Invite Meryl to Speak at your Book Club
Book Club Discussion Questions
for THE TAKEAWAY MEN
I love book clubs! In fact, I’m a member of two and would join more if I had the time. There’s nothing better than discussing a good book with intelligent and insightful friends. I’ve prepared some sample questions for your group about The Takeaway Men. I am hoping my novel will raise more questions than answers – about history and the present. If your book club is geared to a particular demographic, e.g., Baby Boomers, Children/Grandchildren of Holocaust Survivors, Sisterhood, etc., I will be happy to tailor additional questions and topics of discussion for your particular area of interest. In addition, I would love to interact with your book club, either in person or through Skype.
- The Takeaway Men explores the impact of immigration, identity, prejudice, anti-Semitism, and the shadow of the Holocaust on parents and children in mid-Twentieth Century America. Why do you think these issues still garner so much interest today? Which ones are most important to you?
- What, in your opinion, are the most damaging secrets and lies in the book? Why?
- Did Aron commit a sin, as he believed, or did he have no other choice than to conceal Judy’s identity?
- In the early ‘50s, what were the main cultural and political themes? How did these impact Bronka and JoJo and their parents?
- How did Aron equate Lenore’s arrest by the FBI with his family’s experience in Nazi-occupied Poland? Why was he so upset by the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg?
- Compare and contrast Aron Lubinski and Jakob Zilberman in their approach to their experiences during the Holocaust and their desire to have Jewish children to avenge Hitler.
- What effect did secrecy have on the lives of the twins? On Mindy?
- How do the twins’ differing reactions to the Tiny Tears doll exemplify their fundamental differences?
- How were Bronka and JoJo alike and how were they different?
- Do you think the twins are Jewish girls? What about their mother?
- What do you think about the principal’s reaction to Deborah Cohen telling her class about the Holocaust?
- Was Roy Smith AKA Rudolf Schmidt correct in his justification of his role –- and Jakob’s — at Auschwitz? Why? Why not?
- What effect did Aunt Becky’s mental illness have on the girls? Could Faye have handled her daughter differently?
- Did Judy take too long to tell her daughters about her background?
- Do you think she could have had a different relationship with her husband?
- Was Judy a Righteous Gentile, a practicing Jew or both?
- How do you think the parents’ revelations will affect the family in the long run?
- Why is the little known story of the Kielce Pogrom in 1946 important in the story? Why is it important today?