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Discussion Questions for Death Will Get You Sober

1. What did you learn about alcoholism from this book? To what extent did it confirm or contradict what you know or believe about alcoholism? What surprised you? What made you uncomfortable? Have your beliefs or feelings about alcoholics changed after reading this book? How?

2. What kind of person is Bruce at the beginning of the book? What symptoms of the “physical, emotional, and spiritual” aspects of alcoholism does he show? What are his strengths? How does he change in the course of the book? What do you think will happen to Bruce after the events in the book are over? Do you think he will stay sober or relapse? Why? How does he still need to change? What are his chances?

3. What did you know about codependency before you read this book? What did you learn from the book? What symptoms of codependency does Barbara show? How does Barbara’s codependency affect how you feel about her? Do you think Barbara grows in the course of the book? How? Have you ever known anyone like Barbara?

4. What do you think of the friendship between Bruce and Jimmy? How important is it to the story? What do you think will happen to their friendship when the events in the book are over? What do you think of Barbara’s involvement in their friendship? Have you ever gone through a falling out and reconciliation with a close friend?

5. Death Will Get You Sober is a traditional murder mystery. It is also a novel about people and their relationships. In addition, it invites the reader to enter the hidden world of recovery and 12-step programs. Which of these aspects interests you the most? What did you like and dislike about the mystery and how it unfolded? How much sympathy did you have for the main victim? Did you guess the murderer? To whom would you recommend this book? Readers who don’t know much about alcoholism but like a mystery? People who drink a lot? Codependents? People who had or have an alcoholic parent or spouse? Members of 12-step programs? People who are in therapy or in some way working on their problems? Why or why not?

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