Thank you for choosing The Green Velvet Dress for your book club.
In writing this, my first novel, I wanted to show the situation for women in Australian society before Germain Greer and the contraceptive pill changed our lives so dramatically. My story deals with the passage from youth to adulthood – leaving home, being independent and responsible, coping with a whole new world of people and situations, and falling in love.
The Green Velvet Dress is fictionalised social history. Jennifer’s classroom situations are based on my own teaching experiences in a little country town near the southern coast of Western Australia in 1961. The characters and events are fiction but the story is true to the way of life in that time and place.
1: What genre best describes the story?
2: Characters – What did you think of Jennifer? What of her relationships with her family and with the Karriton community? Apart from her career, what problems did Jennifer have to deal with? Did she grow up and if so, in what ways?
What did you think of the two main male characters? Did you have a favourite character apart from Jennifer? Discuss some of the other characters.
3: Teaching – What did you think of the portrayal of teaching in 1961? How has today’s classroom changed?
4: Women’s Role in Society – What was expected and permitted for women then? How has the role of women changed and what has brought about these changes? How do you think Jennifer’s life would be different in today’s world?
5: What did you think of the portrayal of country life in the story? Discuss the differences between city and country as shown in the story.
6: Were the characters and the events real for you? If so, what was it about the writing that brought them to life? Was it the dialogue, the details about appearances, or something else? Discuss the little things that drew you into the story.
7: The ending has given rise to plenty of discussion. What did you think of it?
8: Would you recommend The Green Velvet Dress to other readers? Is it a good choice for book clubs? If you answer yes to one or both questions, I will appreciate your assistance in promoting it to friends and writing your comments here or a favourable review on amazon.com books
Enjoy your discussion. I’m always keen to know what readers think of my book