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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Future Homemakers of America: A Novel

1. What role does the "homemaker" play in this book? What does homemaker mean to you? How would you or someone you know who is a homemaker relate to the homemakers in this book? Has the concept/role of a homemaker changed dramatically since the 1950's and 1960's, and if so, how? Do you think a career woman of today can also be a homemaker?

2. Why do you think the author decided to begin her book with an historical event, the death of King George VI? What sort of impact does this news have on the wives? What parallels, if any, do you see between this event in history and the point in these women's lives?

3. Do you see differences between the Englishwoman Kath Pharaoh and the American ladies? Are there any instances of culture clash, despite their friendship? Have you ever experienced culture clash? If so, discuss your experience.

4. Do you believe that life as the wife of an officer on a base has changed over the decades? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being an officer's wife on a military base? What sort of community does this provide? How does life in this type of community compare to other types of communities?

5. The author includes character-specific recipes throughout the novel. What do they say about the individual characters7 What do your favorite recipes say about you? Did you try any of these recipes at home?

6. Do you think the historical references included in the novel add texture, or did you find them distracting? How do these historical events affect these characters? What events in history have dramatically affected your life?

7. There is more than one marriage in this book that does not turn out the way you would expect. Do you feel this realistically reflects what can occur in life? Explain examples either from your own life or that of a friend's of how a marriage evolved unexpectedly.

8. What is the meaning of friendship, especially friendship between women? What are these characters willing to do for friendship? How important are women friends to you? Describe the importance, if any, that women friends play in your life. What do you learn from these friendships? Did you ever become close to someone whom you'd normally never have befriended, but due to unexpected circumstances you were brought together? If so, did this friendship endure or fall by the wayside?

The Future Homemakers of America: A Novel
by Laurie Graham

  • Publication Date: September 6, 2012
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 0446679364
  • ISBN-13: 9780446679367