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 by Linda Grant X
When I Lived In Modern Times by Linda Grant
  • 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.


Book Club Report

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!

Editor's Choice

  • 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 Jacket: Waiting for Eden
    Waiting for Eden
    by Elliot Ackerman
    Elliot Ackerman's latest novel, Waiting for Eden, follows Marine Eden Malcom as his death ...

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

    Paris Echo
    by Sebastian Faulks

    A story of resistance, complicity, and an unlikely, transformative friendship.
    Reader Reviews

  • 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

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.