Reading Guide Questions
Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
- What does the title mean, and who are the Desirable Daughters in this story?
- What do you learn about Tara and her family through the ancient story of Tara Lata Gangooly?
- Examine what Tara means when she says she is "exploring the making of a consciousness. . . . No. Yours." (page 5) Discuss whether or not this is a central theme of the book, and why.
- When do you begin to doubt "Chris Dey's" story and why is Tara dismissive of her sister Parvati's take on it?
- Why is Andy so off base about Chris Dey and Bish more responsive?
- Explore why Didi, who as a child eschewed her family and culture, leads a traditional Bengali life in New Jersey?
- On page 33, look at the paragraph beginning "Bengali culture. . . ." Discuss the idea that the narrator is also describing an essential dilemma of cultures.
- Look at the Tennyson poem on page 132. What does it mean - on its own and in the story?
- Why are there so many houses prominently featured throughout the story, and what is symbolic about Tara's home being destroyed?
- Why does Tara say to Rabi, "remember, this is a miracle"? (page 310)
Copyright © 2001 by Bharati Mukherjee. All Rights Reserved.
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Hyperion.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.