Book Club Kits
Stay With Me
by Freymann-Weyr, Garret
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1. Why do you think Leila starts her story by talking about the loss of Janie? How might her story be different if she had started it with the loss of Rebecca?
2. How are Janie and Leila's mother Elsa different/similar to each other? In what ways is Janie important to Leila?
3. There is a strong sense of place in the novel, even though the actual setting, New York City, is never mentioned by name. What role does New York play in the story? What role do the other cities mentioned play in Leila's family?
4. Leila is surrounded by adults--her parents, Clare, Raphael, William Gyula, Eamon. In what ways do they support her?
5. How does Leila and Clare's relationship change after Rebecca's suicide?
6. One of the themes of the novel is "great love". Is "great love" different from "the love that lasts"? Is Eamon Leila's great love? Would their relationship have been different had Rebecca not killed herself?
7. The adults in Leila's life find great meaning in their work: "Work is where they all go to be who they are." Rebecca, it seems, had a hard time finding happiness or safety in her careers. How important is work to identity? To becoming an adult? How does work influence our families and our relationships?
8. When Leila's parents leave for Poland, she is put under the care of Clare and Raphael. In what ways are they the same as parents and in what ways are they different?
9. Leila is dyslexic. Does her dyslexia affect how she sees herself? How does she think other people view her? By the end of the novel, how has Leila's view of her own intelligence changed?
10. After Rebecca's suicide, how does Leila come to view their relationship? Does Leila ever find an answer to why her sister committed suicide? How did the suicide affect her family?
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