Book Club Guide

I love book clubs, and if you’re here, I’m guessing that we have that in common. I don’t know about you, but in my experience many book club guides read a bit like they were designed for a stuffy, literary theory class. Not this one! These are some things that we would gossip about if we met at my book club. I hope you find this guide as a fun start to the conversation with your friends and fellow readers about The Magic of Cape Disappointment.


  • All parents and grandparents have hopes, dreams, and expectations for their children and grandchildren, and Kay’s are no different. When those ideas conflict with the person they are bestowed upon, that’s when everyone involved is tested. How did the expectations of family impact your life? Did you relate to Kay?
  • Much of the novel focuses on history and legends. After reading the novel were you inspired to learn more about Lewis and Clark? Did you read the new Learn More section on the web page? If you did read more about Lewis or the legends in other books, what was the most interesting thing?
  • Often it’s our friends who know us better than we know ourselves. What did you think about Kay’s friends? Did they know her better than she knew herself? Have you ever made a decision that your friends cautioned you about, and then later wished you had taken their advice?
  • Sometimes, our greatest disappointments later result in the best course corrections of our lives (although of course, we never know that at the time). Do you have one of those moments in your life that you occasionally think about, where you’re now glad that you didn’t get what you hoped for and instead ended up with something infinitely better? Which characters in the book had other plans before fate intervened in their lives aside from Kay? Do you believe in signs?
  • What did you think Sam looked like? Did you have the same picture as others in your book club? Are you surprised?
  • Do you think we have one soul mate or that there are many possible soul mates?