Whiskey & Charlie
by Annabel Smith
Discussion Questions:
1. Whiskey & Charlie is structured around the two-way alphabet. How does the author use the two-way alphabet as a narrative device within the story?

2. What are Charlie’s perceptions of his brother, and how do they change over the course of the novel?

3. Do you relate to Charlie’s feelings about Whiskey? Have you had a time where you felt resentful or jealous of a sibling? How did you resolve those feelings?

4. In what ways does Whiskey’s accident force Charlie to grow up? Is there a defining moment in Charlie’s maturation?

5. How has Whiskey’s accident affected the other members of their family?

6. Suppose that Charlie had been the one in a coma rather than Whiskey. How do you think Whiskey would have handled that situation? What are some regrets he may have had about their relationship?

7. Charlie loves Juliet yet is afraid to marry her. What stops Charlie from proposing to Juliet or from accepting her proposal? And what finally makes him change his mind? 8. How does the counseling Charlie receives in the hospital help him to resolve the issues in his life? How might things have worked out differently if he had received that kind of help earlier? 9. How does Charlie’s relationship with Whiskey affect his relationships with others around him, including his mother, his father, and Juliet? 10. What role does Rosa play in the novel, as a relative newcomer to the family and in the dynamic between Whiskey and Charlie?

11. What role do you think Mike plays in the story? How does his arrival further complicate Charlie’s feelings about Whiskey?

12. For most of the novel, it is unknown whether Whiskey will recover from his accident. What are some issues related to quality of life and euthanasia that arise in this story?

13. Does Whiskey & Charlie have a happy ending?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)

Book Club Talking Points:
This book will resonate with anyone who has had to deal with family strife. There is plenty of sibling rivalry and complicated relationships woven into this story. Aside from the obvious one between the two brothers, the book deals with adoption and extended family issues. It also opens the door to discussions about families dealing with loved ones in a coma and life support. It’s a character driven novel and as Charlie wrestles with his emotions he also gains more self-awareness and becomes a better person; it’s heartwarming.
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