Book Club Discussion: A Window Opens

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for A Window Opens, by Elisabeth Egan. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. We’ve added our thoughts for each question as well. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

1. What kind of pressures and challenges do the main characters face throughout the story, and how do they cope with them? Which methods seem to be the most effective for dealing with these obstacles?

The main challenge Alice deals with throughout the book is balancing her job and her family. She does not cope very well, always giving in to the demands of her job over her family. Her husband is faced with having more responsibility around the household and he also does not handle it very well either. In the end, communication is key when dealing with these obstacles. If they had all been a little more open about what they needed, the issues could have been dealt with much sooner.

2. How are technology and social media represented in the book? Are they presented positively or negatively—or does the author offer a mostly neutral view? Explain.

I think technology was represented negatively in the book. Scroll was portrayed as a company just looking to make money through advances in technology. They did not seem to respect the employees or the book selling industry that they would ultimately be trying to shut down. You feel bad for Susanna throughout the story as the owner of the bookstore, further putting technology in a negative light.

3. Genevieve recalls George Bernard Shaw’s maxim, “Progress is impossible without change.” What message does the book offer about the themes of progress and change?

The message from the book is that change is definitely necessary for progress but be careful how you go about it.

4. Do you feel that Alice made the right choice by accepting the job at Scroll? Do you feel that she made the right choice by leaving the same job later? How did both of her decisions impact those around her? How did her decisions contribute to or detract from her own development and sense of self and well-being? Discuss.

At the time, I feel that Alice definitely made the right decision to accept the job at scroll. She was doing what she thought she needed to do in order to support her family and it also happened to be something she was interested in doing. She definitely made the right choice to leave the job later. After trying it out it was obvious it wasn’t the right job for her to be able to balance work and family. The toll it was taking on her family life was ultimately not worth it. At the beginning Alice felt that having this sought after job was the best way for her to feel better about herself. By the end, she realized her family is her first priority.

Questions by: Hello Book Lover and Simon and Schuster

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