Pick a few questions that spark your interest.

  1. Why do you think the author chose to tell her story?
  2. Do you think that Ivy Lodge is a character in the book? If so, why?
  3. What is the role of the father’s model railroad in the book? Of the mother’s hobbies?
  4. How did the behavior of the narrator’s mother shape the narrator’s life? The father?
  5. Do the narrator’s siblings play a significant role in the memoir? If so, how?
  6. How did the memoir make you reflect on your own life?
  7. Did you find the author’s story compelling? If yes/no, why?
  8. What were your favorite/least favorite parts of the book?
  9. Which scene(s) stayed with you after you’d finished the book?
  10. What surprised you the most about the book?
  11. If you could ask the author anything, what would it be?
  12. Does this book remind you of other books? Does it have universal themes?
  13. Was the story believable? If yes/no, why?
  14. What did you think of the book’s structure, using the rooms in Ivy Lodge to examine the narrator’s childhood?
  15. Would the outcome of the memoir have been different if the narrator and her siblings had forged a positive relationship? How? Would the outcome have been different if the narrator had been male, not female?
  16. Did you identify with anything the narrator went through? If so, what?
  17. At the end of the book, the author doesn’t claim to have all the answers? Were you happy with this open-ended approach or did you want her to tie it up in a neat bow? Do you still have unanswered questions after finishing the book? If so, what are they?