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Wicked Good Book Club April Pick

Updated: Apr 12

The April pick for the Wicked Good Book Club is Spoonhandle by Ruth Moore. The meeting at the South Portland Books-A-Million will take place on April 24 at 6 p.m., and the meeting at the Bangor Books-A-Million will take place on April 30 at 6 p.m.

Spoonhandle by ruth moore

Spoonhandle, Ruth Moore’s second novel, spent 14 weeks on The New York Times Bestseller List and was made into the movie Deep Waters. Spoonhandle is about Maine, brilliantly authentic, but the story told is universal, as old as time as it deals with the struggle between love and meanness of spirit, between human dignity and greed.

Born and raised in the Maine fishing village of Gotts Island, Ruth Moore (1903–1989) emerged as one of the most important Maine authors of the twentieth century, best known for her authentic portrayals of Maine people and her evocative descriptions of the state.The Weir, her debut novel in 1943, was hailed by critics and established Moore as an important and popular novelist, but her second novel, Spoonhandle soared to great success, spending fourteen weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. The novel was also made into the movie, Deep Waters. The success of Spoonhandle gave her the financial security to build a house in Bass Harbor and spend the rest of her life writing novels in her home state. Ultimately, she wrote fourteen novels. Moore and her partner, Eleanor Mayo, travelled extensively, but never again lived outside of Maine. Moore died in Bar Harbor in 1989, leaving a nearly unmatched literary legacy.

Purchase your copy at Books-A-Million or here.


Discussion Questions

  • In 1948, Spoonhandle was adapted into the Hollywood blockbuster film Deep Waters. What attributes of the book do you think made it appealing to convert from page to screen?

  • The Portland Press Herald called Spoonhandle “as relevant as ever” in today’s times. In your opinion, what makes Spoonhandle a valuable story for the present?

  • Each Stilwell sibling has a different view of the importance of reputation, freedom, and honesty. Who do you sympathize with the most, and why?

  • One of the major themes of the novel is generosity. What do you think about the way individual characters express their version of generosity? 

  • Why do you think Ruth Moore chose to end Spoonhandle with a sad ballad even though the ending is positive?


wicked good book club

The Wicked Good Book Club is a partnership between Books-A-Million and Islandport Press that aims to highlight Maine literature and connect readers through monthly book clubs.

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