Reading guide for Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran

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

Lucky Boy

by Shanthi Sekaran

Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran X
Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2017, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Sharry Wright

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The narrative alternates between Soli and Kavya. Did you relate to one woman more than the other? If so, why?
  2. Soli travels to America riding on La Bestia, while Kavya's family arrived by more traditional means. How does this novel portray privileged versus unprivileged immigration? Do you feel differently about immigration after reading the book?
  3. Kavya would be the first to admit she did not live the life her parents pictured for her. How do the expectations of her parents shape her character? Does Kavya's love for Iggy change her understanding of heritage? Does it change her husband's and parents' understanding of heritage?
  4. Is Silvia a good role model for Soli? Why or why not? Is Silvia's one big lie forgivable?
  5. Discuss how the novel explores motherhood. What are some key differences between the way Soli thinks of motherhood and the way Kavya does? In what ways is motherhood the same for both women?
  6. When Rishi is asked if he wants a child, he thinks, "Children had seemed like a project planted permanently in the future. A certainty about which he never thought he'd be asked. Had anyone asked his own father if he'd wanted a baby?" (p. 54). How does the novel portray fatherhood? Is it different from motherhood? Do you think men plan for children differently than women do?
  7. Discuss how Lucky Boy addresses the classic idea of the American dream. Is the American dream still attainable? Has it changed?
  8. After giving birth to Nacho, Soli thinks, "I'm a mother in Berkeley, but I'm no Berkeley mother" (p. 188). What do you think she means?
  9. As Soli plans to become a housekeeper in California, she remembers her father telling her that "servitude lives in the heart" (p. 63). How does the novel portray class stratification? Does race play a role in these class divides?
  10. From Santa Clara Popocalco to Berkeley, the Weebies campus, and Silicon Valley, the novel paints a vivid portrait of the West. How does this setting shape the novel? Would the story be different if it was set elsewhere in America?
  11. Were you shocked by how Soli was treated in immigrant detention? Why or why not?
  12. Kavya reasons with herself: "Why did people love children who were born to other people? For the same reason they lived in Berkeley, knowing the Big One was coming: because it was a beautiful place to be, and because there was no way to fathom the length or quality of life left to anyone, and because there was no point running from earthquakes into tornadoes, blizzards, terrorist attacks. Because destruction waited around every corner, and turning one corner would only lead to another" (p. 350). Do you agree with Kavya's decision to fight to keep Iggy? Why or why not? Have you ever made a decision you knew might hurt down the line? What about a decision you knew others might not understand?
  13. How did you feel about the ending? Were you surprised? Do you think Soli should have made a different choice?


Book Club Report

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of G.P. Putnam's Sons. 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!

Beyond the Book:
  Grupos Beta

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    And The Ocean Was Our Sky
    by Patrick Ness
    Patrick Ness has developed a reputation for experimental literature executed well, and his latest, ...
  • Book Jacket: Let It Bang
    Let It Bang
    by RJ Young
    Every interracial love story is an exercise in complications. R.J. Young and Lizzie Stafford's ...
  • Book Jacket: A Spark of Light
    A Spark of Light
    by Jodi Picoult
    The central premise of A Spark of Light involves a gunman holding hostages within the confines of a ...
  • Book Jacket: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    An Absolutely Remarkable Thing
    by Hank Green
    As one half of the extremely popular YouTube duo "Vlogbrothers" (the other half being his brother ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Kinship of Secrets
    by Eugenia Kim

    Two sisters grow up bound by family but separated by war; inspired by a true story.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Severance

Severance by Ling Ma

An offbeat, wryly funny, apocalyptic satire that is featured on more than twenty 2018 "Must Read" lists!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I Ain't O U T F L S

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.