Do you belong to a book club? Whether your club is serious, social, or a combination of both, a book discussion is a whole lot easier if you can find questions to guide you. Here are some to try out for BUILD YOUR WINGS ON THE WAY DOWN. I hope you find them useful.

  1. Did you enjoy reading this book? (It’s good to begin with an easy, opinion question.)
  2. Talk about the characters. Were they believable? Did any character have an emotional impact on you? (Again, opinion questions but getting to the nature of the characters.)
  3. Why do you think the author chose to narrate the book the way they did, in this case, first person? Was the narrator reliable? Could anyone else have narrated this story?
  4. What did you think of the book’s pacing? Was the book the right length? Were there any parts you wanted the author to expand or sections you thought should be shorter?
  5. What if Maureen had returned to Chicago after Andrea’s pleas for her to do so? Would Maureen have been better off not learning of the horrible secret of her past? What would her life have been like?
  6. How did you feel when Maureen secretly returned the files she had taken from Anson-Chambers in hopes of setting up David? Was it morally right for her to “trick” him, feeling fairly certain he would use what he found to commit criminal acts?
  7. Suspension of disbelief, sometimes called willing suspension of disbelief, is the intentional avoidance of critical thinking or logic in examining something unreal or impossible in reality, such as a work of fiction, in order to believe it for the sake of enjoyment. Were you able to suspend your disbelief in this book, especially when the author used strange occurrences like the appearance of the little pink dress in the closet and the doll in the drawer?
  8. Within the story arc of a fiction narrative, the Lead or main character has certain beliefs that are opposite to their coming transformation (called The Argument Against Transformation). The story events challenge the Lead’s existing beliefs, and the story arc is completed when the Lead transforms her beliefs. The arc of a satisfying story is that it is, in the end, a quest for courage. Explain how Maureen’s beliefs are challenged and how she is transformed. Was her transformation a quest for courage?
  9. Did you feel satisfied by the book’s ending? Would you have liked to see a different ending for the book? Did you experience what is called catharsis or satisfaction in the expansion of your awareness?
  10. Would you have liked to see a romance develop between Jeffrey and Maureen? Why do you think the author chose not to have that happen?
  11. What do you think was the book’s theme or message(Ending with an opinion question tied to the readers’ understanding of the narrative is a great way to bring your discussion full circle.)