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Innocent (Turow) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions 
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Innocent:

1. What is the significance of the book's title, ostensibly the legal term for someone found "not guilty"? In what way is it ironic, suggesting a philosophical, moral question?

2. Author Scott Turow uses an unusual structure for this novel, moving back and forth between time frames and viewpoints. Why might he have used this technique rather than a straightforward narrative? Did the novel's structure enhance or detract from your enjoyment?

3. Have you read Presumed Innocent, the "prequel" to this novel? If so, how do the two compare? Is it important to have read the previous book? Why or why not?

4. Follow-up to Question 3: If you haven't read Presumed Innocent, was it hard to come up to speed on this novel? Having finished Innocent—and looking back—would it have made a difference if you had read the first book? If so...in what way? Will you read PI now? Why or why not?

5. How would you describe Rusty Sabitch? What kind of a man is he? Has he learned from his past mistakes?

6. What is Rusty's wife Barbara like? Why have the two stayed married all these years?

7. Author Turow seems as interested in penetrating the mysteries of marriage and the human heart as he is the ins-and-outs of the legal system. What issues does he raise about how two people operate within a marriage? What do we come to learn about Barbara and Rusty's marriage? Do you see parallels to your own relationships?

8. What about Anna Vostic? First of all, will older men ever find age-appropriate women? Or is the answer to that "In your dreams, sweetheart"?

9. Back to Anna: what kind of person is she...and why does she end up in an affair with Rusty's son? Talk about those complications.

10. What about Nat? Is he a sympathetic character or not? Good boyfriend material...good son material?

11. What drives the prosecutorial team—Tommy Molto and Jim Brand? Why is Brand so eager to convict Rusty Sabitch? What evidence does the prosecution have against Rusty? Is it particularly strong?

12. Much of the book is a courtroom drama. Did you enjoy the pyrotechnics between prosecutors and defense attorneys?

13. How does Rusty's secret drive, or shape, his own defense?

14. Does this book deliver? Were you surprised by the various plot twists? Going back over the book, can you pick out where Turow purposely withholds information—then reveals it—to keep readers wondering?

15. What insights does this book offer—or issues does it raise—regarding the country's (or a state's) legal system ?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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