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ICE Breakers



How important is the landscape and nature of Ohio to the novel and how is this reflected through Betty and her family, particularly her father?
How does Alka’s past shape her?
Do you think Betty is a feminist or someone fighting for choice? Do you think she overcomes the patriarchy she experiences?
The book is set from 1954 through to the beginning of the 1970’s. How much do you think has changed or do you think young girls and women are still battling some of the same stereotypes today?
Why do you think McDaniel starts each chapter with a proverb from the bible, when the book appears to have no religious theme?
Did you like Betty as narrator?
Tiffany McDaniel writes that when she wrote the novel it was questioned for being too ‘female’ and therefore ‘too risky’. Did your book club embrace this or would you have liked a more balanced story?



The novel moves back and forth in time between the two characters? Was this a helpful devise or would you have preferred a chronological story?
What did Werner and Marie-Laure have in common? How are they different?
This novel took Doerr 10 years to finish and at over 500 pages this is a lengthy novel. Do you think the story warranted this length?
What aspect of the novel did you enjoy the most? The hunt for the diamond? The detailed descriptions?
Had anyone in your book club been to Saint-Milo or similar citadels?
What makes this a compelling book club choice and how does it compare to your other favourite picks?


What case study disarmed you and your group? Did you have a favourite?
How much did you know about the Sandra Bland suicide?
Did the group agree with the Coupling Theory and do you think Sylvia Plath's suicide could have been avoided?
Did Gladwell’s experiments challenge first impressions of meeting people and are there other examples of mis-reading that you have personally made or witnessed?
What traits do you think have mislead you and the group? Has this book affected your judgement?
Do you think 'Talking To Strangers' captures Gladwell's insights and findings? Does it not apply to people we think we know well?
Did this book give you greater clarity on communication?
How does this book compare to Gladwell’s other books such as 'Outliers' and 'The Tipping Point'?


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