LPL Presents Chapters
Fallen by Karin Slaughter - June Noon Hour Lunch Discussion
Tuesday June 11th, 12:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium
Georgia Bureau of Investigations Detective Faith Mitchell, her partner Will Trent, and trauma doctor Sara Linton join forces to find Faith's mother, missing after a deadly hostage situation that leaves Faith a murder suspect -- and the scapegoat for police corruption, bribery, and murder.
Bring your lunch. Dessert and lemonade provided.
Up Coming Books
Fallen by Karin Slaughter
Tuesday June 11th, 12:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium - Bring your Lunch. Dessert will be provided.
1. The story line in this book has an ever-present theme of the relationships between parents and children, especially between a mother and her child. What kind of relationship did you have with your parents as a child? As an adult? Are there any parallels between your own parental relationships and those of the characters?
2. Will is described as having “strangely dysfunctional relationships with all of the women in his life” (120). Do you agree with this assessment? By the end of the book, does it seem as if he is improving his relationships with women? How so?
3. There are many different women in this book with different roles in law enforcement. How are their positions similar? How are they different? Do you think it was easier for the younger women to establish their careers in what is still a male dominated line of work?
4. Do you think Will’s assumption of Evelyn’s involvement in her team’s corruption affected the way he pursued her kidnapping? Did Amanda’s withholding of information from Will affect the progression of the case?
5. When speaking on the subject of women and minorities trying to make careers in the police force in the 1960’s and 1970’s, Amanda says, “Every single day was a struggle to do right when everything around you was wrong” (119). What do you think she means by this? Do you think her perception of the situation was accurate?
6. When visiting Boyd Spivey in prison, Will reflects on the living situations of the prisoners and how they are de-humanized. He thinks of their living conditions as “heartbreaking”. When he considers the crimes that landed them in prison, however, he seems to change his mind. Do you agree with Will’s sentiments? Should you feel sympathy for the prisoners at all? Or do they deserve the treatment they receive?
7. Before Faith goes off to be questioned by the Atlanta police, Amanda hugs her and says, “You’ve got two minutes to pull yourself together. If these men see you cry, all you will be to them for the rest of your career is a useless woman” (139). Is this judgment accurate in your mind? If Faith were a man in the same situation, would crying elicit the same negative connotation?
8. “Mystery is good for a relationship,” Will says to Sara, in a joking manner (186). Do you think there is some truth to that statement? How could this “mystery” in both familial and romantic relationships be seen as a theme in the book?
9. A pregnant fourteen year-old is not common these days, though it’s not an usual occurrence, either. Back in the early 90s, when Jeremy was born, Faith and her family endured ostracization and alienation. In most areas of the United States today, that would not be the case. Have things changed for the better, or are they worse?
10. When reflecting on the secret that led to her kidnapping and torture, Evelyn thinks the kidnappers would not believe her because, “The truth was too disappointing. Too common” (205). What is your opinion of the true motivation behind the crime revealed at the end of the book? Do you think Evelyn is correct in thinking it disappointing and common?
11. The prisoners in the book have remarkable means of communicating both within the prison and with the outside world. Even prisoners like Boyd Spivey and Roger Ling, who should technically have no access to any information outside of their cells, are usually better informed than the GBI investigators visiting them. What, if anything, can and should be done to inhibit outside communication?
12. This novel is told through the viewpoints of several different characters. How does this technique aid the narrative? How does each point of view give the reader insight into the case?
The Shoemaker's Wife by Adriana Trigiani
Tuesday July 9th, 12:00 p.m.
Bring your lunch. Dessert and lemonade will be provided.
1. The novel is split into three parts: Italian Alps, Manhattan and Minnesota. How would you characterize Ciro and Enza in each of these sections? How do they adapt to their new homes? In what ways did they change over the course of the novel? In what ways did they remain the same?
2. How would the course of both Ciro's and Enza's lives have been different if they hadn't gone to America? Do you think they would have ended up together if they had stayed on the mountain?
3. Enza and Ciro shared their first kiss beside Stella's grave. In what ways did digging the grave open up Ciro's heart?
4. When Ciro opened up his duffle bag on the ship to America, "the fragrance of the convent laundry—lavender and starch—enveloped him, fresh as the mountain air of Vilminore" (p. 120). What other aspects of convent life stayed with Ciro and Eduardo after they left? What did they learn from the sisters?
5. Enza "found a best friend in Laura, but so much more" (p. 195). What do you think made Laura and Enza's bond so deep from the beginning? In what ways did they support one another?
6. Did anything surprise you about the characterization of Enrico Caruso? How would you describe his relationship with those around him? How did the time he spent with Enza and Laura affect them, even decades later?
7. How does The Shoemaker's Wife portray the immigrant experience? Do any of your own families have a similar immigrant history? Did they have a different experience?
8. Enza and Ciro have different views of religion. In what ways do their beliefs shape their actions and relationship?
9. How do you think Enza's life would have turned out if she had married Vito? If Ciro had married Felicitá? What did Vito and Felicitá offer them and what did they lack?
10. Carlo Lazzari warned Eduardo to "beware the things of this world that can mean everything or nothing". In what ways did this advice ring true throughout the novel?
11. What effect did fighting in the Great War have on Ciro? Do you believe he returned to Manhattan a changed man, or did the war just force him to acknowledge what he had known all along?
12. When Ciro saw Enza on the steps of Our Lady of Pompeii church, moments away from marrying Vito, "it seemed like fate was on his side." Do you believe that fate brought Ciro and Enza together on that day? Overall, do you believe that Ciro and Enza were destined to be together?
13. Enza once said to Ciro: "I remind you, I imagine, of things you'd rather not think about." What do you believe Enza meant by this? What challenges did Ciro and Enza face in their relationship? How did they differ in their ways of communicating?
14. How did Ciro, Enza and Antonio each react to Ciro's diagnosis? What were Ciro's fears and hopes for his family? In what ways will Enza and Antonio fulfill his dreams?
15. At the end of the novel, Enza agrees to return to Italy with Antonio and Angela. How do you imagine the reunion between Enza and her family? How will Schilpario be different for Enza when seen through Angela and Antonio's eyes?
Dark Places by Gillilan Flynn
Tuesday August 13th, 12:00 p.m.
Main Library Auditorium - Bring your lunch. Dessert and lemonade provided.
1. Did you like Libby as a character? Do you think the author intended for her to be likeable?
2. As the book shifted between points of view, did you find one most appealing, most enlightening, or most reliable?
3. Why has Libby ignored Jim Jeffreys’s advice to earn an income for so many years? Do you believe she feels she’s earned the money she’s been gifted by strangers? What is her attitude toward money?
4. Throughout the book, many characters seem to feel as though life is something that happens to them; others take a more proactive role in steering its course, often with disastrous consequences. Discuss the book’s theme of action versus reaction, investigation versus acceptance. Where does Libby’s behavior fit in this contrast?
5. Like others Libby meets during her investigation, Barb Eichel seems pleased to have been contacted, having “wondered if you’d ever get in touch.” Why did Barb wait for Libby to come to her? Did Barb do enough to remedy the harm she thinks her book has done?
6. As Lyle first brings Libby through the Kill Club gathering, he distinguishes between different types of members—role players and solvers, for instance. Do you consider these to be meaningful differences? How do the various groups make use of the club?
7. In considering the case of the missing girl Lisette Stephens, Libby thinks to herself, “There was nothing to solve.... She just vanished for no reason anyone could think of, except she was pretty.” Do you think it’s strange that Libby considers this an uninteresting case? What does her attitude toward Lisette say about her view of her own family’s murder? Was there something to “solve” in the Days’ murder?
8. What do you make of Magda, the middle-class Kill Club member so fond of Ben, and so callous to her own son? What does her character tell us, if anything, about the Kill Club and its members?
9. One of the appealing aspects of the Day case (according to Lyle) is the role of children as instigators, victims, and unreliable witnesses. Do you see any similarities among Krissi’s accusation, Libby’s false eyewitness account, and Lyle’s role in the California fires? Were these children to blame for their mistakes? In what ways did they attempt to right the wrongs they caused?
10. “No one ever forgives me for anything,” one character says. What role does forgiveness play in Dark Places? Which characters should be more forgiving? Less?
11. What do you think of Diondra’s relationships? Why is she attracted to Ben? Why is Trey such a constant companion? Do you think she was romantically involved with Trey?
12. Patty Day frequently worries whether she is a good mother. What do you think? How does the book depict parents in general? Who do you consider the “good” and “bad” parents in the book?
13. Did you think Ben was guilty? Does the author intend for us to doubt him?
14. Why doesn’t Diane return Libby’s phone calls? What does she mean at the end of the book when she says, “I knew you could do it.... I knew you could...try just a little harder”? Do you like Diane?
15. Why do you think Libby, at the end of the book, thinks twice before shoplifting? Is this reflective of a new attitude toward the world? How?
16. Do you think Ben will find Crystal? What do you imagine their reunion would be like? 17. Why do you think the author chose to set the murders on a farm? What images and themes does the heartland and farming evoke?
18. Libby is a liar, a manipulator, a kleptomaniac, and an opportunist. Does she have any redeeming qualities? Are you able to empathize with her? If so, why?