February 19, 2010

THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN: Book club discussion questions


The Comadres, Compadres & Friends Book Club Meeting was today, and we had quite a lively discussion about Carolina De Robertis' THE INVISIBLE MOUNTAIN. 

Everyone loved the book.  It's poetic rhythm; it's imagery; the characters; well, everything. Of course, every one of us had different views of the book.  For instance, I thought the whole book was the letter Salome wrote to Victoria to tell her of her paternity and her family history.  What do you think? 

Here are the questions the New York City Book Club discussed.  Feel free to use these questions to launch your own discussion, and note that there are no right or wrong answers.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

  1. What does the title of the book mean?  what invisible mountain? where?  And do all the characters "see" the same mountain?
  2. The story begins with a miracle.  What other miracles can you find in the book?
  3. Is there a hidden meaning in the names of the women:  Pajarita, Eva, Salome, Victoria, Zola?  Does their name tell their story?  Do you see the chronology in the women, in the generations? 
  4. Why is there no communication between mother and daughters? why aren't they friends? why do they keep such secrets from each other?  (And can you name the secrets?)
  5. What are the similarities between Eva and Evita Perron?  How are they the same? How are they different?
  6. What kind of men surround these women?  Why are the older men abusive and the younger men passive?  Is it just the generation gap?
  7. Who is the activist -- Eva or Salome?  One writes and marches, while the other sleeps on top of rifles.  Who is the "real" terrorist?
  8. How do the lives of the women reflect the history of Uruguay?
  9. What did you think was in Eva's secret box?  What do they signify?
  10. Where does Ignazio think he is taking Pajarita with the gondola?
  11. How will Victoria react to Salome's letter?
Do come back and let me know the answers to the questions above.  It would be great to compare.

Also the NYC group thought that De Robertis should publish a small volume of Eva's poems as a companion to this tome? What do you think?  Please comment and let us know. ---maria