- Alice frequently compares herself to other women. Do these comparisons help her in any way or are they more harmful than productive? Alice also frequently reflects upon the past, although she later recalls the popular advice: “Stay in the moment.” Does the book suggest whether or not reflecting upon one’s past is helpful, or does it advise living in the moment and letting the past be the past? Explain.
- 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?
- How do the characters in the novel cope with illness and grief? Do they each react the same way? How do people respond to news of the death of Alice’s father? How does Alice feel about their reactions? What does Alice find comforting or useful as she is grieving?
- At Scroll, you are given a first-edition copy of any book you want. Alice chooses Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own. If you were starting at Scroll, what first-edition would you pick?
- The contrast between Alice’s friend Susanna’s local bookstore The Blue Owl and corporate giant Scroll could be a commentary on shopping small versus at huge online retailers. What are some things a local bookstore can give a reader that an online super store can’t? Where do you buy your books?
For even more discussion questions, check out the full Reader’s Group Guide here.
Book Club Bites
Whether you’re gathering with a group, or reading solo, try our recommendations for a cocktail and snack that pair perfectly with the book.