Digging Deeper into Moment of Grace

Suggestion:I would NOT view this page until AFTER you have read the book. The questions will not make much sense until you have, and in fact they might adversely affect your enjoyment of the book. 

The questions below are designed to help you explore the deeper meanings of 'Moment of Grace'. I will only say that there are 3 levels to the book; see if you can see them. Thanks again for visiting my website! 

If you are not entirely sure about the answers to the questions below, then click here and let me know how I can help. I can also send you an in-depth analysis of the book, an 'Afterword',  if desired. (I am considering adding this 'Afterword' to the book if enough people find it useful). Thanks again for your interest!


In 'Moment of Grace', the meaning of the names of two of the characters are given. Do you remember which ones and what they meant?

In fact many, but not all, of the characters in the book have names whose origin reflects some aspect of their personality. Can you think of any characters for whom that is true?

What is the nature of the relationship between Sloan and Scout? (Clue: think of Sloan's tattoo.)

Does the book examine the nature of manhood? Fatherhood? What does it say to you?


Are there any recurring motifs in the book? What do they mean? (Clue: some are natural, some are artificial and some are mysterious.)

Are there any recurring themes in the book? (Clue: relationships? contact? human generated pain?)


Can you think of any symbolism used in the book? 

Particularly, what symbolism is used in the two chapters with Gordon A.Y. Brennan?


1) What is the ‘pull’ that Sloan feels? 

2) What is the meaning or significance of the river?

3) Who or what is Gord?

4) What’s with Nathan and his stroke?

5) Each of the three main characters (Jaromir, Dalila and Sloan) struggles with balance in their lives. The moment offers them an opportunity for insight into their particular and critical shortcomings. What change occurs in each of the characters that allows for their personal growth in this regard?

6) What does Nathan mean when he encourages Jaromir to continue the search for The Good, The Beautiful and 
The  True?


Irony often signals a difference between the appearance of things and reality. Can you see any instances in which irony is used effectively with characters in Moment of Grace?

Sloan: With respect to the river? The Samurai story? The voice? How his life is saved?

Dalila: With respect to her work and family struggles? How she could save her own family? Her family of origin and her own family?

Jaromir: With respect to his observations on scars? His relationship with his father? How his life was saved?

Fujimara: With respect to his extended family and career choice?

Dana: With respect to her relationship to each of the three main characters?

The three main characters with respect to one another?


1) What do the three main characters represent? (Clue #1: Consider Sloan and Scout almost like two halves of one whole character. Clue #2: Each of the three main characters uses their own particular 'lens' through which to view the world. That lens gives you a clue to what they represent. For example, Dalila is a physician. Through what lens does she tend to view the universe and what does she therefore represent in the book?)

2) What is the moment of grace? Why does it occur? What does it mean for each character personally and what they represent? Does it offer any solution or hope for all of us?

3) What is the significance of the first sentence of the book? Why the alliteration? What does the second last sentence of the book mean? The last sentence? What is the significance of the river? The boat? The 'great expanse'?