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Southwest Book Club Meets June 2

awaybyamybloom.jpgThe Southwest Book Club will meet on Tuesday, June 2, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at the Southwest Library. The club will discuss the book Away by Amy Bloom. Arriving in America alone after her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, Lillian Leyb receives word that her daughter Sophie might still be alive and embarks on a risky odyssey to find the missing girl. Bloom writes with extraordinary care about people caught in emotional and physical crosswinds. Voted "Best of 2007" on many book award lists.

Copies of this book may be reserved for home delivery or location pick-up at http://www.ocls.info

Anyone age 18 or older is welcome to attend. The book club meets monthly at the Southwest Branch Library.

For more information, please call 407.835.7323 or email southwest@ocls.info

Discussion Questions
If you are unable to attend the meeting or you would like to join our discussion, you can share your thoughts or respond to the discussion questions below. Simply click "Comments" located at the bottom of this post. Join the discussion!

1. Much of the novel centers around self-invention and reinvention. Can you identify some characters who invent themselves over the course of the novel? Which characters are successful? Which characters are unable to complete the process?

2. During Lillian's journey, there are key points at which she is required to demonstrate her allegiance as either a native or a foreigner, insider or outsider. Can you identify some of these moments? At the end of the novel, how complete is Lillian's assimilation?

3. How are sexuality and physical love portrayed in the novel? Consider Lillian's relationship with the Bursteins, Chinky's relationship with Mrs. Mortimer, and Gumdrop's relationship with Snooky Salt, as well as Lillian's relationship with John Bishop and Chinky's relationship with Cleveland Munson.

4. The omniscient third-person narrator of the novel is able to jump forward and backward in time and between parallel narratives. What is the purpose of this technique? Why does the author want us to know what happened to Sophie, even though Lillian herself never learns? Do you think Lillian ever stopped looking for Sophie?

5. What significance do the chapter titles have? What are they derived from, and what do they tell the reader about what happens in the novel? Why did Bloom title her novel Away?

Discussion questions obtained at http://litlovers.com/guide_away.html


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