First we have to consider the difference between the subject of a book and the theme of a book.
It seems to me the subject of a book is the engine that drives the book’s plot; the theme of a book is the engine that drives the reader to a greater understanding of the world and his or her place in it.
It’s funny that I’d never really thought much about the overarching themes in my work. This question sent me scrambling. I made a list of my titles. Beside the titles I attempted to distill the theme of each book. I was surprised to see how often the same themes recur.
The theme of privation drives many of my books. So does the theme of man’s inhumanity to man. My books often explore loss, adversity, and forgiveness.
I suppose the deep themes a writer returns to again and again give the reader insight into the author and his or her greatest concerns.
I’m not certain what my themes say about me. It will be interesting to see if any readers are inspired to examine my collective themes and share their conclusions.