EDHS & White Pine Book Clubs

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

September-October Discussion Questions

Here are some discussion questions to help you prepare for our meeting on October 22. Feel free to ponder them, or to bring some questions of your own!
  • The book is about abrupt changes, filled with observations like Ned’s, early in the book, that “an hour ago the world had been a different place.” Is it the world that’s changing, or is Ned’s perspective changing? How does that compare to the way photography works—capturing what an abrupt flash of light reveals? What about slow changes, as well—changes that can’t be reversed over time, or changes in the men Ned encounters?
  • When Ned meets the bald man at the cafĂ©, it becomes apparent to both of them that Ned has a role in the story he’s beginning to glimpse—and that his role could be dangerous. The man comments on the fact that “we invite our fate.” Which characters invite their fate? Which are swept along by events? How much of what happens to us in our own lives is determined by fate, and how much is (or can be) influenced by our own choices in the face of what we encounter? For example, when Melanie came to help Ned at Entremont, was that chance, or evidence of some cosmic plan?

    Questions courtesy of: http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/289593/ysabel-by-guy-gavriel-kay/9781436244268/readers-guide/
  • Darcy’s agent emphasizes the importance of first chapters, which she calls killer openings: “She says the buyers from the big chains only have time to read one chapter.” Reread the first chapter about Darcy and the first chapter about Lizzie. Are they killer openings?
  • “I was becoming something else. Something powerful and dangerous,” Lizzie thinks on the first day of school. How does Lizzie change throughout the book? In what ways does she become more powerful and dangerous? Does Darcy change in similar or different ways?
  • At times, the author pokes fun at YA books and their writers. Discuss the Drinks Night conversation about paranormal romances in Chapter 7.What are they mocking? How does the discussion relate to Darcy’s book? Consider, too, the description of YA heaven in Chapter 27. What parts of it reflect Darcy and Imogen’s experiences and hopes as writers?

    Questions courtesy of: http://cfmedia.btsb.com/TitleLessonPlans/1164.pdf

  • Commenting in an interview, Lawhead said of entertainment, "It can uplift you, it can change you, it can inspire you, it can challenge you, it can do all kinds of things." And later, commenting on literature as entertainment he said, "if it's done well, it can have a value beyond the moment, beyond that initial read.... Because it might stay with you a while … because you've been challenged, you've been awakened to another possibility perhaps or inspired in some way." In what ways is this either true or not true for The Skin Map?"
  • The narrative structure of The Skin Map is challenging. How does Lawhead attempt to help the reader keep the various characters and realities straight? Is he successful? Why or why not?
  • Once she reaches her new reality Wilhelmina undergoes a change.What is it about her personality that allows her to adapt so readily? Do you find her transformation believable?

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