One Good Dog by Susan Wilson – To be Discussed on Wed Aug 2, 2017 at Geneseo Public Library
The very definition of a hard-nosed businessman, Adam March has no room in his life for anything but the cold drive to succeed. Not for his social-climbing wife or for his rebellious teenage daughter. Then, in an instant, he loses everything. Due to an untimely collision of arrogance, stress, circumstance, and a momentary loss of self-control, Adam finds himself alone, unemployed, and reduced to bussing tables in a homeless shelter, serving men he'd always gone out of his way to avoid.
Chance was born in an inner-city cellar, a mix of pit bull and God-knows-what. Bred to fight, and damn good at it, he lived in a dank, dark, and vicious world. Not that he wished for something better; that world was all he knew. But when the moment presented itself, Chance made the most of it in a new life on the street, for a little while.
Thrown together, Adam and Chance fill the holes in each other's lives. Adam gives Chance his first real home, a haven he never could have imagined, while Chance gives Adam a new start. And a new heart.
1. What explains Adam March’s outrageous attack on Sophie?
2. Why do you think the author used the first person in telling Chance’s story?
3. There are two protagonists in this story. Are they equal? Are they believable?
4. What is Adam’s initial attitude toward the Chance?
5. How does that attitude reflect his attitude in general and the situation he’s in?
6. When Adam breaks down, what motivates Chance to approach him?
7. What does Chance think of his ‘career’ as a fighter?
8. Should Adam forgive his father?
9. What role does Gina play in Adam’s personal growth?
10. Describe Adam’s relationship with his daughter Ariel. How does his childhood impact this relationship, or does it?
11. Does Adam relate at all to the boys he encounters on the street? How so?
12. What are Adam’s three sins and does he overcome them?
13. In this story men are living on the streets as well as dogs. Are you more likely to support animal shelters or homeless shelters?
14. Conventional wisdom believes that fighting pit bulls cannot be rehabilitated. In many cities, a dog that has been known to fight is automatically put down. Do you think that a character like Chance is realistic? Does he change your mind about pit bulls?
15. In the end, has Adam been redeemed?