Reading Group Guide

  1. What is the significance of the book’s title?
  2. This novel examines the relationship between reality and fantasy.  How much of what transpires in the story is real and how much of it is fiction?
  3. Water, whether in a swimming pool or in the ocean, can be considered a character in its own right in Forward Swim.  Discuss the significance of water in the novel.
  4. One of the major themes in this novel is the confusion of truth versus fiction.  Discuss how this novel examines the subject of storytelling.  In what ways does this book differ from a traditional memoir?
  5. Discuss the role of nature in this story.  Is the author’s approach to pastoral themes similar or dissimilar to novels you have read in the past?
  6. The author describes this novel, in part, as a spiritual journey.  How does spirituality factor into this story?
  7. Discuss the notion of jonteure.  Do any of the characters in the story achieve true jonteure?