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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Preservationist

1. Who is your favorite character? Why? Who is your least favorite?

2. In the original, Biblical version of the story, only God, Noah and his sons are mentioned (and only God and Noah perform any specific actions). Does this [male] writer do a good job of creating convincing female characters?

3. Who is "the preservationist"? Explain.

4. How does the book's structure contribute to its pacing and emotional resonance?

5. The chapters jump back and forth between 3rd and 1st person narration. Is this effective?

6. The book starts with Noe and ends with Mirn. Is she the right character to be given the last word, or would you have preferred someone else?

7. According to Father James Martin, a Catholic priest quoted in USA Today, the current trend of Bible-oriented books is "theology lite... some is nourishing, most of it isn't. But it's easily digested and makes few demands." Is this a fair criticism?

8. How does each character grow and change through the course of the novel and what are some lessons each of them learned?

9. Do you think any of these lessons have relevance to things we need to learn today?

The Preservationist
by David Maine

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
  • ISBN-10: 0312328486
  • ISBN-13: 9780312328481