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  1. #1
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    Default Second Glance Discussion Questions

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    Book club discussion questions for Second Glance
    1. As Second Glance opens, the town of Comtosook begins experiencing bizarre weather occurrences such as rose petals raining from the sky, and the ground freezing in August. What is the symbolic relevance of these occurrences?
    2. Ross has no desire to live, yet can't seem to die. Ethan, on the other hand, wants to live a long life yet was born with a genetic illness that will likely result in an early death. What is the one major thing they share in common, despite this difference?
    3. Why might Lia have appeared to Ross, a stranger to her, as opposed to anyone else?
    4. Why does Ross feel such a strong obligation to help Lia, a woman he barely knows?
    5. What is the thematic relevance of Ethan's affliction with xeroderma pigmentosum?
    6. How would you explain Shelby's love of words and her superior command of the English language?
    7. In what way do Ross's struggles parallel Shelby's?
    8. How does Meredith's work closely parallel the work of Spencer Pike and his father-in-law, Harry Beaumont? Is her work more admirable, or is this a case of history repeating itself?
    9. When leaving work and faced with a group of pro-life picketers, Meredith “wished she could explain to them that there were some sorts of lives that were not worth living. That it was not cruel to be the judge of that, but humane.” Do you agree, or disagree? Does Meredith feel strongly about this, or do you think she struggles with this belief?
    10. How does his investigation into Cissy Pike's death effect a change in Eli?
    11. When Ross first arrives in Comtosook, he accidentally loses his dead fiance's engagement ring. Much later, Shelby mysteriously finds it in Eli's bed the first time they are together. What is the significance of this?
    12. What is the symbolic relevance of Angel Quarry?
    13. Why does Az bury the evidence of the Vermont Eugenics Project, instead of letting the world know the truth about what happened to his people, the Abenaki?
    14. Do you believe that through knowledge and education, we can prevent history from repeating itself? Or is it beyond our control?
    15. Skeptics of the paranormal claim the existence of a ghost when it can't be proven scientifically. Yet Second Glance spotlights a period of history where science itself turned out to be unreliable. What do you think the author was trying to suggest in this contrast?
    16. In what ways is the title, Second Glance, appropriate for this novel?
    Last edited by Finzmom4; 07-18-2009 at 11:26 PM.

  2. #2
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    Definite Spoilers




    Book club discussion questions for Second Glance
    1. As Second Glance opens, the town of Comtosook begins experiencing bizarre weather occurrences such as rose petals raining from the sky, and the ground freezing in August. What is the symbolic relevance of these occurrences?
    2. Ross has no desire to live, yet can't seem to die. Ethan, on the other hand, wants to live a long life yet was born with a genetic illness that will likely result in an early death. What is the one major thing they share in common, despite this difference?
    3. Why might Lia have appeared to Ross, a stranger to her, as opposed to anyone else?
    4. Why does Ross feel such a strong obligation to help Lia, a woman he barely knows?
    5. What is the thematic relevance of Ethan's affliction with xeroderma pigmentosum?
    6. How would you explain Shelby's love of words and her superior command of the English language?
    7. In what way do Ross's struggles parallel Shelby's?
    8. How does Meredith's work closely parallel the work of Spencer Pike and his father-in-law, Harry Beaumont? Is her work more admirable, or is this a case of history repeating itself?
    9. When leaving work and faced with a group of pro-life picketers, Meredith “wished she could explain to them that there were some sorts of lives that were not worth living. That it was not cruel to be the judge of that, but humane.” Do you agree, or disagree? Does Meredith feel strongly about this, or do you think she struggles with this belief?
    10. How does his investigation into Cissy Pike's death effect a change in Eli?
    11. When Ross first arrives in Comtosook, he accidentally loses his dead fiance's engagement ring. Much later, Shelby mysteriously finds it in Eli's bed the first time they are together. What is the significance of this?
    12. What is the symbolic relevance of Angel Quarry?
    13. Why does Az bury the evidence of the Vermont Eugenics Project, instead of letting the world know the truth about what happened to his people, the Abenaki?
    14. Do you believe that through knowledge and education, we can prevent history from repeating itself? Or is it beyond our control?
    15. Skeptics of the paranormal claim the existence of a ghost when it can't be proven scientifically. Yet Second Glance spotlights a period of history where science itself turned out to be unreliable. What do you think the author was trying to suggest in this contrast?
    16. In what ways is the title, Second Glance, appropriate for this novel?

    Answers - These questions are a bit difficult, will do the best I can with them.

    1. I'm not even sure that the characters/citizens even really understand why the occurances are happening. More than anything else I think it is just a way of solidifying that something definitely is going on there. You can't really argue with frozen ground, flower petals, etc. These are things witnessed by all, unlike some other paranormal activity that could be argued against.

    2.
    3.
    4. I think he tries so hard to help Lia because he couldn't help Aimee.

    5. I think the relevance of Ethan's illness is to balance out the ideas expressed by Spencer Pike about Eugenics and even Meredith about her work. While Ethan does have a genetic disorder, it doesn't make his life worth not living.

    6.
    7.
    8. The Eugenics program and Meredith's work both deal with genetics and trying to improve the outcome of future generations and getting rid of unwanted qualities/disorders, etc. Hers is more admirable, Her clients know exactly what they are doing. She even says she is their last resort. There was a great deal of deception and coercion involved with the Eugenics program - forced sterilization, separation of families, etc.
    9. I do agree with that. I think Meredith does genuinely believe it also. She has seen the pain and heartbreak of her clients, and I think that is all the proof she needs.
    10.
    11.
    12
    13.
    14. I do believe we can learn a great deal from history. However, I don't think we necessarily can stop it from repeating itself. We tend to see things happen over and over just in different places, etc., so yes I do definitely think that often it is out of our control

    will finish later.
    Last edited by Finzmom4; 07-19-2009 at 07:13 PM.

  3. #3
    Posting Addict natesangel's Avatar
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    1. i would have to say that the symbolic relevance would be just to let the people know that someone or something is there, it seems throughout the book that lia always makes her presence known with the rose petals or at least smell that she used to use (bathed in scented water or something?) and the ground freezing to keep away the ground destruction, things like clocks stopping trying to signify time having stopped for her.

    2. besides a love of each other and shelby, they both like ghost hunting. not sure about this one i was trying to figure it out through the book but i eluded me!

    3. *spoiler* because he saved her great granddaughter while loosing his own aimee in the car accident, as well as he has suffered a great loss just like she has.

    4. i think that it's because he has a second chance to do the right thing, that maybe by helping lia he will be able to move on, whether that means finding aimee or finally being able to die or just get on with his life, he will have redemption.

    5. i think that it gives some meaning to ross still being alive as well as shows a stark contrast throughout the book to the struggle of life and death, wanting to be here and trying to live his life when all around him missing out on so many great things, as well as, to put the eugenics program into context for todays ramifications.

    6. shelby loves words as an escape from her version of reality. she sees herself as an invisible, forgettable entity and by having and using the 'big words' she is able to set herself apart from others, to hide behind something that she thinks makes her 'special' to others (see what i can do, i am special). it's a defense mechanism for dealing with the scarry and stressful stuff.

    7. they both fight with death, her trying to stop it and him trying to bring it on.

    8. they both tried to weed out the negative human stuff and make our race more durable (removing the weakest link so to speak!). although i feel that her personal motivations are admirable i still don't believe this is something that docs should be doing, don't get me wrong i think that it's great in theory, but power tends to corrupt and from history repeating we can be sure that it's only a matter of time before someone tries to exploit it for the 'designer' babies (look at hollywood, all that money, someone will have it done before it's too late to stop it!)

    9. i agree with that in concept, i don't think it's something that i could do personally, but i do know of situations where even carrying to term would be detrimental to all persons involved. i think meredith struggles greatly with that, had she gone through with her initial plans she wouldn't have her daughter but at the same time she can't say for sure if her outlook would be the same if she hadn't had her. in this case, the woman's right to choose becomes a very personal struggle and should not be coerced by picketers or taken lightly.

    10. he seems to take on a new respect for beliefs that he has scoffed as well as he is given a new respect for life and falls in love! in the end it seems that he has a realized that things are not always what they seem and that you should always try to keep an open mind.

    11. i felt that it was the completion of one great love facilitating a new great love. *spoiler* if ross hadn't saved meredith and lost aimee he would have the connection to lia and wouldn't have gone after aimee, if this hadn't happened shelby would not likely have met Eli or gotten so close to him.

    12.

    13. he feels that it's the only way to put an end to it all and avoid it becoming a major spectacle, shame and guilt and anger can only do more harm and that's what he feels letting this information out would do, hurt those more that are already hurting enough.

    14. i think that through diligence and respect of the past it may be possible to change the pattern of repetition but that is just theory, i think that more goes into history repeating than just the knowledge of what is happening. there has to be a 'human' element to the change and a generally accepted will to make that change happen, this doesn't always mean it will change for the better.

    15. i think that it says that life is never what you truly think, take the serious things with a grain of salt before putting all your faith in one thing. lol men in black had it right, "1500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was the center of the universe. 500 years ago, everybody knew that the Earth was flat. And 15 minutes ago, you knew that humans were alone on this planet. Imagine what you'll know tomorrow."

    16. i think that the title is relevant throughout the novel as it shows looking twice at the paranormal, life choices, personal beliefs, the world around you. in all the characters we see them re-evaluating something at some point and without a second glance you have no reason to do that.
    Mara, 31; DH (Nathan), 30
    Jade - Born April 9 2010
    Furbabies: Squirt and Twylight




  4. #4
    Posting Addict Finzmom4's Avatar
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    Great thoughts, Mara.

    I need to finish my own

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    Posting Addict CJWilkes's Avatar
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    I think I will start this one and then move on to The Historian which I bought last year for last years selection but just never got to it. One day I will catch up with the list!!!


    Product of Nathan & Cindy

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