Discussion Questions – The Homecoming

Below are a number of Discussion Questions for The Homecoming. Feel free to Copy and Print them for your Book Club: The Homecoming - Dan Walsh

(Spoiler Alert – These Questions assume you’ve already read the book)

  1. For those who’ve read the first book, The Unfinished Gift, did the sequel live up to your expectations? If so, in what ways? Were there things you’d hoped to see that The Homecoming didn’t address?
  2. The book opens with Shawn Collins beginning to deal with the tragic loss of his wife, Elizabeth. This struggle continues throughout the story. What were some of the ways he dealt with his grief? Have you lost a close loved one? Can you relate to some of the things Shawn struggled with? What are some other ways you learned to cope with your loss?
  3. Did you figure out early on that The Homecoming would be, essentially, a love story? What obstacles could you foresee that Shawn would face to get to the place where he could love someone else again? Were you ever frustrated with Shawn that he couldn’t get to that place sooner?
  4. During the first half of the book, Shawn finds himself on a USO train surrounded by beautiful women, but he is unfazed and indifferent to this “opportunity.” Do you recall why? Did you find his reaction credible? Why or why not?
  5. What were some of the differences in values and morality in American life during the 1940s compared to today? Do you find yourself wishing things were more like they were then or glad they have changed? Can you think of specific examples?
  6. What are some things about life on the homefront during WWII that you never knew before or found particularly interesting?
  7. While Shawn was away on the War Bond tour, one of Katherine’s duties was to take Patrick to church. In the 1940s, statistics show church attendance was very high in the US (70–80 percent). Did you have any thoughts about Katherine’s church experiences during the story?
  8. Near the end of the book, Shawn visits Pastor Barnes, looking for help with his internal struggles. What did you think about the advice Shawn was given? Did you find any of it helpful? What other helpful things might be said to someone going through a similar situation?
  9. What parts of the book impacted you on an emotional level? If there were more than one, which one affected you the most?
  10. Who was your favorite character in The Homecoming and why?
  11. Besides the obvious homecoming at the beginning (Shawn coming home from England), did you see any not-so-obvious ways where the meaning behind the book’s title is revealed in the story?
  12. Did you find the ending satisfying? Do you see this as a good resolution for the Collins family? Are there any future stories you think this family has left to tell? (If so, feel free to send them to the author, Dan Walsh, at dwalsh@danwalshbooks.com).

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