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: The Last Painting of Sara De Vois

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Last Painting of Sara De Vois by Dominic Smith. 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!

  • What does At the Edge of a Wood mean to Sara, Marty, and Ellie? How did your reactions to the painting shift throughout the novel?
  • What empowers Ellie and Sara despite the chauvinism they face when they launch their respective careers?
  • Consider the author’s decision to make the Dutch Golden Age his backdrop. What particular qualities permeate the novel as a result of that choice?
  • Does At the Edge of a Wood convey any messages that endure across the centuries? What would Sara think if she could have known the fate of her work?

Questions from publisher.

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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 Keeper of Lost Things

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Keeper of Lost Things: A Novel By Ruth Hogan. 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 would you describe Laura? Why has intimacy been such a problem for her? How does owning Peardew’s house affect her? In what way does she become an agent of change and redemption?
  • Talk about the tragedy for Anthrony Peardew of losing his beloved Theressa and the effect it has had on his life. What is the impetus for his compulsion to collect lost things?
  • Which of his imagined stories about lost items do you find most engaging—the blue jigsaw or the white umbrella, perhaps?
  • How does the story of Eunice and Bomber relate to Laura and Anthony’s story? Did you find the two plot strands difficult to juggle, perhaps too distracting? Or do the two tales enhance one another?

Questions from Litlovers.

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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: 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: The Bookshop on the Corner

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan.  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!

  • Describe Nina: just how socially and/or professionally unprepared is she to face a world outside of a library?
  • Are library closings a growing trend, or will they be several years from now? What is happening in your own community; are funds being cut to libraries, hours shortened, books not bought, staff not hired? What does the future hold for libraries, and how are they coping with the digital age?
  • What are some of the struggles Nina undergoes to get her dream library off the ground? Talk about the decisions she has to make. Does the van seem like an overly risky venture for someone like Nina?
  • Describe the village of Kirrinfief, including the characters who populate it. Whom did you find most intriguing? What was village life like without books?
  • Did you predict the ending?

Questions from litlovers.

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Book Club Discussion: Lilac Girls

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly. 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!

  • In what ways do you think the alternating points of view helped to enrich the narrative? Was there ever a time you when you wished there was only one narrator? Why or why not?
  • The primary settings of this novel are starkly different – Caroline’s glamorous New York world of benefits and cultural events, and the bleak reality of life in a concentration camp. In what ways did the contrast between these two settings affect your reading experience?
  • Caroline’s relationship with Paul is complicated, taboo even, was there ever a time when you didn’t agree with a choice Caroline made with regards to Paul? When and why?
  • Many of the themes explored in Lilac Girls – human rights, political resistance, survival – are a direct result of the historical WWII setting. How are those themes relevant to current events today?

Questions from author’s website.

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Book Club Discussion: The Woman in Cabin 10

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware. 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!

  • What’s the effect of having Lo’s e-mails and various news reports interspersed throughout Lo’s narration? In what ways do they help you better understand what’s happening aboard the Aurora?
  • Describe Carrie’s relationship with Lo. Did you like her? Why or why not? In what ways, if any, are the two women alike? How do Lo’s feelings about Carrie change as Lo gets to know her? Did your opinion of Carrie change as you read?
  • When Nilsson challenges Lo’s claim that she’s seen something happen in the cabin next to hers, she tells him, “Yes, someone broke into my flat. It has nothing to do with what I saw” (p. 141). Did you believe her? Did you think that the break-in made Lo more jumpy and distrustful? Give some examples to support your opinion.
  • In what scenes did you think the deception and violence that occurred were justified? In what scenes did you think it not justified?
  • Lo tells Judah, “You don’t know what goes on in other people’s relationships” (p. 333). Describe the relationships in The Woman in Cabin 10. Did you find any particularly surprising? Which ones, and why?
  • Describe Lo’s relationship with Ben. Did you think that Ben had Lo’s best interests at heart? Why or why not? Were you surprised to learn of their history?

Questions from Simon and Schuster.

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Book Club Discussion: The Nest

Welcome to the Book Club discussion for The Nest  by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. 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!

  • Just how dysfunctional is the Plumb family…and why? Why do the siblings allow Leo to have such power over them? If you could advise any or all four of them, how would you counsel them about living their lives?
  • At the beginning of the book, each of the siblings has a drink at a Manhattan watering hole before meeting the others. What do those moments reveal about them?
  • Melodie, Beatrice, Jack and Leo all have behaved somewhat (or very) irresponsibly. Is there one of them with whom you sympathize more than the others? Or are they all caught up in a sense of their own entitlement?
  • How would you live your life if you knew you were to receive a fair amount of money down the line?
  • Talk, too, about the secondary characters and the roles they play in the story: grandchildren, Jack’s husband, Melody’s husband, Leo’s girlfriend, and Bea’s boss.
  • Ultimately, this book is about defining ourselves as individuals within a family (or even a career). How does each character learn who he or she is and what ultimately makes for a fulfilling life?

Questions from Lit Lovers.

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