Ok so I was very good last month and finished my book club novel super quickly (which is most unlike me!), but was asked by a few people for a bit of extra time before we opened up the discussion on the blog. I think pretty much everyone has finished now though, so I’m kicking things off! I really enjoyed this book, but - spoiler alert - I hated the ending. It really frustrated me.
At first I thought it was going to be a story about housewives in days of old, that would have us all debating about feminism and a woman’s place in the home. How wrong was I!
A lot of the narrative reminded me of The Great Gatsby at first, but without as much literary weight – easier to read and not so many interesting characters to explore the intentions of, a bit like a TV drama from the 1950′s perhaps.Despite the fact that this was an easy read, it did manage to transport me to another era and totally got me interested in each of the character’s stories.
But soon enough, boy did it get creepy! This book took an unexpected turn for me, it started off as something I would never have recommended to my hubby, but ended as one I told him he should definitely read! If anyone who is starting out with this novel isn’t feeling it just yet… hold tight, it gets good!
I’d love to hear your own thoughts and have rounded up a few questions below, issued by the publisher and found via the Lit Lovers website. Hopefully they’ll get you thinking a bit more about this popular Summer read.
Please do leave your comments below, I would love us to discuss it all together – and don’t forget to leave suggestions for the next book club novels… I’m keeping a list!
1. Does Tigers in Red Weather have a main character? If so, who do you think it is?
2. What does the murder represent in the novel? Does it have equal impact on all of the characters?
3. Is Nick a heroine or villain? Do you believe her assertion that she didn’t have an affair with Tyler? Does she really love Daisy, or does she resent her?
4. What brings about Hughes’s newfound feelings for Nick later in the novel? Is there a specific catalyst?
5. Hughes finds Ed’s behavior disturbing throughout the novel, but it’s not just the boy’s actions he’s threatened by. How does Ed’s way of thinking, and the knowledge he’s accumulated, threaten Hughes’s relationships and his world?
6. Why is the first-person used only in Ed’s section?
7. Tigers in Red Weather is divided into five sections, each focused on a different character. Which sections did you enjoy most and least, and why? What do you think we’re meant to feel about each of the characters? How does the author show us that something is off about Ed long before his first-person narration grants us a window into his psyche?
8. Why does Helena stay with Avery, despite her unhappiness?
9. Why is so much of Daisy’s character told from a child’s point of view? What does that say about her role in the novel?
10. On page 134, after witnessing Tyler and Peaches kiss, Daisy wishes she could be like Scarlett O’Hara, independent and free, and forget about Tyler, but she’s also scared. When you were a child, who were your role models, literary or otherwise? What they did represent for you? Now that you’re older, who do you look up to?
11. If you ranked the characters from most to least moral, where do they stand?
12. What does the title of the book mean? How is the poem related to the story?
13. On page 298, Ed tries to explain to Hughes his hunch that people are “going about it all the wrong way.” What do you think Ed means? Which people, and what do you think Ed would approve of as the “right” way? Why does Ed’s comment so unsettle Hughes?
14. On page 351, Nick says to Hughes, “It’s the strangest thing, but I have this feeling…. Like everything…” And Hughes replies, “Yes. Everything is.” Complete Nick’s sentence for her. What do you imagine she’s trying to say? Given the circumstances, is there any other way to interpret it? Why do you think the author chose to leave this vague, and how did it affect your experience as a reader?
15. What did you make of the ending of Tigers in Red Weather? Do you think Ed is rehabilitated?