Homer Hickam is the author of six previous books, most notably the #1 New York Times bestseller Rocket Boys, which was made into the acclaimed movie October Sky. He is a Vietnam veteran, a scuba instructor, a retired rocket scientist, and an amateur paleontologist. More than anything else, he loves to write. He and his wife, Linda, and their cats divide their time between homes in the Virgin Islands and Huntsville, Alabama.
Description for Reading Group Guide:
Haunted by inner demons, Josh Thurlow returns home to Killakeet Island to command a small Coast Guard patrol boat manned by a colorful crew of locals. Dominating the glorious beauty of the little island is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, kept for generations by the Thurlow family. Its presence is a continuous reminder to Josh of the mysterious loss of his baby brother at sea seventeen years before, a tragedy for which he was blamed. But Josh is convinced that his brother might still be alive and begins searching for him even after German U-boats arrive and soak the beaches with blood.
Josh's quest puts him in the path of Otto Krebs-the most audacious of the U-boat commanders and a deadly enemy who may also hold the answers Josh is seeking. But when he meets Dosie Crossan, a young woman fighting her own war against the invaders, Josh must decide whether to risk all on a love that could destroy him or redeem him...
In 1941, Killakeet Island of the wind-swept Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to a tiny, peaceful population of fishermen, clam stompers, oyster rakers, and a few lonely sailors of the Coast Guard. Dominating the glorious, raw beauty of the little island is the majestic Killakeet Lighthouse, which for generations has been the responsibility of one family, the Thurlows.
However, Josh Thurlow, the Keeper's son, has forsworn his heritage to become the commander of the Maudie Jane, a small Coast Guard patrol boat operating off Killakeet. Josh is still tortured by guilt, seventeen years after losing his baby brother at sea. Then his life is complicated by the arrival of the beautiful Dosie Crossan, who has journeyed to lonely Killakeet to escape the outside world and perhaps find a purpose in life. While Josh's heart is stirred by the often-vexing Dosie, he continues his search for his brother, even after a wolfpack of German U-boats arrives to soak the island's beaches with blood and oil.
One of the U-boats is captained by Otto Krebs, a famed and ruthless undersea warrior. Krebs, a man also scarred by lost love, comes to Killakeet, however, with more than torpedoes and plans for war: He may also have the answer to the mystery that haunts Josh Thurlow.
The Keeper's Son is a rousing, romantic tale of the power of the human heart forever searching for redemption.
Reading Group Guide:
1. How would you describe this book? Would you call it a man's book or a woman's book?
2. Can a single incident like Josh losing Jacob define the rest of a person's life? Josh is an intelligent man, why do you think he continues to search for Jacob 17 years later?
3. As you read this novel, did you begin to feel as if you knew the people involved? Do you think you'd have been happy to live on Killakeet? What characteristics are distinctive about the islanders? How has the island shaped them? Did you like them?
4. Caught up in the interesting life of the people of Killakeet, we suddenly find ourselves on board a German submarine in Chapter 3. Was that a shock? Did it keep you interested to follow both stories and wonder how they were going to intersect?
5. What do you think Krebs liked about being a U-boat captain? Were Krebs and Max a good commanding team? Why do you think Germans like Krebs and Max and the young men on board the U-boats who were not Nazis fought
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Rocket Boys comes a tale of romance and daring set against the World War II battle for the Atlantic.