Reading guide for When I Lived In Modern Times by Linda Grant

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

When I Lived In Modern Times

by Linda Grant

When I Lived In Modern Times
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2001, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2002, 272 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

TOPICS AND QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
  1. The following are intended to enrich your conversation and help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for approaching this novel.

    Discuss the idea, as reflected in the title, of the past being more modern than the present.
  2. The novel opens with the words "When I look back I see myself at twenty, I was at an age when anything seemed possible." How different, if at all, would this novel been if Evelyn had been twenty-five? Thirty-five?
  3. How is art in its many forms, including music, painting, and architecture, used to express the concept of modernity in this book?
  4. What are possible motives for Evelyn's "Uncle Joe" to arrange her emigration to Palestine?
  5. Evelyn's life—both in England and Palestine—is shaped by four very different men. Discuss the viewpoints of Palestine as shown in the characters of "Uncle Joe," Meier, Johnny, and Herr Blum.
  6. How alike or different are Evelyn's encounters with anti-Semitism in England and in Palestine?
  7. Mid-novel, Evelyn states that she "discovered there are two countries called Palestine." Do you agree, and if so, what are the two?
  8. How do the people she meets and her experiences change Evelyn: in England, at the kibbutz, en route to Tel Aviv, and in Tel Aviv?
  9. On page 180, Evelyn says that "Because I was English and not American, came from a place with a continuous past, I did not understand then that when immigrants settle, they try to rebuild the land of their origins." Do you agree with Evelyn’s observation?
  10. As the novel draws to a close, the author creates a conversation between the younger and the older Evelyn. The young Evelyn asks the elder "Why are you so interested in the past? It's the future that counts," to which the elder replies, "The past is everything. You'll see." Both in the context of the novel and out of it, which Evelyn do you agree with?


Reproduced with the permission of Dutton, a division of Penguin Putnam.

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Plume. 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: A Great Reckoning
    A Great Reckoning
    by Louise Penny
    Canadian author Louise Penny is back with her twelfth entry in the Chief Inspector Armand Gamache ...
  • Book Jacket: Homegoing
    Homegoing
    by Yaa Gyasi
    It's all very well to challenge people to be the masters of their own destiny, but when you&#...
  • Book Jacket: When Breath Becomes Air
    When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    When Breath Becomes Air is the autobiography of Paul Kalanithi, written in the time period between ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Who Said...

When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay:
$400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.