Book Club Questions


Spoiler Alert: Read the questions after you have read the book.

The following questions are designed to help your Book Club discuss The Pelican Affair. You can use them verbatim or as a springboard to develop your own areas to explore.

If your Book Club is in its infancy, you may find this website helpful:


  1. The Pelican Affair is subtitled “Love, Loss, and Rebirth.” Do you think this subtitle accurately reflects what is going on in the novel?
  2. Do you like James Moore as a person? As a husband? As a lover? As a father? As a teacher? In what roles is he most successful?
  3. Are there similarities in how Moore responds to his wife, Helen, and his lover, Gwen? What are the differences?
  4. The early part of The Pelican Affair describes the phenomenon of “male menopause.” Do you believe this is an actual phase that middle-aged men go through? Do you think this is happening to Jim Moore?
  5. What would have happened to Jim and Helen Moore and their marriage if she had survived the knife attack as Moore did?
  6. Moore, a professor of literature, turns to the great thinkers to help him understand the nature of love. What do you think he learned from his reading?
  7. Moore plans to tell his daughter, Ruthie, the whole story of his relationship with Gwen, including the fact that it started while Ruthie’s mother was still alive. How do you think Ruthie will react to this news? How will it affect her relationship with her father?
  8. Who does Moore turn to for solace in the book? Who does he listen to? Who influences him? Why?
  9. Moore’s old Army buddy has an affair with a married woman in England. Why do you think Robert Lane’s story has such an impact on Moore?
  10. What part does coincidence play in the book? What part has coincidence played in your own life? Do you find this a believable plot device in moving the story forward?
The Pelican Affair
By R. J. Reilly

Hard cover

Soft cover

Available in ebook format