Questions for Discussion


Children of the Salt Road

Lydia Fazio Theys

Here are some questions your book group might find interesting for discussion. If your group does use any of these questions, I’d love to see some of your answers, if you would like to share them. I’d love to know what you thought. Just go to the Contact link and send me your thoughts!

Book Group Questions

  1. So, what really happened at the end? Was this all driven by Mark’s guilt or was it something of a Rosemary’s Baby scenario? (If so, who was Rosemary here?) Or was it something in between? How long do you think Catherine has owned the agriturismo? Who is the young man named Nico?
  2. The final chapter, set twenty-three years after the rest of the book, is the only one with no character name attached, yet it contains information purely from Catherine’s point of view. Did the fact that her name was not attached to the chapter have any effect on how you read and interpreted its content?
  3. The story is told in pieces and from three different points of view—that of Catherine, Mark, and Seth. Each character can tell you only what he or she sees and knows. Did you feel you “took the word” of any character over another? Were they equally forthcoming in sharing their thoughts and feelings?
  4. Who or what was Nico? Did he symbolize a single thing or several things?
  5. What moment surprised you most?
  6. Why do you think Catherine fell so quickly and fully into the thrall of her corner of Sicily?
  7. What was the greatest betrayal in the book? Was there adequate, or any, retribution for it?
  8. What is the significance of Nico’s various aspects? Are there parallels in the stories of Mark and Seth, and of Mark and Nico? Who was really stalking whom, if anyone?
  9. What is the role and importance of fire throughout the story?
  10. What is the significance of the statue, lo Spinario, that Catherine views in Florence? Who is he a messenger from and to in this book?
  11. What was the role of Sandra and her family? How did Catherine and Mark, with their diverging views of what they wanted for the future, interpret this family’s situation?
  12. Is the setting important? How do you think Catherine and Mark’s story might have played out had they never left New York?