READERS' GROUP QUESTIONS 1. The character of Dan seems to suffer under the belief that artists must be tortured ('I listen to Tom Waits and read the Beat poets, for god's sake') -how does this express itself in some of the stories told in the book? And do you think many young creative people adopt this belief? 2. Skye suffers under the illusion that all great love must be difficult ('Because we love the wound'). Do you think our culture somehow encourages women to be attracted to difficult or damaged men? 3. The couple's families feature prominently in Drink Me. How do the families help/hinder relations between Skye and Dan, and do you think they are part of the problem or part of the solution? 4. There is a line about 'making a hell of heaven', in relation to children who grow up with the world at their feet still managing to muck up their lives. Why do you think both Dan and Skye had this tendency? Was it societal, or something to do with their innate personalities and tendencies? 5. Skye tells us a lot about her issues with identity. How do women's self-image and feelings about their identity affect their choices in relationships? 6. Drink Me says quite a bit about the ubiquity and problems of social drinking. Skye found it difficult to have her concerns about Dan's drinking taken seriously by those around her. How do we veil these issues with our attitudes to alcohol? 7. Do we love someone in spite of ourselves - when we know we shouldn't? 8. Though it took some time to arrive at it, getting the right kind of help mattered a lot to Skye. However, one of the points Skye makes is that there is little formal help for the partners of alcoholics and addicts. What do you think could be done to remedy this? After reading the book, what would you suggest to a friend who is in a similar situation? 9. Do you think Skye was unrealistic in her expectations of Dan, and herself - namely, that he would have the same will for life and solving personal problems that she had? 10. Do you think Dan was ever really honest with Skye about who he essentially was? Why? 11. In what ways are Dan and Skye alike and different? 12. Dan and Skye had quite a modern set-up: separate bedrooms; he a divorce with a child, she the owner of a home. Do you think that the changes in relationships between men and women are responsible for some confusion and sadness between couples like Dan and Skye about their roles in life? 13. Have you known a relationship where such secrets and silences are part of its make-up? 14. The neighbourhood Dan and Skye live in features quite heavily in their story. How much do you think their surroundings affected their lives and this story? Could the story be told anywhere? 15. Was the ending a surprise? Why? Do you see hopefulness or despair in it?
About Skye Rogers