Friday, September 26, 2014

October 2014: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children

Meeting Details:  
Where: Sherrie's home at 32 Davidson Blvd., Dundas
When: Thursday October 2nd (well timed, as the "loop" in this book is set on September 3rd, 1940)
What time: 7:30 pm, with discussion to begin at 8:00 pm
** please bring along any "peculiar" or favourite photo of your own to share with the group **

Discussion Questions:
1.  Did you like the book?  If so, what was your favourite part?  If not, why not?

2.  What effect did the photographs have on how you experienced this novel?  What was your reading experience of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children?  How did it make you feel?  Were you disturbed...or fascinated...or something else?  Did the book hold your interest?

3.  What kind of character is Abe Portman?  What kind of a world does he create in his stories for young Jacob?  Why do the stories intrique Jacob so much?
4. As he moves into adolescence, why does Jacob begin to doubt the veracity of his grandfather's stories? In what way does he think they may be connected to Abe's struggle under the Nazis?
      5. What makes Jacob think his grandfather's death is more sinister than what the official version claims?
6. Talk about the house in Wales. When Jacob first lays eyes on it, he observes that it "was no refuge from monsters, but a monster itself." Would you say the house serves as a setting to the story...or is its role something else—a character, perhaps?

7. What are the atmospherics used to build suspense in the novel? Find some examples of how the author uses language to instill unease, fear, and tension.

8. Are you able to make sense of the "after" the time loop? Can you explain it? Do you enjoy the way Riggs plays with time in his novel?

9. Were you surprised by the direction that the story took? Were you expecting it to go elsewhere? Were you able to suspend disbelief enough to enjoy the story's turn of events?

10. Talk, of course, about the peculiar children. Which of their oddities and personalities do you find most intriguing? 
Did you have a favourite/least favourite character?  Which of all the children's abilities would you most like to possess? Are there any you would definitely not want, and why?
      11. Some readers have complained about the inconsistency of the narrative voice, that it was perhaps too sophisticated for a young boy, even an adolescent? Do you agree, or disagree? Does the narrative voice change during the course of the novel?
12. In what way can this book be seen as a classic quest story—a young hero who undertakes a difficult journey and is transformed in the process? Do you see parallels with other fantasy works involving young people?

13. Does the end satisfy? Are loose ends tied up....or left hanging? This is the first book of a planned series. Will you read future installments? Where do you think Riggs will take his readers next?
      14.  Would you recommend this book to someone else?  Why or why not?

        Though I know that we don't traditionally sit down for a "proper" meal at our book club meeting, I think this book lends itself particularly well to having one, so as to re-create the first shared meal that Jacob had with his friends at the "children's home" (page 165).

        "Kids with kitchen duty appeared bearing trays of food, all covered with gleaming silver tops so that you couldn't see what was inside, sparking wild speculation about what might be for dinner ... When the covers were finally lifted, a feast of kingly proportions was revealed: a roasted goose, its flesh a perfect golden brown; a whole salmon and a whole cod, each outfitted with lemons and fresh dill and pats of melting butter; a bowl of steamed mussles; platters of roasted vegetables; loaves of bread still cooling from the oven; and all manners of jellies and sauces I didn't recognize but that looked delicious."  And on page 193: a dessert of chocolate pudding after lunch.

        Given that, our menu could be:
        Roasted chicken - karen
        Baked salmon or baked cod with lemons and dill - Trish
        Steamed mussels
        Roasted vegetables - Danielle
        Fresh bread - Chandra
        Jellies and sauces - Tessa
        Chocolate pudding- Erica
        Drinks: Sherrie 

        p.s. please note that I do not have "gleaming silver tops" with which to cover the food, but I will provide a cozy fall setting for our meal :)

1 comment:

  1. Wow... all these enthusiastic email sign ups! I'll bring some jellies and sauces to go with the meal.


Tell us what you think!