Reading Group Discussion Questions
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  1. We get very little objective sense of the characters in A Map of the World in relation to each other and their environment; their accounts are extremely subjective and heavily tinged with emotion. How do you respond to this interiority?
  2. How well do you feel you know Alice? Howard? Theresa? Does Alice come across the same way through Howard's eyes as she does through her own? How consistent is your impression of Howard?
  3. Do you trust Alice and Howard's versions of the events of the novel? What do you imagine they seem like to the people around them?
  4. What is the function of Howard's narration? Does his perspective change your feelings about Alice and what happens to her? Is it clear why he doubts her?
  5. What do we learn about Alice from her interaction with the other prisoners? What does she learn about herself?
  6. At the point of the novel when Alice is arrested, she is still completely overwhelmed and incapacitated by Lizzy's death and her role in it. How do the accusations against Alice and her time in prison change her and help her to deal with what happened to Lizzy?
  7. Do you feel as though things are resolved at the end of the novel?
  8. Which character in the novel do you respond to the most?
  9. Compare the characters of Aunt Sid in The Book of Ruth and Aunt Kate in A Map of the World. Do they serve the same function for Ruth and Alice?


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