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Book Club Questions – The Pecan Man

September 2, 2018

I have compiled a list of discussion topics for The Pecan Man based on questions from readers and book clubs in the past. Some of these are spoilers, so be careful if you have not read the book yet! Please feel free to add questions you may have, or that have been asked at your book club meetings. I would LOVE to hear from book clubs who read my work and, if you’ll send me a picture of your group holding the book, I’ll be sure to post it on my page!

Also: Please contact me at if you would like to have me Skype, Zoom or otherwise virtually visit your bookclub at no charge. I love popping in to say hello.

Questions for discussion:

What is the main reason Ora Lee doesn’t tell Grace the truth after her mother dies?

Why is Ora Lee not able to remember her life with Walter?

Was Ora Lee really kind to Eddie? Does it matter?

Does Eddie really think he’ll have to get justice because he’s innocent? Why does he later change his mind?

Does the friendship between Patrice and Dovey Kincaid’s daughter signify that all is now well between the races in the South?

Why does Ora Lee believe “we were partially to blame” for losing Grace?

Why does Ora Lee decide not to bury her lie with Eddie, “no matter what the cost”?

According to the story, what good does it do to learn right from wrong if we fail to insist on doing the right thing?

Why did Ora Lee let the Pecan Man take the blame for the murder of the rapist when she knew the real killer was Blanche’s son, Marcus?

What impact did skin color have on Blanche at birth and as a mother?

How much did Harley O’Dell (Poopsie) know about the murder?

What caused Marcus’s auto accident? Why do you think the author was not specific?

Why does Ora withhold what she knows for all those years?

This novel was very much about perspectives and how things look different depending on where you stand. How did Ora Lee Beckworth’s perspective change over the course of twenty-five years and when did those changes begin?

No matter how good Blanche’s intentions, or how much she believed there was no way to get justice for her daughter, the fact is Gracie was pretty much pushed aside. Why do you think Blanche did what she did?

What, if anything, does the barber’s chair symbolize? Why is that detail important to the story?

Why didn’t Ralph Kornegay cause any more trouble after Ora Lee’s phone call to him?

What do you think is the overall message of the story?

Is there any such thing as a good lie? How do we decide if the truth comes at too high a price?

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