Goodbye Days (Zentner) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for Goodbye Days…then take off on your own:

1. What was your experience reading Goodbye Days?  Does the humor in the story help leaven the book for you? Or is it simply too sad, even grim, to read?

1. How culpable, legally, is Carver for the death of his three friends?

3. When Blake's grandmother explains the concept of goodbye to Carver she says: "Funny how people move through this world leaving little pieces of their story with the people they meet… Makes you wonder what'd happen if all those people put their puzzle pieces together." Explain what she means by that observation. Do you feel that you have left pieces of yourself with others—friends and family? Does that mean you're a different person to different people? Does it imply there is no true you? Or what?

4. What do you think of Carver? What are the ways he must try to adjust to life after the accident, to cope not just with his sense of guilt but also with his loneliness and grief? He describes himself as "a beach in November." What would that feel like?

5. Carver talks about waking up after a dream, crying "because your shot at redemption is another thing you’ve lost. And you’re tired of losing things." Why is redemption so difficult? Is redemption real or is it an emotional-psychological state? Does someone confer redemption?

6. What role do Jesmyn, Georgia, and the rest of his family play in Carver's recovery process?

7. What does Carver come to know and understand by the end of the book—about himself and his friends? How has he grown?

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

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