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Besey Osborne is available to meet with book clubs in person or via speakerphone to discuss
The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe.

Please contact her at
uncas@betseyosborne.com

Book Group Guidelines

Questions to consider after your group has read
The Natural History of Uncas Metcalfe

  • Is Uncas a sympathetic character (i.e., do readers like him)?
    Does this change over the course of the book?

  • What characteristics do Uncas and Carl share? How does this make the tension between them more interesting?

  • What does the title mean? What does it mean to tell a person’s “natural history”?

  • Why do you think Fauna and Uncas have such a complicated, and at times antagonistic relationship? How does this play a role in the novel?

  • What part does the town of Sparta play in Uncas’s story? Would the story be the same transplanted to a larger city? How is the idea of rootedness addressed in the novel?

  • Why is Uncas able to open up to Alex, his opposite in age, gender, sexual persuasion, and background?

  • Is Uncas, “Lord Reticent Taciturn,” typical of men of his generation?

  • What about Margaret? Is she typical of women of her generation?

  • How do each of the different characters deal with their feelings? How does that define who each of them is?

  • In the final moment of the book Uncas says that he wishes he’d asked his wife to dance. What does this moment mean?

  • Does the book have a happy ending or a sad ending? What does it leave us feeling about the future of the characters?

  • What do you take away from the book about your own life?