French Braid Discussion Questions

Questions are free for use in your own personal book club discussions or for your personal reflection, but please do not print and distribute. Instead, direct your book group members to this page by providing them with the link. If you use the questions, please share your feedback via email to Copyright Catherine Beeman / Your Book Group 2022
  1. Consider the book cover, which appears to be a braided rug. How do you relate the image to an event theme, metaphor, or character in the book – other than the title? Does the image resemble anything else that’s relevant to the book?
  2. After a short vignette set in 2010, the story proper starts in 1959, largely from Alice’s point of view, and it ends as seen through David’s eyes. Why do you think Alice is (mostly) first and David is last?  Could this tie into the motif of the book cover in any way?
  3. The theme of a “traditional housewife” declaring her personhood is often seen in fiction set in the mid-twentieth century. Does Mercy’s need to define her boundaries and to create her own physical personal space seem trite at any point, and did your opinion change as the story continued?
  4. What do you believe motivated Mercy to basically live away from Robin, and how did this impact Robin?
  5. What was your impression of Robin as the story progressed? If your assessment changed, why?
  6. Do you believe any one relationship between two characters is either explicitly or implicitly central to the Garretts’ narrative? If so, which relationship(s)?
  7. What feelings did the story evoke toward your own parents, siblings, children?
  8. Could you find yourself in any of the characters? Discuss if you are comfortable doing so.
  9. If you listened to the audiobook, consider how strongly (or how little) your impressions to the different characters were related to the narrator’s interpretation of the voices of those characters.
  10. This could, arguably, be one of the first major new releases that deals with the pandemic. How did this impact you?