READING GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS for: The Last Dance
1. Discuss the novel’s title in relationship to Stephanie. How does it contribute to: the sense of
mystery, pathos, hope?
2. Stephanie is “noticed by many but known by few”. Discuss what we learn about her as a result
of what people say about her. What makes people notice her? What keeps them from getting
to know her? Is this a common occurrence in today’s society? To what extent is “not knowing
those around us” good or bad?
3. Discuss the family backgrounds of several of the characters. (Sorrel, Kevin, Reed, Teri,
Stephanie) How have these shaped the personalities of these characters? Do you think
people from diverse backgrounds are likely or unlikely to have happy marriages? How do our
backgrounds affect our attraction to the opposite sex?
4. Will Sorrel be satisfied long-term with her drastic life change? What about her as a person
supports your opinion? Do you think she made a wise choice?
5. Discuss the portrayal of several segments of society in this novel: illegal drugs, the elderly,
families, immigration. How do they contribute to the conflicts?
6. Sorrel is very comfortable with “critters”. What element does this add to the mystery?
7. A theme of the novel revolves around the “dance” term. What “truths” do these “dances”
(between people; between people and their upbringing or past; between people and society)
8. Jack Quick, a national book reviewer, refers to The Last Dance as a cozy mystery because of the
following elements: a recipe at the end; a cat in the story; no blatant sex; a female protagonist
who isn’t a policewoman; and no profanity. Discuss whether or not these items—added or
deleted—would improve or detract from the novel.