MLA Platinum Award Press Release

Reading guide for Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin

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

Alice I Have Been

by Melanie Benjamin

Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin X
Alice I Have Been by Melanie Benjamin
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2010, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2011, 368 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers
Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

About This Guide

Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole–and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

The questions and discussion topics that follow are intended to enhance your reading of Melanie Benjamin's Alice I Have Been.

Reader's Guide

  1. What social forces motivate each of the characters to deny Dodgson's inappropriate attention to Alice?
  2. Alice became famous through no fault of her own.  Can you come up with a modern day version of Alice?   How do their lives compare?
  3. Alice refuses to read Alice in Wonderland until she is well into her eighties. Why do you think she avoids reading the story she inspired?
  4. The relationships between Alice and her sisters Ina and Edith range from rivalry to a life-long bond.  What effects do these have on Alice, and what are the consequences?
  5. What part of the book speaks to you and your experiences in life?
  6. How does Benjamin take both the reader and Alice from ignorance and denial to the self-realization of her complicity in the ruptured friendship with Rev. Dodgson?  Is this believable?
  7. While Alice's sister lies dying, Mama asks Alice "Why couldn't it be you?  You've never brought me anything but pain, while she has brought me nothing but joy".  What kind of effect do you think this has on Alice for the rest of her life? Did it affect the way Alice thought of her own children?
  8. The photos Lewis Carroll (or the Rev. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) took of Alice Liddell capture a look that can be described as wise beyond her years - what do you think is behind that look?
  9. How much did the Victorian setting play a role in this book?
  10. Before reading Benjamin's novel, had you already read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland? If so, does it make you want to read it again? Why or why not?
  11. What do you think of an author writing a biographical novel using only notes and references and filling in the gaps with intelligent supposition?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Bantam 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" articles
  • 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 $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Join Now!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Flight Portfolio
    by Julie Orringer
    At once a sweeping historical narrative, an insightful character study and a tender romance, Julie ...
  • Book Jacket: The Color of Air
    The Color of Air
    by Gail Tsukiyama
    Daniel was raised in Hilo, Hawaii by Japanese immigrant parents. Having traveled to the U.S. ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Volunteer
    by Jack Fairweather
    Though many found The Volunteer a challenging read, First Impressions responses were overwhelmingly ...
  • Book Jacket: The Last Flight
    The Last Flight
    by Julie Clark
    Julie Clark's second novel, The Last Flight, is the tale of two women, each desperate to escape an ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    He Started It
    by Samantha Downing

    A new thriller from the twisted mind behind the mega hit My Lovely Wife.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Hieroglyphics
    by Jill McCorkle

    A mesmerizing novel about piecing together the hieroglyphics of history and memory.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Beekeeper of Aleppo
by Christy Lefteri

This moving, intimate, and beautifully written novel puts human faces on the Syrian war.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Every Bone a Prayer

Everybone a Prayer by Ashley Blooms

A beautifully honest exploration of healing and of hope.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T Real M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.