Reading Group Guide DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. Which is the more important relationship for Michael, the one with Zina or the one with his father?
2. Would the people in the story have acted differently today from the way they did in 1963?
3. Do you think Zina is permanently changed by the events in the summer of 1963?
4. Are any of the characters bad? Is there a villain in Salt Water?
5. At the end of the story Michael, now older than his father was when he drowned, says he still feels like a child. Why should this be so?
6. If the characters were real people, which would you like and which would you dislike?
7. If you were Michael, would you have acted differently?
8. Do you think Michael really wanted to kill his father?
9. Can you think of a better title for the book?
10. Would the story have been better if it had been told by the author instead of by Michael?
11. What do you think happens to Michael after the summer of 1963? AUTHOR INTERVIEW Q: You use an epigraph from Turgenev's First Love to signal the reader that Salt Water will resemble the earlier narrative. Why did you follow another writer's plot rather than invent a new one?
A: A number of reasons. But first let me say that Turgenev pointed out that First Love
was almost literally autobiographical, so in a sense I took my story from life.
My four previous novels -- three comedies, a