1. The line "every family is a ghost story" recurs several times in the novel. What does that mean and who are the real ghosts in the Benetto family?
2. Is there a particular scene that resonates with you the most?
3. Early on the book asks: "Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever?" What if you got one day back? How would you answer these questions?
4. Early on Chick says, "Mothers support certain illusions about their children." What does he mean by that? What about fathers?
5. Several times Chick says that you can either be a mama's boy or a daddy's boy, but not both. Which was Chick? Which did he believe himself to be? Do you agree that you can only be one or the other?
6. Chick says, "Kids chase the love that eludes them." How does this play out over the course of the novel? Whose love does he chase, ultimately, and why?
7. Throughout the novel, Chick outlines various times when he failed to stand up for his mother, and was often quite cold to her. Is there a special cruelty that children inflict on their parents?
8. Midway through the novel, a mountain climber tells Chick: "The backside of a mountain is a fight against human nature. You have to care as much about yourself on the way down as you did on the way up." Do you agree with this statement? Where are Chick's ascents and descents?
9. How is the Old Timers' Game and the circumstances surrounding Chick's involvement a turning point in his life?
10. Late in the novel Chick learns a shocking secret about his father's life. How does it change his understanding of his parents' relationship? How does it change your understanding of Posey, Leonard and Chick?
11. Are there thematic links between this novel and your previous books?
12. What inspired you as a child to pursue your creative endeavors?
13. What are you working on these days?
14. Are you equally comfortable writing fiction, nonfiction, and journalism?