Reading guide for The Paperbark Shoe by Goldie Goldbloom

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

The Paperbark Shoe

A Novel

by Goldie Goldbloom

The Paperbark Shoe
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Paperback:
    Mar 2011, 384 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Guidarini

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

About this Guide
The following author biography and list of questions about The Paperbark Shoe are intended as resources to aid individual readers and book groups who would like to learn more about the author and this book. We hope that this guide will provide you a starting place for discussion, and suggest a variety of perspectives from which you might approach The Paperbark Shoe. Discussion questions have been reprinted courtesy of Fremantle Press.

Discussion Questions

  1. Virginia Toad is an unreliable narrator. In what ways does she reveal this unreliability to us – via accounts of her mental state, her relationship with Antonio, and her relationship with her children?

  2. What is the effect of reading a book where a gap remains between what the narrator tells us and what the reader understands to be happening?

  3. Many of Gin’s qualities are less than likeable. For instance, what kind of mother is she? What difference might it have made to Gin if Joan, her first (and only albino) child, had lived? In what way does the author manage to retain reader sympathy for her narrator?

  4. In what ways is Toad a fitting partner for Gin? Is it surprising they have found eachother? What are the redemptive aspects of his nature? What, ultimately, does the reader feel for him?

  5. What different kinds of forbidden love appear in this novel? What do they tell us about the needs of human beings? What do they reveal about bigotry and censure? Which is worse: to love that which is forbidden, or never to love at all?

  6. How does Antonio invade the defences of Virginia Toad? Is his love a true love? What do you make of his nickname for Gin? How in the end are we to judge him?

  7. What does Gin’s love for Antonio bring her? What does she lose through loving him?

  8. Consider the final sequence (pages 265–280). Does Gin actually visit Italy? Does it matter if this final section ‘really’ takes place or not? What is the importance of the very final scene in which Gin takes the broken ring in her hand?

  9. What does Gin learn in the passage of this final section of the book? Why is it set apart from the rest of the book?

  10. Would this book have been diminished without the final section? And what does the ‘prologue’ on page 9 add to Gin’s tale?

  11. In what ways is this a story that is bound by historical events? In what ways might it speak for all time?

  12. Do you agree that ‘in war, there are no unwounded soldiers’?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Picador. 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
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Romanovs
    The Romanovs
    by Simon Sebag Montefiore
    The Romanovs chronicles the reigns of the 20 individuals who were considered members of that dynasty...
  • Book Jacket: Barkskins
    Barkskins
    by Annie Proulx
    Barkskins, by Annie Proulx, is not a book to read quickly. After a month of slow reading, I ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Marriage of Opposites
    by Alice Hoffman
    Alice Hoffman's latest work, The Marriage of Opposites, is a historical fiction novel focusing on ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Imperial Wife
    by Irina Reyn

    A smart, engaging novel that parallels two fascinating worlds and two singular women.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    All Is Not Forgotten
    by Wendy Walker

    This is fast-paced psychological suspense/thriller at it's very best.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Fair Fight
by Anna Freeman

A page-turning novel set in the world of 18th century female pugilists.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Summer Stunner
Summer Giveaway

Win 5 books, each week in July!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

W M T N, W C F All

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 books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

BookBrowse Summer Giveaway

We're giving away
5 books every
week in July!