For Book Clubs

Thanks for choosing Holding the Net, the 2017 Best Book Awards Winner for Autobiography/Memoir, for your book club.

My mother and I shared a love of reading and talking about books via book clubs. I put together this discussion guide to help get the conversation started. If you would like to have me “visit” your book club by phone, or if you want to share what your book club discussed, send me a note.   —Melanie

Book Club Discussion Guide

  1. How did you experience Holding the Net? 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?
  2. Holding the Net features three main “characters.” How do these characters change, grow or evolve throughout the course of the story? Are there similarities to how people and relationships have changed in your family over time?
  3. Do any of the secondary characters stand out for you? Why or why not?
  4. Were there scenes or sections of the book that made you uncomfortable? If so, why?
  5. Les Standiford, Director of the Florida International University Creative Writing Program, tells his students, “Nothing is interesting but trouble.” When does the trouble start in Holding the Net? What are the major conflicts in the story?
  6. How, if at all, has this book changed the way you think about issues of aging in your own family or in society?
  7. Did you learn anything new that you might use in your own life? Did the book leave you wanting to know more? If so, what kinds of questions did it bring up for you?
  8. What else struck you about the book?
  9. Were you glad you read this book? Would you recommend it to a friend?
  10. Did this book make you want to read more work by this author? Why or why not?