Reading guide for The Bone Vault by Linda Fairstein

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

The Bone Vault

by Linda Fairstein

The Bone Vault by Linda Fairstein X
The Bone Vault by Linda Fairstein
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2003, 400 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2004, 528 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. THE BONE VAULT opens with Alexandra Cooper returning from the morgue and closes with her discovering a controversial collection of bones deep in the Museum of Natural History. How are these two outwardly dissimilar bone vaults linked thematically?

  2. The investigation into Katrina Grooten's murder takes Alex through the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cloisters, and the Natural History museum. What do these museums have in common, and how is each distinct?

  3. Alex says that she feels fortunate that her boyfriend Jake Tyler's unpredictable schedule helps him understand the demands of her own profession. But what are the drawbacks to this type of relationship? Do her concerns that Jake is leaking information about her cases point to larger issues between them?

  4. Do you think that Alex made the right call in taking a tough stand with Angel Alfieri? What kind of person does it take to be able to make those kinds of judgment calls every day?

  5. What are Alex and Mike Chapman's favorite rooms of the Met, and what do their choices tell us about them?

  6. Alex's stalker, Shirley Danzig, has followed her from THE DEAD HOUSE to this novel. What does Shirley's presence add to this story? Why do you think that Alex waited so long to tell Chapman that Shirley was back in her life?

  7. Alex wants to know as many personal details as possible about the victims she encounters, while Chapman doesn't want to know the deceased any better than the facts force him to. What do their investigative styles say about them? Is either approach better than the other?

  8. Hiram Bellinger, a curator at the Cloisters, tells Alex and Chapman, "If you're going to work in a museum, get used to the fact that most of what you see has been stolen from beneath someone's nose" (p. 172). Were you surprised to learn this? How accurate do you think this statement is?

  9. Similarly, Pierre Thibodaux argues that the Taliban's destruction of the giant Bamiyan Buddhas in 2001 justifies the museum's history of smuggling art away from the lands where it was created. Do you agree that some works of art are better off in the hands of curators half the globe away?

  10. Although Alex welcomes Chapman's new girlfriend with open arms, she admits to herself that she feels a little jealous of Val's happiness. What, in particular, do you think she envies?

  11. Joan confides to Alex that she doesn't think that Jake is "the one." Do you agree?

  12. Did you think it was important for Linda Fairstein to address the events of September 11th in this novel? How did the attack affect her characters? Why was Chapman able to open up about the experience only to Alex?

  13. Ultimately, do you think that the bones that the museum holds should, when possible, be given back to the families and lands from which they were taken, or do you think that they now belong to the museum?
     



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

Join BookBrowse

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

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Dutch House
    by Ann Patchett

    The Dutch House is my introduction to Ann Patchett, which, after reading it, surprises me. I had ...

  • Book Jacket: Nights When Nothing Happened
    Nights When Nothing Happened
    by Simon Han
    A quiet atmosphere of dread permeates Simon Han's subdued debut novel Nights When Nothing Happened. ...
  • Book Jacket: Take It Back
    Take It Back
    by Kia Abdullah
    In Kia Abdullah's novel Take It Back, sexual violence advisor Zara Kaleel becomes involved in a case...
  • Book Jacket: Dark, Salt, Clear
    Dark, Salt, Clear
    by Lamorna Ash
    Named after Lamorna Cove in her mother's rural home county of Cornwall (located in southwestern ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Fortunate Ones
    by Ed Tarkington

    An engrossing story of class, love, and loyalty for fans of Kevin Wilson's Nothing to See Here.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    The Mystery of Mrs. Christie
    by Marie Benedict

    The real-life disappearance of Agatha Christie is perhaps her greatest mystery of all.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
Waiting for the Night Song
by Julie Carrick Dalton
A startling and timely debut about friendships forged in childhood and ruptured by the high price of secrets.
Win This Book!
Win The House on Vesper Sands

The House on Vesper Sands by Paraic O'Donnell

Introducing a detective duo for the ages who unlock the secrets of a startling Victorian mystery.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T T T Light F

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.