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The China Garden
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2013 Book of the Month Reads > September: The China Garden by Liz Berry

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message 1: by Shelli, Co-owner of Cafe Libri (last edited Sep 02, 2013 01:02PM) (new)

Shelli | 116 comments Mod
September's book of the month chosen by Cafe Libri members.


message 2: by Shelli, Co-owner of Cafe Libri (new)

Shelli | 116 comments Mod
How did you experience the book? Were you immediately drawn into the story--or did it take you a while? Did the book intrigue, amuse, disturb, alienate, irritate, or frighten you?

Do you find the characters convincing? Are they believable? Compelling? Are they fully developed as complex, emotional human beings--or are they one-dimensional?

Which characters do you particularly admire or dislike? What are their primary characteristics?

What motivates a given character’s actions? Do you think those actions are justified or ethical?

Do any characters grow or change during the course of the novel? If so, in what way?

Who in this book would you most like to meet? What would you ask—or say?

If you could insert yourself as a character in the book, what role would you play? You might be a new character or take the place of an existing one.

Is the plot well-developed? Is it believable? Do you feel manipulated along the way, or do plot events unfold naturally, organically?

Is the story plot or character driven? In other words, do events unfold quickly? Or is more time spent developing characters' inner lives? Does it make a difference to your enjoyment?

Consider the ending. Did you expect it or were you surprised? Was it manipulative? Was it forced? Was it neatly wrapped up--too neatly? Or was the story unresolved, ending on an ambiguous note?

If you could rewrite the ending, would you? In other words, did you find the ending satisfying? Why or why not.

Can you pick out a passage that strikes you as particularly profound or interesting--or perhaps something that sums up the central dilemma of the book?

Does the book remind you of your own life? An event or situation? A person--a friend, family member, boss, co-worker?

If you were to talk with the author, what would you want to know? (Many authors enjoy talking with book clubs. Contact the publisher to see if you can set up a phone chat.)

Have you read the author’s other books? Can you discern a similarity—in theme, writing style, structure—between them? Or are they completely different?


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