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kathryn flett - reading group questions

(4 Posts)
NicknameTaken Thu 18-Oct-12 10:47:13

Just read Kathryn Flett's new novel, Separate Lives. It's an enjoyable enough read and Mumsnet gets name-checked. Too many pointless coincidences which strain credulity without adding anything to the plot, but generally a painless way to spend a few hours.

Just left a bit open-mouthed by the list of questions for reading groups at the end. Firstly, it's a bit of chicklit, and really, you don't need help to ferret out profound underlying themes. Secondly, not sure why a reading group would read this kind of thing. Thirdly - "Do you consider characters x and y to be good mothers?" (a) It's not relevant and (b) why are we perpetually stuck in that discussion anyway?

The easy answer is not to read those couple of pages. It's presumably the editor/publisher's decision rather than KF's, but I thought it came across as really condescending to women's intelligence. But maybe I'm being irrational, because I'm just a girlie [simper].

elkiedee Fri 19-Oct-12 12:41:27

I always find reading group questions a bit daft, though I don't see why reading groups shouldn't read chicklit/henlit or any other genre. My best reading group was a crime fiction one which continues to "meet" online and have wonderful discussions, though I haven't really joined in the group reads for a while (since early in my first pregnancy in 2006, actually).

Glad to hear you enjoyed the novel as it's one of many on my Kindle waiting to be read, and I know other people didn't like it at all.

NicknameTaken Fri 19-Oct-12 12:46:32

Would like to hear your opinion of it!

It's not that I'm opposed to reading groups for chicklit or crime fiction or any other genre. I wouldn't have thought there were very meaty discussions to be had, but thinking about it a bit more, I could be wrong about that.

elkiedee Fri 19-Oct-12 12:53:31

Some books make better discussion books than others - in crime fiction, it is usually the darker and more serious books that offer the best material - at one point people kept suggesting really fluffy books and never discussed them, leaving those of us with darker gorier tendencies a bit annoyed! Saying that, the first Stephanie Plum novel turned out to prompt a surprisingly fun discussion, which in October 2001 in an email group with many US members and some elsewhere turned out to be just what we needed (some people still feeling very fragile after 9/11).

I've tried making up my own questions and also submitted suggestions for a reading group guide for a book, and it's sometimes hard.

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