For Readers

If you would like me to visit your book club to discuss Steal the North, please email me at I can be with you by phone or Skype if you’re far away, or in person if I’m in your area.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. Is there a place in the world that has shaped you as Washington does Emmy? Or, like Kate’s own experience in Washington, is there a place that you felt you had to leave behind?
  2. How are religion and spirituality depicted in the novel? Do you see a difference between the two?
  3. The novel switches perspective with each chapter. How did this affect your understanding of the plot and your relationship with the characters?
  4. Which character did you identify with the most? Why? Which character did you find most frustrating? Most affecting?
  5. What is the significance of the heat Emmy feels in her hands after the faith healing? Have you ever experienced something miraculous that couldn’t be easily explained?
  6. How did Beth’s work with her herb garden fulfill her? How did it damage her?
  7. Did you have an intense romance in your youth similar to the one between Emmy and Reuben? What happened?
  8. Who is Coyote? What is the connection between the Coyote story and Reuben’s father? Why does Reuben feel such pride in his father, despite his many flaws?
  9. Was Kate right to separate Reuben and Emmy? How do you think their lives would have been different if they had finished high school together?
  10. Teresa believes that Matt is slowly being released from his grief over Beth’s death and at the same time released from their restrictive, fundamentalist life. She says, “He must sense this release. How terribly painful” (p. 289). Why would this release be painful for him?
  11. What parallels do you see between Emmy and Kate’s experiences with young love? Are there any parallels between Emmy’s and Beth’s experiences?
  12. If you could cast a film adaptation of Steal the North, whom would you choose?