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Book Club Questions

Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFarren is a story about a young woman whose life is drastically altered when her dying father reveals the part he played in her mother's death.

Cast of characters: Kate Flaherty - a troubled, emotionally-stifled artist; her father, Collin Flaherty - a commercial truck driver with a life-altering secret; her husband, Drew Coleman - a dispassionate divorce attorney who is struggling to keep his marriage intact.

Use these book club discussion questions on Flaherty's Crossing to lead your reading group on a journey through this novel.

Warning: Spoilers Included! These book club discussion questions reveal important details about Flaherty's Crossing by Kaylin McFarren. Please finish the book before reading on.

  1. Kaylin McFarren chose the published title of Flaherty's Crossing for two specific reasons. In this novel, what metaphoric incidents occur that are directly linked to the title? Can you think of a better title for this book?
  2. Kate Flaherty witnessed her father's shocking morphine-induced confession. If you learned a dark secret about someone you love, how would you handle the truth? Could you maintain a relationship with them?
  3. While seated in her mother's favorite chair, Kate shared pieces of her troubled past with a hospice nurse. Why do you think she felt compelled to do this? What was she hoping to accomplish by coming to her estranged father's home?
  4. A deer suddenly appeared on a deserted highway, sending Kate swerving into a ditch. Do you believe there was any significance in the animal's appearance? Why do you believe there was no trace of it when Kate exited her immobile vehicle?
  5. The subject of secrets was brought up several times in this novel. In Collin Flaherty's case, it was a one-night stand. For Drew Coleman - a close encounter. Do you believe there was a difference in their moral dilemma? If you had friends in this position, would you advise them to share their secrets or keep it to themselves?
  6. Why do you think Kate opened her heart to a total stranger? Was there a point in the story when you recognized this man's true identity?
  7. When Drew chose to leave his wife, his best friend tried to convince him to reconsider. After hearing Brian's story, who did you sympathize more with - Drew or Brian? And why?
  8. Does Drew's attempted rescue redeem him in your eyes?
  9. While dreaming about her father, Kate had an opportunity to say something to him that she'd kept hidden for years. What was this disclosure and if given the chance, is there anything you wish you would have shared with someone who's no longer in your life?
  10. Drew discovered a secret letter, revealing the woman in Collin Flaherty's life. What would you do with that knowledge? Do you think he did the right thing?
  11. Did this novel help you understand that there can often be multiple perspectives to a story or bad situation?
  12. At the cemetery, Kate realized she could validate her beliefs by comparing the hands on her damaged watch with the time on her father's death certificate. Why do you think Kate chose not to follow through?
  13. Why do you think Kate felt hope at the end of the novel despite her sad circumstances?
  14. In the final chapter, a visitor showed up late at the funeral. Did you have any idea who he was? Could you relate or sympathize with his plight? Would this be someone you could forgive?
  15. What kind of messages did you find in this novel? Were you inspired or confused by this tale? Would you encourage readers to add Flaherty's Crossing to their reading selection?