Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- Tim Winton is known for crafting highly evocative settings. Discuss the landscape of Fremantle and the grit of Blackboy Crescent, the street where Tom Keely's earliest memories were formed.
- How do the novel's locales affect the way the characters see themselves?
- Discuss the title and its reference to an elevated bird's nest or other secluded perch. What does Keely see from the eyrie of his apartment, and in the eyrie of his mind? What sort of eyrie is he
able to provide for Gemma and Kai?
- What does the novel say about the nature of evildoers such as Stewie and Clappy? Is addiction a cause or a symptom (or both) of the anguish experienced in their community?
- Why has Keely been drawn to the natural world all his life? Which healing aspects of nature can he impart to Kai?
- How is Keely affected by the memory of his biker-evangelist dad? What enabled Doris and Nev to become the safe haven for the Buck children? ultimately, what makes for good parenting in Eyrie?
- How does faith (religious or otherwise) play out in Eyrie? What motivates Keely to launch a duel between the dollar sign and the cross?
- Discuss the role of money and commerce in communities like Fremantle. What determines who will struggle to survive and who will thrive? Who are the characters who have power in this
world? Who are the most vulnerable characters?
- How does Keely's relationship with Gemma compare to his marriage to Harriet?
- Beginning with Bunker's abuse of her when she was a child, what did Gemma learn to expect from men? As she begins to trust Keely, how do her needs change?
- What brings Kai the greatest comfort? How does Keely transform his understanding of love?
- When Keely thinks about his status as an outcast within the environmental movement, is he realistic when he sees no future for his career? Has he truly run out of ways to save the land he loves,
or is he simply unable to see his own value? Have you ever stood at a similar crossroads?
- What accounts for the differences between Keely and his sister, faith? In what ways is he more successful than she is?
- How does Eyrie enhance your experience of Tim Winton's other novels? What is unique about his approach to human hardship and solace?
- Is there a Gemma in your childhood memoriessomeone you'd want to reconnect with because you share a powerful past?
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Farrar, Straus & Giroux.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.