hello everyone! i hope this read is going well for you, so far.
we are discussing the first two weeks of the schedule, so do feel free to talk openly, without worry of spoilers, for any part of the book up to the end of page 168.
in this first part of our reading, we are introduced to our three main characters, their eras, and where they live. we meet their families, and get a feel for the lives they are living.
i hope the following questions will encourage some good discussions. please do not feel limited in any way by these questions – if you have your own questions, please do post them for us to talk about. i provide questions to help us along, but they should not serve to restrict you, or our conversations, in any way.
- We have three distinct timelines in this story: Tao who is in China in the year 2098; William who is in England in the year 1851; and George who is in America in 2007. Why do you think Lunde chose to tell her story in this way? Is there one character/timeline you are finding more engaging than the others? if so, why? Does Lunde do a good job distinguishing her characters’ voices and eras?
- Can you identify any connections or similarities our three main characters share?
- Tao notes that along with the collapse, democracies fell, tech failed, and only books survived. Tao believes that without knowledge we are nothing. Do you agree with this thinking? How would you cope without instant access to information?
- Could you imagine any future where schooling for children ends at the age of 8, and they are then sent to work?
- What do you make of William’s ‘taking to bed’, and his subsequent decision to get up - because Edmund asked him to do so?
- Have you ever spent time with a beekeeper, or with box hives? Do you know much about the threats being faced by the global bee population over the past many years?
- What do you think has happened to Wei-Wen?
- What are George’s relationship with his wife and son like to you?
- Are you getting a strong dystopian feel as you are reading this story? How does Lunde bring this sense into the novel?
Can’t wait to hear your thoughts!!