Questions for Book Club Meetings

Written By: Timothy Fish Published: 12/17/2007

A member of a mother-daughter book club recently sent me an e-mail informing me that they have chosen Searching for Mom for discussion at the monthly meeting. She also asked if I had any suggestions for questions and insights they could discuss at their meeting. For the benefit of other book clubs that may be planning to include Searching for Mom in their reading list, I am posting my response below:


  • What were the differences between how Mark looked at the single parent family situation and how Sara saw it? What might have caused these differences?
  • We primarily see Mrs. Gordon through Sara’s eyes with just a brief glimpse through Ellen’s eyes. Is Sara’s assessment of Mrs. Gordon justified or are we missing part of the picture?
  • How well has Mark fulfilled his duties of taking care of his daughter? In what way has he failed to meet some of her needs?
  • What potential dangers did Sara face by searching for a mother online?
  • What impact did growing up in a home without a mother have on Sara’s personality and attitude?
  • How and why did Sara’s attitude change as Ellen began to take on more of a mother’s role?

While writing “Searching for Mom,” I thought the relationship between Sara and Mark was very interesting. They loved each other as a father and daughter should, but there was a little bit of selfishness there. It was more so on Mark’s part than on Sara’s, but the loss of his wife was very difficult for him and he got into a habit of protecting himself from the pain rather than talking to Sara about her mother.

In the Sara/Ellen relationship, each discovered that she liked the other very quickly. They both wanted to spend time together, but they had different goals. Ellen was happy to fill the void that not having a mother had left in Sara’s life. Sara wanted that, but she wanted more than that. In thinking about that, I considered the differences between the mother-like figures that some of have in our lives and an actual mother.