Potential Book Club Discussion Questions

(Note: Spoilers ahead)

- Describe the impressions you have of a Florida Keys “paradise” setting. How does this outlook affect your expectations of the novel Little Torch Key?

- Do these impressions of the setting change as you read the novel? If so, how do they change?

- How might have your impressions of the Florida Keys been different from the grifter life presented in the novel?

- Characters in the novel talk about “insiders” and “outsiders” to the Florida Keys. What do you think they mean? How are these titles defined to various characters?

- What descriptions of the bar and marina behind it stand out? What about this setting seems to draw grifters and con artists? Imagine some of the shadowy interactions that have occurred here.

- Many characters in the novel seem to be out to protect themselves and their turf. Discuss a few characters who you think exemplify this best.

- Do you think Lourdes was trying to help Vaughn, or hurt him? Is the truth more complicated than this?

- What effects do two points of view (Vaughn and Uppercrust) have on the telling of #LittleTorchKey? What do we learn from these two characters as the novel progresses?

- How is fatherhood/parenthood portrayed in the novel? Which characters experience struggles as parents?

- Brody uses a persona, or a character, to torment Vaughn online. Which other characters use a persona, online or otherwise, in the novel?

- Do you use social media? Think to some of your postings online. Do you find yourself ever using something of a persona? (i.e. Making yourself a little funnier online, a little smarter, etc.) Do you see any of your friends doing this? Why do you think we do this?

- How does potential mental illness play into the novel? Which characters does it seem to affect the most?

- Is revenge is the driving force behind Uppercrust's actions? Why or why not?

- Do you think Uppercrust finds pleasure in killing her/his victims? Do you believe there a method to her/his actions?

- Why do you think Uppercrust chooses to hold off so long from attempting to kill Vaughn? Could one argue that this patience could illustrate that Uppercrust is partially mentally stable? Does his ultimate lust to make Vaughn suffer prove otherwise?

- What do you think drew Abby years ago to Vaughn in the first place?

- At the end of the novel when Abby turns away from Vaughn’s kiss, do you think Abby still loves Vaughn?

- Do you think Vaughn is mentally stronger at the end of Little Torch Key? Do you think he’s still facing his demons? Will he face them forever?

- Do you think Abby should take Vaughn back?

- Do you think Vaughn’s sons will begin to trust him again? How do you think his recent actions have affected their views of him?

- While Vaughn Ellis's actions are extreme, try to think of a time when you were young and questioned, either in your head or out loud, your parent's (or parents') actions. How did this make you feel?

- Imagine what the Ellis family life would look like in the Keys. Could one call this a traditional life? Do Abby and Vaughn even want a traditional life?

- What do you think happens next for Vaughn, Abby and their family?