ever knew the person each other mourned for. How important was it to the arc of the novel for both to suffer their own deeply personal losses?
  6. Seldom Come By honours the dead in different ways and at different times. How important was that to the closure of each character? Whose death did you find the saddest and why?
  7. Samuel is not a larger than life hero like many male protaganists are in epic love stories. How do you think his experiences in war shaped him and the life he chose to live? What personality traits and or actions made him appealing to you?
  8. Samuel’s sojourn in the trappers hut ended after the eerie encounter he had with the she-wolf. Do you believe nature and animals have spirits that speak to our souls on a deep level?
  9. Near the very end of the novel, Samuel gives us an insight into his reaction to finding out all about Samson. What do you think that experience would have been like for him once the enormity of it set in?
  10. After all that happened to Rebecca in her life do you think she still believed in God? Why?
  11. This is also a novel about reunions. Which ones resonated with you?
  12. Which character would you have liked to have known more about, seen more of in the story? Why?
  13. What were the signature moments for you in this novel? Did this book make you cry? If so, in what parts and why?

Download a PDF to take along to your book club get together.

 Seldom Come By Discussion Topics