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A History of Silence Book Club Discussion Questions

1. Did it work for you to have Johnny’s murder in the prologue?

2. Why, after her initial reaction wears off, does Jenny really take to Lena as a friend?

3. Jenny pursues a secret side life while she’s also a student at UW-Madison. What’s that about?

4. Why would Roz hesitate to tell Maddie about why she was leaving, even though they had been close for so long?

5. Arguably, Johnny has been damaged by his history. In what ways is he also a victim (if you think he is)?

6. If Johnny is a metaphor for a large theme in the novel, what is he a stand-in for?

7. Why doesn’t Roz have her own chapters in this novel? Should she have told her story in her own voice?

8. Why is it important that Maddie is a historian? What role does history play in this novel?

9. Describe Jane’s attitude about her life. What, exactly, has made her like she is?

10. Liz doesn’t get Jenny. Why would that be? Did you find that plausible? Why or why not?

11. Did you connect with one character over the others? Who and why?

12. Did you have a favorite scene or part of the book? Which?

13. What are the most important themes in the novel to you? What makes you say that?

14. What was satisfying about the end? What wasn’t? Why?

15. What is the larger point about women’s relationships the author was trying to convey?

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