Thursday 24 August 2017

Book Club Questions for The House on Schellberg Street

How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to "get into it"? How did you feel reading it—amused,
sad, disturbed, confused, bored...?

The main characters:
• Why they do what they do?
• Are their actions justified?
• How has the past shaped their lives?
• Do you admire or disapprove of them?
• Do they remind you of people you know?

Are the main characters dynamic—changing or maturing by the end of the book? Do they learn about themselves, how the world works and their role in it?

What main ideas—themes—does the author explore?

Which parts surprised you?

Which passages strike you as insightful, even profound?

Talk about specific passages that struck you as significant—or interesting, profound, amusing, illuminating, disturbing, sad...? What was memorable?

If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?

Has this novel changed you—broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people or a certain part of the world?

What have you learnt about this era that you didn't know before?

What is different here from your own culture?

What are the implications for the future?  

What have you understood about the following:

The blood protection laws

The race laws

Work experience for female school-leavers

War work for young women

Do you detect any trace of Nazi indoctrination in the German girls?

Why did they not understand about Father Maxfeld, Sister Kuna and Elfriede Kaiser?    

 Discuss Hanna Braun's role.  

In which ways is life normal for everyone in the story?

In which ways are they affected by the Holocaust and World War II?

Is Renate more English or German by the end of the story?
What do you make of Hans Edler?  

Download as a handy PDF  here. 

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