Book Clubs

Book Club Discussion Questions

  1. Rachel was ashamed to tell anyone about the spousal abuse in her family. Has anything changed over the years to reduce the stigma?
  2. What do the recurrent symbols of swimming pools, yellow roses, stars, and the Texas heat mean?
  3. Several of the characters in the novel were deeply affected by the JFK assassination. How did it impact Rachel’s family and the American public in general? Where were you when it happened or what have you read about it?
  4. Which incidents best showed the depth of Rachel and P.J.’s friendship?
  5. What types of prejudice were shown in Shelter from the Texas Heat?
  6. What did Rachel learn from Irene, the Holocaust survivor? Have you met survivors who have shared their stories to help others?
  7. Rachel’s mother, Rosy Rosenshein Miller, often gives unsolicited advice. Is there any truth in the bubbameisters (wives’ tales), such as catching a cold from wet hair or sitting too close to the TV?
  8. Rachel feared that Miracle and her mother were being abused. Was it her responsibility to report her suspicions to the authorities?
  9. Maddy goes to the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom to hear Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. How did the protest change life in America?
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