Book Club Discussion Guide
1. Drucker's face is obscured in the cover art for A Northern Gentleman. Why do you think the author chose not to show his face? Do you wish you'd been given an image of Drucker? Did you create your own image of him in your mind?
2. Drucker interacts with several types of female archetypes in the novel. In fact, each female character seems to represent a certain "type of woman." The woman he sees as just a friend, the woman he sees as just a lover, the perfect mix of the two, the woman who he doesn't see as a woman at all. What do you make of these various archetypes? Do you think they are true to life?
3. The number 3 and the number 25 are repeated several times in the book. Did you notice them at the time you were reading? What do you think the author meant by including these specific numbers several times? Are you familiar with numerology and the meaning of these numbers according to that practice?
4. When did you start rooting for Drucker? Did you ever root against him?
5. Geography plays a thematic role in the novel. Drucker is thought by many to be a Northerner, yet he is from the South. He travels West, though he had intended to travel North. In Section 4 he is torn between his allegiances to Easton and Wes(t). Do you think geography is an important part of a "Great American Novel" type of tale?
6. Another theme in the novel is family. Can you relate to Drucker's relationship with his father or his mother? Throughout the book there are examples of family relationships, like the sisters on the train going to visit their brother, Horace and his sister Margaret, and Mayor Newton's relationship with his daughter. Why do you think the author chose to make Drucker an only child? What does Drucker's choice to leave home mean for his family? Would you have been able to make the same decision that he did, given those implications?
7. Do you wish Drucker had made any different choices? What would you have done instead?
8. Names are an important device in literature. What is your interpretation of the name Drucker May?
9. A Northern Gentleman is a reverse "rags to riches" story. Do you think a story that reverses the classic trajectory can still be an "All-American" story?
10. Do you think there will be a sequel? Do you want there to be or do you want to let the ending remain in tact as the last thing we know for certain about Drucker May?