Book chat/ Reading groups
I love mulling over a book after I've read it or talking to my reading group or friends about it. I think reading group questions at the back of books sometimes sound a bit like exam questions but it's quite nice to have some springboard ideas of things to talk about. If you read Foolish Heroines with your reading group or talk to a friend about it why not let me know some of the things you talked about or send in a (sound or video) recording? You could also share any other questions that you come up with.
Jump off points for book chats:
1) If you could go out to a café or bar (real or fictional) with one of the characters from the book, who would you choose and why? What café or bar would you take them to? What would you talk to them about? (There's quite a few who I'd like to have a coffee or Guinness with.)
2) In the novel there are a number of journeys, disappearances and transformations (involving both humans and non-humans). How many can you think of and how important are they in the story?
3) What a lot of cats quietly wandered their way into the novel. Just how many are there? I've lost count. And what part do they play?
4) If you had to think of an alternative title for the book, what would it be and why?
5) What male characters are there in the book? As I was writing the book I felt I got to know them all better. Who is your favourite?
6) Fatima thinks that our lives may be partly determined by the hidden comings and goings of cats. Maybe there's some truth in that! I don't think that we have complete ‘free will’ – we have opportunities and limits set by our DNA (that we’re ‘gifted’ with). Our ‘gifts’ are influenced by our experiences but also by the rich, complicated and unpredicted chance ‘collisions’ that occur as our lives bump into the lives of others. What do you think? Are our lives a series of chances or mapped out for us?
7) Janina fears that her wish to have her own wardrobe is a flippant wish. Later she realises that this wish is about equality. Do you have a 'flippant wish’? And, if so, why do you think you may have it? And what is the state of your wardrobe space? Does it say something about your life?
8) Did Janina's hand really pass through Owen's arm?
9)If Janina had still been in the Warsaw restaurant when Franz arrived what do you think would have happened and what conversation would they have had?
10) If a female ancestor of yours came back to life in the form of an animal (as Janina's grandmother appears to do in the novel) what non-human form would you like her to appear in? What sort of wise or unexpected advice do you think she might give you and in what sort of accent?
11) Shaz was intrigued by the idea of 'Men's Talk'. Is there such a thing? And where DID her awful boyfriend go? Any sightings?