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Whiskey Island

Reading guide

 


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1. The Whiskey Island Saloon is a gathering place for locals on the west side of Cleveland. Megan Donaghue has given up a lot to keep the saloon in her family. Has she given up too much? Is Megan’s quest to hold on to this piece of her family history a strength or a weakness?
2. Casey Donaghue is sheltering a child with a mysterious past.  In fact, Casey has taken the law into her own hands.  Did Casey have the right, even the responsibility, to protect this child, or should she have entrusted the child’s welfare to the authorities?
3. Peggy Donaghue is forced to make a decision that will affect not only herself but her unborn child.  By deciding not to marry the baby’s father, has she acted in her child’s best interests? 
4. Niccolo Andreani has left the priesthood to explore a different path.  Were you sympathetic, or did you feel Niccolo was a failure because he abandoned one vocation for another?  Do you believe in callings, or that callings can change?
5. Rooney Donaghue abandoned his family when his own demons became too hard to fight.  Could you understand the reaction of his daughters when it seemed he had come back into their lives?  Could you sympathize with Rooney and respect his struggles?
6. In the historical section of the novel, Lena Tierney, the founder of the Whiskey Island Saloon, is caught between submitting to her employer’s advances or losing her job and the possibility of supporting herself and her injured husband.  In real life are women sometimes caught in these situations?  Could you understand Lena’s decisions?