Book Club Discussion: The Paris Secret: A Novel

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Paris Secret: A Novel by Karen Swan. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Paris has often been called “the most beautiful city in the world.” Does Karen Swan do a good job of bringing it alive for you? If you have been to Paris, do her descriptions ring true?
  • How would you describe Flora Skyes? She could be considered a “no-nonsense” professional, a type many people find lacking in warmth or kindness. Is this the case with Flora, or is she a sympathetic character? Do you root for her?
  • What were your first impressions of Natascha and Xavier? On meeting them, did you suspect that there was more to them than they presented to the world? Why or why not?
  • Do the book’s central mystery and the novel in general live up to your expectations? What about the love affair? Is it necessary? Does it strengthen or weaken the storyline?

Questions from litlovers.com

 

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Book Club Discussion: Perennials

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Perennials by Julie Cantrell. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • When newcomer Blaire Dayton arrives in her fancy dress, Bitsy crumbles. Why do you think Bitsy was affected so significantly by Blair’s critical comment? How have you reacted to criticism in your life?
  • Throughout the book we witness sibling rivalry between Lovey and Bitsy, some of it particularly cruel. Do you believe Bitsy loves her sister? How healthy are your sibling relationships?
  • The book explores family relationships, including that of Chief and Mother, a happily married couple celebrating fifty years of matrimony. Do you know any couples who have achieved such a harmonious partnership in real ly? What do Lovey and Bitsy learn about love and marriage from their parents?
  • How does each woman in Perennials try to stay young? What does it mean to be young of heart?

Questions from back of book. Author Interview.

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Book Club Discussion: The Last Days of Night

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Talk about the role of the lightbulb, that small pear-shaped device, in changing the face of civilization. Can you imagine life without it?
  • What do you think about the two great giants of American science and manufacturing: Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse? Are you surprised at the manner in which Moore portrays Edison, an American icon? How do the two men differ?
  • Does Graham Moore do a credible job in breaking down the science of electricity, especially the differences between AC and DC current?
  • Do you think it possible/probable in real life that Edison might have made an attempt on Tesla’s life? Or did Graham add that plot point to build fictional suspense?
  • In the end, is it possible to actually say who invented the light bulb? What role did each of the three men—Edison, Tesla, and Westinghouse—play in its development?

Questions from Litlovers

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Book Club Discussion: The Dollhouse

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • Why was Darby attracted to Esme as a friend? What characteristics did Esme espouse that Darby de- sired? Is Esme a foil for Darby? If so, then what does Stella represent? Which one of these three characters would you rather be in the story and why?
  • What did you think of young Stella’s plan to nd the wealthiest, handsomest man she could? Do you think it was a mark of codependence or independence? Why or why not? Did your impression of Stella change from the 1950s to 2016? If so, how and why?
  • What did you think about how The Dollhouse portrays the darker, seedy underbelly of the New York City jazz scene in the 1950s? Does it still retain its glamour? Why or why not?
  • Do you think Rose is justi ed in her skewering description of the modern startup workplace and startup CEO? Do you think it accurately re ects the modern culture of these workplaces?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

 

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Book Club Discussion: Along the Infinite Sea

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Along the Infinite Sea By Beatriz Williams. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • The novel alternates between Pepper’s story in 1960s America and Annabelle’s story in 1930s Europe in the days leading up to World War II. Did one woman’s story resonate more strongly with you?
  • Discuss Pepper’s relationship with her family in comparison to Annabelle’s relationship to her family. How do these familiar relationships impact each woman’s understanding of romantic love?
  • Each character in Along the Infinite Sea hides a major secret. Discuss how the presence of a secret radically shifts each character’s life. In your opinion, which secrets should have been revealed? Which should remain hidden?
  • Throughout the novel, the author keeps her own secret—the identity of the man with whom Annabelle escaped to America. Were you surprised by the reveal? Why do you think the coda is told from Stefan’s point of view?
  • How does Annabelle’s character change over the course of the novel? How does her evolution compare to Pepper’s? What role do you think Annabelle will continue to play in Pepper’s life?

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: A Man Called Ove

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • How does the opening scene, in which Ove attempts to purchase a computer, succinctly express the main points of Ove’s ongoing battle with the stupidities of the modern world?
  • As readers, we get to know Ove slowly, with his past only being revealed piece by piece. What surprised you about Ove’s past? Why do you think the author revealed Ove’s past the way that he did?
  • What do you think of Ove’s relationship with the mangy cat he adopts? What does the cat allow him to express that he couldn’t otherwise say?
  • On page 246, the author muses that when people don’t share sorrow, it can drive them apart. Do you agree with this? Why or why not?
  • Ove and Sonja’s love story is one of the most affecting, tender parts of the book. What is the key to their romance? Why do they fit so well together?

Questions from publisher’s website

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Book Club Discussion: Homegoing

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Why do you think that the author chose the word Homegoing for the title? What is a homegoing and where does it appear in the novel?
  • What role does marriage play within the cultures represented in the novel and how are the women treated as a result?  In its depiction of the collective experiences of the female characters, what does the book seem to reveal about womanhood?
  • Why do you think the author assigned a chapter to each of the major characters? Does any single point of view seem to stand out among the rest or do you believe that the author presented a balanced point of view?
  • What significance does naming have in the book? Why do some of the characters have to change or give up their names?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Winter Garden

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • This novel explores a complicated and strained relationship between two sisters. Do you think Meredith is justified in being so angry with Nina? In what ways are the sisters different and in what ways are they alike?
  • Anya Whitson is color blind and cannot see the colors in her winter garden. Why do you think the author gave the character this particular trait? In what ways is it a metaphor for what Anya has gone through in her life? Do you believe it is a physiological blindness or a psychological one?
  • Food is an important element in this novel. Obviously, Anya loves to cook. Why doesn’t she teach this to her daughters?
  • Winter Garden teaches us that it is never too late to say “I love you.” Meredith and Nina waited all of their lives to hear it from their mother. Sasha waited until his death for Anya to return. What has this novel taught us about the bonds of family and the strength of love?
  • How did you feel about the ending? Why do you think the author chose the surprising meeting in Sitka?

 

Questions from author’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: The Night Circus

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

 

  • The novel frequently changes narrative perspective. How does this transition shape your reading of the novel and your connection to the characters and the circus? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story from varied perspectives?
  • The narrative also follows a non-linear sequence—shifting at times from present to past. How effective was this method in regards to revealing conflict in the novel?
  • From the outside, the circus is full of enchantments and delights, but behind the scenes, the delicate push and pull of the competition results in some sinister events: i.e., Tara Burgess and Friedrick Thiessen’s deaths. How much is the competition at fault for these losses and how much is it the individual’s doing?
  • How does Isobel serve as a foil to Celia? Who, if anyone, fills that role for Marco?
  • At the closing of the novel, we are left to believe that the circus is still traveling—Bailey’s business card provides an email address as his contact information. How do you think the circus would fare over time? Would the circus need to evolve to suit each generation or is it distinctive enough to transcend time?

 

Questions from publisher’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: Circling the Sun

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. Below is a list of discussion questions to get the conversation started. We are excited to hear your thoughts in the comments section below. Feel free to answer all the questions, or pick and choose a few questions to discuss!

  • Beryl is forced to be independent from a very young age. How do you think this shaped her personality (for better or for worse)?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls?
  • Why do you believe the author chose the title Circling the Sun? Does it bring to mind a particular moment from the novel or an aspect of Beryl’s character?
  • While it is clear he loved his daughter, do you feel Beryl’s father was a good parent? Do you think Beryl would have said he was? Did you sympathize with him at any point?
  • How would you describe Beryl and Denys’s relationship? In what ways are they similar souls? How does their first encounter–outside, under the stars at her coming out party–encapsulate the nature of their connection?

Questions from author’s website.

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