No Relation – Terry Fallis
*Note that these questions reveal much of the novel’s plot; to preserve your reading pleasure, please don’t look at these questions until after you’ve finished reading the book.
- How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take a while to “get into it”? How did you feel reading it–amused, sad, disturbed, confused, bored…?
- why do characters do what they do?
- are their actions justified?
- describe the dynamics between characters (in a marriage, family or friendship)
- how has the past shaped their lives?
- do you admire or disapprove of them?
- do they remind you of people you know?Describe the main characters–personality traits, motivations, inner qualities.
- Do the main characters change by the end of the book? Do they grow mature? Do they learn something about themselves and how the world works?
- Is the plot engaging–dies the story interest you? Is this a plot-driven book: a fast-paced page-turner? Or does the story unfold slowly with a focus on character development? Were you surprised by the plot’s complications? Or did you find it predictable, even formulaic?
- Talk about the book’s structure. Is it a continuous story…or interlocking short stories? Does the time-line move forward chronologically…or back and forth between past and present? Does the author use a single viewpoint or shifting viewpoints? Why might the author have chosen to tell the story the way he or she did–and what difference does it make in the way you read or understand it?
- What main ideas–themes–does the author explore? (Consider the title, often a clue to a theme.) Does the author use symbols to reinforce the main ideas?
- What passages strike you as insightful, even profound? Perhaps a bit of dialogue that’s funny or poignant or that encapsulates a character? Maybe there’s a particular comment that states the book’s thematic concerns?
- Is the ending satisfying? If so, why? If not, why not…and how would you change it?
- If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare? If not, does this book inspire you to read others?
- Has this novel changed you–broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people or a certain part of the world?