Reasons for Waking

Book Club Questions

Welcome, Book Clubs! We hope these questions will assist you in having lively book discussions of Reasons for Waking, by Karen Foster.

Every book club follows its own format, so please feel free to use these questions in a way that works best for your group. They are designed to provide a little structure for those who desire it and to start your group thinking and talking about the book. They do not have to be followed exactly as listed. Your group may find plenty to discuss without much assistance. There is no right or wrong way to use these questions, so remember to have fun and enjoy your time together sharing the ways Reasons for Waking is impacting your life.

General Questions

1. What is the significance of the book title?

  • How does it relate to the story?
  • Do you feel that the title fits the story?

2. What did you think of the main characters?

  • Explore each character: personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.​
  • Which character(s) did you relate to most, or empathize with the most?
  • Which character did you like best? Which did you like least?
  • How has the past shaped their lives?
  • Are their actions justified? Did you agree with their decisions?
  • How does the way the characters see themselves differ from the way others see them?
  • How did they grow or mature during the story?

3. What themes stand out to you?

  • What was the Author trying to say about human nature?

4. Discuss the plot.

  • Did you find it interesting? Did it keep your attention?
  • Were you surprised by the plot twists and turns?
  • What did you love or dislike most about the plot?
  • What scene would you say was a pivotal moment in the narrative?
  • Was there a scene or passage that resonated with you on a personal level? Why?
  • Were you able to guess the ending? Or did the author keep you in suspense the entire time?
  • How did you feel about the ending? Did it answer all of your questions? Would you change it?

5. Think about the story and its message on a personal level. How has this book affected you?

  • Have you ever had to deal with your own family tragedy? How was it handled compared to the tragedy in this story?
  • Did this story cause you to think about your own family relationships and communication style?
  • Have you ever made wrong assumptions about a situation causing you to miss the truth
  • Did this story speak to you about honesty and open communication in relationships?

Questions specific to Reasons for Waking

1. Why do you think the writer chose to open the novel where she did, with Dilsey and Philip noticing the fire at the university?

2. What is Philip’s main misunderstanding of how grief and relationships work? How does he overcome this misbelief over the course of the story?

3. Henry and Philip share a deep friendship that goes back to their childhood. But there are also secrets between them. What are those hard things they don’t share with one another? How did the secrets affect their relationship?

4. Dilsey’s death has a shattering effect on Philip. But in what ways did it, and his relationship with her, cause a positive change in his life in the long term?

5. Why is it that Philip is motivated to investigate the context of his younger brother’s death after trying not to think about it for so long?