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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Malibu Rising

1. Just because something looks like paradise doesn’t mean its heaven. How does MALIBU RISING explore the darker realities of fame and fortune? How is fame different for women than it is for men? What kinds of expectations do we place on female celebrities?

2. Early on, Taylor Jenkins Reid writes, “Our family histories are simply stories. They are myths we create about the people who came before us, in order to make sense of ourselves.” Do you agree? How did this book make you think about your own family history?

3. Which Riva sibling --- Nina, Jay, Kit or Hud --- did you relate to the most, and why? How are these siblings alike, and how are they different?

4. As Taylor Jenkins Reid said, she is often inspired by time and place. THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO was set in Hollywood in the 60s. DAISY JONES & THE SIX was about '70s rock n’ roll in Southern California. Now, with MALIBU RISING, she’s exploring Malibu in the '80s. Why do you think time and place are so important? How does the author bring the '80s Malibu scene to life?

5. This novel is in part about the way we repeat the mistakes of our parents or try to avoid doing so. How was Nina’s life shaped by her mother’s? How has your own life been shaped by the people who raised you?

6. MALIBU RISING is also about sibling relationships. Nina is the first-born dutiful daughter, Jay thinks he’s the man of the house, Hud is the peacemaker, and Kit is always left out. All of that is based on what they’ve learned from one another. Discuss the nature of sibling rivalry. Why do you think sibling dynamics can be so complicated? How do we use our siblings to define our own personalities?

7. Mick is essentially the villain in the book, but he’s also portrayed with sympathy and humanity. Why do you think that is? What did you make of his character? Do you think he got what he deserved in the end?

8. Talk about the structure of the novel. Why do you think the narrative takes place within 24 hours? How does that influence the pacing of the story?

9. Destruction and renewal are big themes in the book. Where do you see these at play? What is interesting about those concepts? What other themes did you notice?

10. The novel is bookended by scenes of fire burning. What is the significance of fire? How are these scenes symbolic? What does it mean to have a ”nature to burn”?

11. Super Fans: How did MALIBU RISING compare to DAISY JONES & THE SIX and THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO? Did you notice any Easter Eggs or recurring characters?

Malibu Rising
by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • Publication Date: May 17, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 1524798673
  • ISBN-13: 9781524798673