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 Prevalence of Love. 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. What was your favorite story in The Prevalence of Love? Why?
  2. The subtitle of the book is “Glimpses of the Human Condition.” Do you think that subtitle is appropriate for this collection of short stories?
  3. As you read the stories, did you notice a theme that seemed to tie the stories together? If so, how would you describe that theme?
  4. One reviewer remarked that the author has a gift for capturing women’s voices. Do you agree? If so, how do you think a male author designs dialogue for his female characters?
  5. Short stories are unlike novels in the sense that the author has to quickly sketch the major characters and give them a problem solvable in a few pages. Do you like to read short stories? Why or why not? How do the stories in The Prevalence of Love compare with others you have read?
  6. What did you learn from reading the stories? Did they apply to your own life? Do you find yourself looking at your loved ones in a different way?
  7. R. J. Reilly relies on literary references in his stories. He quotes from poems, refers to Dante and Shakespeare, and draws from documents like the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. How do these literary references affect your reading? Do they help you understand the characters’ point of view? In what way?
  8. Who was your favorite character? Who do you consider the most developed? The most believable? Is every character a successful lover? Does this affect your ability to sympathize with the character?
  9. Everyone seems to have a different favorite story from the collection. Why do you think this is so?
  10. The stories in The Prevalence of Love are about love relationships. What other topics would you like to see the author write about?

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