Jess Wright is a book club fan and can meet with clubs in person if he is in your area of the USA. He lives in Louisville, Kentucky and travels often to Vermont, Seattle, and the mountains of Central Pennsylvania where A Stream to Follow takes place. Book club appearances can be arranged anywhere via Zoom.

Questions and Discussion Points for A Stream to Follow:

  • Bruce Duncan, the main character in A Stream to Follow, and his brother, Glen, experienced PTSD after horrific battlefield trauma in WWII. What did they do after the war that made their PTSD worse? What did they do that made it better?
  • Little was known about PTSD or how to treat it in the WWII era. How might Bruce and Glen have been treated for PTSD now?
  • What do you think the author meant to convey with the title, A Stream to Follow?
  • How did Bruce’s relationships with the two main female characters, Amelia and Sarah, influence his PTSD? How can human relationships impact PTSD?
  • Amelia and Sarah were ahead of their times in many ways. They were accomplished women who wanted to make their mark. What constraints did they encounter that have changed in the years since WWII? Discuss the decisions that Amelia and Sarah made about their careers and families.
  • The post-war battles that Bruce encountered centered on helping workers at a silica plant. This industry was a mainstay of the local economy, yet its workers were being harmed. What moral and practical dilemmas did Bruce, the workers, and the plant manager face that still exist in our modern world?
  • Victor Frankl, a concentration camp survivor, tells of the essential nature of finding a sense of purpose in his influential book, Man’s Search for Meaning. In A Stream to Follow, Bruce, Amelia, and Sarah are trying to put meaningful life choices into action. Discuss how their sense of purpose defines their characters.
  • What is the appeal of fly-fishing for Bruce and Amelia? Discuss fly-fishing or other pursuits that can encourage reflection and solace.