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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Miracles of Santo Fico

1. The "miracles" of Santo Fico are hard to define. Which of the events in this book would you truly consider a miracle? Do true miracles occur without human intervention-or because of it? List each of the events that might be considered miraculous, and decide a) if the event actually occurred or it was a figment of the villagers'-or readers'-imagination and b) which of the miracles was most important in saving the village.

2. Regret and forgiveness are two of the main themes running throughout the novel. Is there a central character who has no regrets? Which character does the best job of rectifying his or her regrets? Why? Do the characters tend to have more trouble forgiving themselves than others?

3. Does Father Elio's secret undercut his ability to heal his village? His power as a priest? Do you think he was right or wrong to have held on to his secret for so long? If you lived in the village, what would be your reaction to this secret?

4. Marta is clearly a woman who has had difficulty with love. Who do you think she actually loved more, Franco or Leo? What do you imagine would have happened had Leo not left that fateful day? Is Marta justified in her antipathy toward Leo? Can you pinpoint the moment when her feelings start to turn?

5. When Leo and Topo set out to orchestrate miracles, do you think they were justified in tampering with the lives of their fellow townspeople? Are any of the characters worse off for their efforts?

6. Marta and Carmen are a wonderful example of the troubles mothers and daughters can go through. Should Marta have granted Carmen more leverage in making her own mistakes, or was she obliged to stop history from repeating itself? Can you think of a parallel in your family life? How did/would you handle it?

7. Was Leo justified in orchestrating Carmen's attack on the beach, considering the danger he put her in? What else might he have done to bring Carmen and Paolo together and eliminate Solly in one stroke?

8. Santo Fico started out a sleepy little village, plagued by a collective loss of faith. How would you describe the village at the book's end? Try to imagine each character's future. Can you predict where each of the central characters will be in five years?

The Miracles of Santo Fico
by D. L. Smith

  • Publication Date: January 1, 2004
  • Paperback: 358 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books
  • ISBN-10: 0446690368
  • ISBN-13: 9780446690362