Book Club Kit for The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown includes book club discussion guide and party menu.
Where is summer going?? I can't believe I'm already sharing the final book in our summer "beach read" line-up!
As the lazy days are winding down and everyone is getting ready for back to school insanity, I thought it would be fun to take a trip to Paris for our August selection with The Light of Paris.
Peanut Blossom Book Club
This book was our official August 2017 pick for the Peanut Blossom Book Club.
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What is The Light of Paris About?
Check out the full book description for The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown here:
"Madeleine is trapped—by her family's expectations, by her controlling husband, and by her own fears—in an unhappy marriage and a life she never wanted. From the outside, it looks like she has everything, but on the inside, she fears she has nothing that matters.
In Madeleine’s memories, her grandmother Margie is the kind of woman she should have been—elegant, reserved, perfect. But when Madeleine finds a diary detailing Margie’s bold, romantic trip to Jazz Age Paris, she meets the grandmother she never knew: a dreamer who defied her strict, staid family and spent an exhilarating summer writing in cafés, living on her own, and falling for a charismatic artist.
Despite her unhappiness, when Madeleine’s marriage is threatened, she panics, escaping to her hometown and staying with her critical, disapproving mother. In that unlikely place, shaken by the revelation of a long-hidden family secret and inspired by her grandmother’s bravery, Madeleine creates her own Parisian summer—reconnecting to her love of painting, cultivating a vibrant circle of creative friends, and finding a kindred spirit in a down-to-earth chef who reminds her to feed both her body and her heart.
Margie and Madeleine’s stories intertwine to explore the joys and risks of living life on our own terms, of defying the rules that hold us back from our dreams, and of becoming the people we are meant to be."
Go grab a copy of The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown so you can join us for our book club discussion this month!
The Light of Paris by Eleanor Brown Book Club Questions
I believe the best book club questions to spark a lively discussion in your group help readers make personal connections to the story.
You can read about how to write the best book club questions on your own here, but hopefully these will get you started!
What did you think of this month's pick? Would you have chosen it on your own?
The Light of Paris is based on the author's experience of reading her own grandmother's letters years after she had passed away.
Do you have any personal artifacts from your grandparents that gave you insight into what they were like in their youth?
The experience of a "European Tour" has been a popular thing among young adults throughout US history. In this book, Margie is allowed to travel as her cousin's chaperone.
Did you ever go backpacking through Europe during or after college? Would you encourage your kids to do it when their time comes?
Madeleine felt compelled to get married because of pressure from her mother and then found herself in a marriage both difficult and strained.
Did you find her plot realistic for someone in 1999?
Both Margie and Madeleine meet groups of new friends in Paris and Magnolia that encourage their creative side.
Are you creative? Do you have friends that bring that out or do you prefer to create quietly on your own?
Neither Margie nor Madeleine feel beautiful until Sebastien and Henry take interest in them.
Do you think they are objectively beautiful but were just raised by overly critical mothers who instilled self-doubt, or do you think beauty is in the eye of the lover and the men were able to see past the physical to the beauty within?
Each generation of women in the book has limited career and life options.
Do you think the options will improve for our daughters' generation as compared to our own experience?
Do you think Margie's story could have still happened in a city that was not Paris? Or is there something particularly special about Paris itself?
Robert & Sebastien both gave up on their own personal dreams to follow their families' order.
Do you think men today feel similarly called to hold up the family honor in that way? Or have they become more independent from the family unit?
If you could live in any city in the world for just 3 months, where would you want to go?
Book Club Party Menu
For the book club party menu, channel a Parisian bistro vibe and serve my super easy French onion soup with a crispy baguette topping or the spiral Monte Cristo sandwich pinwheels.
For dessert, go all out with a decadent lemon meringue tart or simply make the lemon curd for spooning over a croissant from the grocery store bakery.
You could even make my 3-ingredient chocolate croissant puffs and serve them warm with cafe au lait.
You May Also Enjoy
If you enjoyed this book, you'd likely enjoy these other fun book club picks from through the years:
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