Book Group Discussions for Stealing Mercy
1. What do you think the title Stealing Mercy means? Who do you think is trying to Steal Mercy?
2. What significant role does family history play in this story?
3. What are some of the prejudices Mercy and Bette both face? How do they overcome them?
4. The Lucky Island Brothel takes on a life of its own in the novel, becoming much more than just a place of business. What do you think it represents for the town? For Mercy?
5. There’s more than one reference to fairy tales in the novel. Is Mercy a believer in fairy tales? What are your thoughts on fairy tales?
6. One of the prevailing themes in Stealing Mercy is friendship. How do Mercy’s friendships change throughout the course of the novel? How do her friendships change her? How about Bette? Is there a correlation?
7. At the beginning of each chapter there is a recipe. What significance do the recipes have? What role does food play in the story?
8. What do you think of Mercy’s and Trent’s relationship and how it evolves over the course of the novel?
9. Mercy takes enormous risks throughout the novel. Why do you think she’s willing to put herself in peril?
10. Mercy and Trent have a complicated relationship from the start—what do you think is the strongest force pulling them together? Do you think their relationship would have worked had they met in another place and time?