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Archive of posts tagged family

Tomorrow There Will be Apricots by Jessica Soffer

Reading Group Guide Tomorrow There Will Be Apricots By Jessica Soffer   Introduction Lorca spends her life poring over cookbooks, making croissants and chocolat chaud, seeking out rare ingredients, all to earn the love of her distracted chef of a mother. When Lorca is expelled from public school, her mother decides to pack her off [...]

Nashville Chrome by Rick Bass

Introduction In 1959, the Brown siblings were the biggest thing in country music. Their inimitable harmony would give rise to the polished sound of the multibillion-dollar country music industry we know today. But when the bonds of family began to fray, the flame of their celebrity proved as brilliant as it was fleeting. Masterfully jumping between the Browns’ once-auspicious past and the heartbreaking present, Nashville [...]

We the Animals by Justin Torres

Introduction Three brothers tear their way through childhood—smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes [...]

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

Introduction Meet Oskar Schell, an inventor, Francophile, tambourine player, Shakespearean actor, jeweler, pacifist, correspondent with Stephen Hawking and Ringo Starr. He is nine years old. And he is on an urgent, secret search through the five boroughs of New York. His mission is to find the lock that fits a mysterious key belonging to his [...]

Buddha’s Orphans by Samrat Upadhyay

Introduction Raja and Nilu are fated to fall in love. They’ve both been abandoned—he through his mother’s suicide in the public pond, she through her mother’s constant escape into drink. He has grown up on the streets, she in a crumbling mansion. And yet they find each other again and again. First, when they are [...]

My American Unhappiness by Dean Bakopoulos

Introduction “Why are you so unhappy?” That’s the question that Zeke Pappas—a thirty-three-year-old widower and scholar who directs the Great Midwestern Humanities Initiative—asks almost everybody he meets as part of an obsessive project, “The Inventory of American Unhappiness.” Yet he remains delightfully oblivious to the increasingly harsh realities that threaten his own life, opting instead [...]

The Walking People by Mary Beth Keane

Introduction Greta Cahill never believed she would leave her village in the west of Ireland until she found herself on a ship bound for New York, along with her sister Johanna and a boy named Michael Ward. Labeled a “softheaded goose” by her family, Greta discovers that in America she can fall in love, raise [...]

Vanessa and Virginia by Susan Sellers

Introduction Vanessa and Virginia are sisters, best friends, bitter rivals, and artistic collaborators. As children, they fight for the attention of their overextended mother, their brilliant but difficult father, and their adored brother, Thoby. As young women, they support each other through a series of devastating deaths, then emerge in bohemian Bloomsbury, bent on creating [...]

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

Discussion Guide 1. When the book opens, Caroline and Father are scavenging scrap metal from a junk yard. “ ‘You see, Caroline,’ Father says, ‘all the work I’m doing here for these people, organizing all these different things. This is how we are paying them back for what we’re taking’ ” (p. 4). Why is it important to [...]

The Power of Half by Kevin Salwen & Hannah Salwen

About the Book It all started when fourteen-year-old Hannah Salwen had a eureka moment. Seeing a homeless man in her neighborhood at the same instant she spotted a man driving a glistening Mercedes, she said, “Dad, if that man had a less nice car, that man there could have a meal.” Until that day, the [...]