Reading guide for Family and Other Accidents by Shari Goldhagen

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Family and Other Accidents

By Shari Goldhagen

Family and Other Accidents
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Apr 2006,
    272 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2006,
    272 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. What do you imagine the relationship between Connor and Jack was like when both of their parents were alive? What about when only their mother was alive?
  2. What does this title mean? What "accidents" happen, and do you agree that they are accidents? Or are Jack and Connor fully in control of their destinies regardless of their pasts?
  3. Where do you think the climax of the novel occurs and why? Do Jack and Connor ever reach any understandings about each other? If so, what might some of those understandings be?
  4. What motivates Jack's and Connor's infidelities? Are those motivations the same or different?
  5. What effect does the irregular passage of time between chapters have on the plot? Why did the author write it this way instead of in a straightforward, linear way? Similarly, what effect do the multiple narrators have on the movement of the plot?
  6. Jack and Connor view themselves as very different people, but in what ways are they more similar than they think? In what ways are they truly different?
  7. By the end of the novel, Jack and Connor have one son and two daughters, respectively. In what ways does the next generation of Reeds carry on the family traditions and the characteristics of their parents?
  8. The author gives Mona, Laine, and Kathy the opportunity to narrate chapters and give their perspectives. How do the narrative, plot, and perspectives differ from Jack's and Connor's when the women are given the narrative power?
  9. How do you think that Mona and Laine feel about each other? About the other's marriage?
  10. What changes Jorie's perspective at the end of the novel? Is it just fear or a genuine maturing? Can you speculate on what happens in each of the other characters' lives after the last page of the novel?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Broadway Books. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Arsonist
by Sue Miller

Published Jun. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  167The City:
    Dean Koontz
  2.  103Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.