Questions for The Language of Trees are found in the back of the book, along with a bit of local lore. Book Club questions for The Salt God’s Daughter can be found below.
THE SALT GOD’S DAUGHTER Discussion questions for book clubs.
1.) The Salt God’s Daughter is a re-imagining of a Celtic folktale about the selkies—elusive, mythic creatures that are human when on land, but become seals in the ocean. While they are known for their ability to enchant the human heart, they always return to their home in the sea, leaving loved ones in their wake. Is it possible to form relationships with people who are known to us mostly through their absence?
2.) What do you think first drew Ruthie to Graham? As Ruthie changed, how did Graham’s role in her life change? Why do you think she ultimately made the decision she did about her future with him?
3.) Ruthie and Dolly relied on each other for support during their tumultuous early years. Who was the “stronger” sister and how did this change from childhood to adulthood?
4.) To what extent was Ruthie’s family neglected by society? Has society’s view of homelessness changed through the years or remained static?
5.) In what ways did 1970s pop culture iconography (TV, popular movies, dolls, etc.) affect Ruthie and Dolly’s expectations for marriage and family? How did these things change under the influence of feminism?
6.) Naida and Diana both have the gift of prophecy. How does this gift affect their life choices? Would you want such a gift?
7.) Do you think each of the women in this novel ultimately found a place where she belonged? What does it mean to be “home”?
8.) Which character(s) in this novel are selkie?