Welcome to the Book Club, hosted by myself and Wendy from Ladybug Daydreams. This month’s selection was fun and easy for me. The novel focused on a lady who loved books. She sold antique books at a very reputable antique dealer. Her reputation was growing and the influence and advice of the antique dealer (Sid) was helpful. With the help of her books, she met and fell in love. When she met his grandmother, her world began to change. How much she doesn’t know until her becomes the escort for the grandmother on an overseas trip. Will her life ever be the same? Will her love survive the changes? Will she?
We chose to use questions from Reading Group Choices, but these are the same questions that are in the back of the book. There are actually 13 questions in the book, but we will stop at 10. Don’t forget to check out Wendy’s discussion on the book and see her answers to the questions.
- The Lewis quote at the front of the book describes an aspect of Lucy at the beginning of this story. Why do you think she’d lost the power to enjoy books? Is there something in our lives that we can fail to see clearly and lose enjoyment for?Lucy has lost the power to enjoy books because her focus had changed. She was no longer reading them herself but trying to persuade others of their value. For me, music has kind of taken on the same status. I struggle to enjoy it like I used to and a big part of that is because of a change of focus.
- Sid is one of the author’s favorites. What character trait do you think she found so attractive? She doesn’t tell you a lot about his background—any thoughts as to his story?Sid is quirky and unique and has this massive ability to bring joy. That is very attractive. I imagined him as one without family but plenty of friends. That’s about as far as I took the thought.
- Was James justified in feeling so hurt when he found the forged inscription? How did he perceive Lucy’s struggle? Was it a betrayal, like he claimed?I do think James was justified in his hurt because he had trusted Lucy’s word. I don’t think that he really understood the internal struggle Lucy was having. For that reason, I think he was wrong in calling it a betrayal.
- Why did Helen hold on to the watch? Was she really afraid to let go? What did it cost her along the way?I think Helen held onto the watch at the beginning because it was a connection she wanted to hold fast to. She wasn’t ready to break that connection since it ended in a way she wasn’t prepared for. In the end, it cost her giving her all in her relationships.
- In London both women begin to change. Why? Do you think James is right that “strings pull tighter at home?”This statement is pretty true but it is clearer to me when I think about it as fitting into a mold. We act certain ways at certain places and that can be hard to change. Being in a new or different place allows us to think and see things differently.
- Lucy talks about “boiling a frog.” What does she mean?This refers to the illustration that is used when someone gets used to something difficult little by little. It is said that by place a frog in cold water and turning the heat up, the frog doesn’t notice that the water is changing temperatures little by little and so does not know to jump out or it will be boiled to death.
- What changed in Lucy at Haworth, even before her wandering to Top Withens? And at Top Withens, why did Edward Rochester’s journey make such sense to her?At these places, Lucy was able to clearly see how she had let all the little choices lead to bigger ones that were more impactful; how the “little” untruths had led to much more harmful ones. She was more clearly able to see herself. She saw that she had to find a way to go back so she could start over. She declared she would rise again.
- Do you agree with Lucy that each person has his or her own worldview? How did hers change? How did James’? Helen’s?Yes, each person has their own worldview because a worldview is shaped by faith, beliefs and experiences. No two people have exactly the same of all of those so their worldviews are not exactly the same, though they could be very, very similar.Lucy has changed by acknowledging the hurt that existed, the wrongs done. She stepped forward, choosing a new worldview shaped by truth- from her and how she saw things after meeting her father. No more rose-colored glasses for her outlook.
James’ changed by acknowledging the struggle Lucy had and all that his grandmother had dealt with and was dealing with. It also changed when he acknowledged how he wanted to approach the world with his work.
Helen’s became more joyful as she let go of the past and faced her future with truth and courage.
- How do you think Helen’s journey will affect her final days with her family?Helen’s journey helped her let go of the past and see a clear, joyful future with her family. It allows her to have frank, open discussions with her family. It changed her and her relationships for the better.
- This story is one of choices. How do you see them playing out with each character? In your own life? Are the choices not made as powerful as the ones we consciously make? Is there a difference between them?Choices, made or not made, affect our life. To choose not to act is still a choice. Life is made of choices. Some are bigger and some are seemingly small but every choice has the possibility of massive impact. The choices made in the story, especially the more conscientious ones, are what drives the plot. But the ones made unconsciously without much thought are strangely impactful and help us to see the human side of the characters.
This was a fun read and it did not take a lot of brain power. At least not until I tried to answer questions about it. Don’t forget to visit Ladybug Daydreams to see what Wendy has to say about these questions. And this month, our friend Annette from A Net In Time is joining us as well.
Next month, we will be reading Someone Knows My Name by Lawrence Hill. This book was published in Canada under the titled The Book of Negroes. The discussion questions, along with an author bio and more, are found on the LitLovers site.
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