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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English

1. Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English explores the real split between the need to adopt the host country’s customs while not losing one’s own heritage, and an ambivalence about wanting children to blend in but turning them into strangers in the process. Do you think these tensions can ever be reconciled?

2. Names are significant indicators of heritage in the novel and signify who belongs and who doesn’t. Do you think it is important to preserve what Jack calls the “chain” of names?

3. Sadie observes that “despite everything [Jack] was an outsider.” Is it ever possible to fully belong? Is it desirable?

4. Jack makes many mistakes in his attempts to access English culture. Do you think it is easier or harder for immigrants today to find a way into society? Could a Helpful Information booklet such as the one Jack uses ever be of any use? What items would you put on a modern list?

5. The novel mingles folklore and Jewish tradition. What do you think the woolly-pig symbolizes?

6. Sadie bakes obsessively to remember her family. Does this help her overcome her grief, or does it paralyze her further? How do you think Sadie changes when her baking becomes less of a lonely task and something that she shares with her daughter and the village women?

7. Jack’s obsession leads him to neglect his wife, and their relationship is often strained and distant. Yet when he nearly loses her, he regrets his behavior and tries to make amends. Does Sadie forgive him? Can you?

8. Why does Curtis give Jack the recipe for Jitterbug cider? What makes Jack “a true Englishman”?

Mr. Rosenblum Dreams in English
by Natasha Solomons

  • Publication Date: June 21, 2010
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Reagan Arthur Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316077585
  • ISBN-13: 9780316077583