READING GROUP GUIDE VOWS
The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son Peter Manseau Vows: The Story of a Priest, a Nun, and Their Son
Peter ManseauQuestions and Topics for Discussion
1. Is Vows
a story of vows made, or vows broken? How would you describe this book—as a love story, a religious journey, or both? Discuss the symbolism of the title, and the dual meaning that is implied.
2. Author Peter Manseau follows his mother and father through their childhoods, details their years of religious training, and recreates their inner worlds. How, as a writer, does Peter accomplish this? How does he give voice to each individual character? Discuss the unique use of language and narrative structure in Vows
3. If the Manseaus’ story had been told by someone other than their son, how might it have been different? Would you
have felt differently about these characters had you read about them in a newspaper, or heard about them on the news? And if so, do you think you would have been more or less interested? Sympathetic? Opinionated?
4. Peter believed that his family had been shaped “first and foremost by the fact of [his] father’s vocation”—until he uncovers the evidence of his mother’s scandalous secret in the form of corre