February's book club read was a breeze to get through! Monica Wood presented a memoir about grief, healing and the many facets of a family unit going through tragedy, something not often touched on in literature. Oprah has even had When We Were the Kennedys on her book list. These emotions are pretty refreshing to experience in a book every now and then. Since the book takes place in northern New England, there are a lot of interviews with Wood about her hometown and her memoir we so enjoyed (here, here and here)!
Now, for some discussion questions on the book:
1. Wood has said that the book started as fiction but then transformed into a memoir. Do you think that was the right choice?
2. In the area of Mexico, Maine, residents seem to be mostly Catholic, but also of French, Irish and Italian descents. How does religion influence Monica and her family as they struggle to come back together following her father's death?
3. What are the major parallels you can draw between the Wood and Kennedy families?
4. Do you think Wood's title is accurate of the memoir?
5. The book's reviews often touch on how Wood captured the end of the age of innocence in the US during this time period. What evidence does the book give to support this?
6. Do you feel that the writing was accurately descriptive of the 1960s? Which other different time period, if any?
7. What kind of realizations are brought to surface for the Wood children following their father's death? How does this affect their later lives?
8. What grade would you give the book overall, A-F? Why?
Our next read is And the Mountains Echoed, be sure to pick it up before your St. Patrick's Day antics start and read along with us!