Monday, April 28, 2014

May 2014: The Railway Children by E Nesbit

Meeting Details:  We're meeting at Amanda's on Thursday, May 1st at 7:30pm.  Discussion to begin as close to 8pm as we can possibly manage.  :-)
Discussion Questions:
  1. Did you enjoy the book?  Why or why not?
  2.  This book is very old (1906)... what aspects of the book are difficult to understand or relate to nowadays?  What parts of the book ring true for today too?
  3. At the start of the novel, Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis lead an idyllic life and want for nothing yet, due to their father's wrongful imprisonment, things change quite dramatically for them.  How do you think their characters develop as a result of their new lifestyle?  And, ultimately, do you think they have benefited from the experience?
  4. Describe Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis?  Who did you relate to among the three?
  5. EN often writes about sibling groups.   Do you think the sibling relationships in this book are realistic?  If so, in what ways?
  6.  Bobbie has been compared to Jo March in Little Women because of her resilience and resourcefulness; can you think of some similar modern-day protagonists?
  7. The children meet many different people during their time at the railway.  Who is your favorite character and why?
  8. The doctor talks to Peter about the differences between men and women (pg 243-254).  How does Peter understand and apply these "scientific ideas"?  How would this kind of lecture go over with modern boys?
  9.  Do you think Mother did the right thing by keeping Father's circumstances secret?  What did you think about the resolution at the end of the book?
  10.  The contemporary British script-writer Martin Jameson has written a radio play about the three children as adults and their jobs and aspirations. What kind of people do you think Bobbie, Peter and Phyllis will grow up to be?  What modern-day careers do you imagine they would have?
  11.  Have you seen the movie (old/new version) ? how does it compare?  which did you like better? why?
  12. Have you read any other EN books?  which ones?  how do they compare? would you like to read more?
  13.  Would you recommend this book to anyone?  who and why?

Menu: "Welcome to Three Chimney's"
  Welcome to Three Chimney's.  Let's have a combination of the dinner the family has that first night (pg 23 - biscuits, sardines, preserved ginger, raisins, candied peel, marmalade) and the dinner they find laid out for them the next morning (pg 28 - cold sliced roast beef, bread and butter, cheese, apple pie).  That gives us lots of options and everything is pretty easy.

Cold roast beef - Karen
Bread and Butter and cheese - Melissa
Apple Pie - Tessa
Salad - Trish
Biscuits and Sardines - Shelagh
Raisin Somethings - Danielle

Please add a comment under this post indicating what you'd like to bring - there are lots of options (feel free to add something else from the book if you like... pigeon pie, anyone?!)

Drinks - Amanda


  1. I will bring bread and butter and cheese:)

  2. so the sardines, preserved ginger, or candied peel is looking a bit intimidating, so i think i will bring a salad, in spite of the fact that salad is not mentioned and probably wasn't eaten in those days :). I'm going to Costco later today and will see if that will inspire me.

  3. I'll bring something to do with raisins :)


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