Our next book group meeting will be Wednesday, April 14th at 1pm. Please pick up a copy of April’s selection “The Colour” and join us in the discussion. We will also be reading and discussing poems in celebration of Poetry Month!
Discussion questions from the publisher:
- Consider the concept of Englishness in the novel, and how you feel Tremain deals with the idea of ‘reassembling’ little pieces of England in New Zealand.
- How does Tremain handle the presence of the Maoris in the novel, in relation to the English people who have descended upon them?
- Many of the characters are driven by the force of escapism, an over-powering urge to leave all that is behind them and find a brave new utopia in New Zealand. Who do you think is most driven by this romantic notion, and is Tremain critical of this in any way?
- Compare Tremain’s treatment and characterisation of the indigenous Maoris, and their desire for greenstone, with that of Joseph’s, and the other gold-diggers, whom she describes as ‘Men like moths, going towards a golden light’ (p148).
- How does the 19th century notion of Goldrush relate to our modern day? Consider whether you can think of any contemporary examples where the Goldrush mentality – and all its social and cultural effects – is still manifest in our society.
- ‘Without desire, nothing is made.’ (p138). How important is this line to the overall story? Consider the concept of desire and the different forms it takes on in the novel.