Shine Shine Shine (Netzer) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. Is Emma a good mother?

2. What might Sunny's life have been like if she had never gotten pregnant, and therefore never felt the need to put on the wig?

3. Was Sunny culpable for Paul Mann's death?

4. Do you agree with Rache that everyone has their baldness, or do you think those perfect housewives actually exist?

5. Perhaps Maxon was better off without his dad, but do you think Sunny was negatively affected by growing up without a father?

6. If you wrote a letter to your child, to be read only after your death, what would it say?

7. The book suggests that raising any child is like programming a robot, with scripted replies, ritual behaviors, and reinforced responses. Do you agree?

8. Emma did not want Sunny to marry Maxon. Why? And was she right?

9. Do you think that Sunny seriously considered Les Weathers as a replacement for Maxon, if he should die?

10. Where would you prefer to live: the perfect house in a respectable neighborhood in a historic city, or a strange farmhouse in the wilds of an eccentric rural county?

11. What changes have you made to fit in to a new role you've taken on, whether it's parenthood, a new job, or a marriage?

12. Do you think that motherhood fundamentally changes a woman, or do you think it's possible to hold on to the person you were before kids?

13. Why did Emma bring Sunny back to America?

14. How is Maxon flawed as a husband? How is he a good spouse?

15. Could there be someone better for Maxon than Sunny?

16. In her worry that marrying Maxon would ruin Sunny, should Emma have wonder if marrying Sunny would be the best thing for him?

17. Is it Maxon's fault that Bubber is the way he is?

18. Did Sunny make the right decision in taking Bubber out of his special school and off his medications?

19. How does a woman's relationship with her mother change when she becomes a mother herself?

20. Sunny felt she had to let her mother's ship fall past the horizon before her own could set sail. Can a woman truly become "the mother" while her own mother is alive?

21. Although Sunny's mother Emma was the epitome of acceptance, and encouraged her to go without a wig while she was growing up, why do you think Sunny started wearing them?

22. Why did Emma turn her husband in to the communists when they lived in Burma, and was this revelation necessary for the plot and coherence of the book?

23. In pages 291-293 of the book, during Sunny's labor with Bubber, she at first thinks she overhears her mother and Maxon having a conversation about Maxon going to the moon, but later Sunny thinks she must have made up the conversation. Do you think this conversation did occur? Why or why not? If you think it did occur what do you think motivated Sunny's mother to make the suggestion to Maxon that he complete his mission to the moon?

24. How is Sunny's decision to abandon her wig after her car accident related to her decision to take Bubber off of his medication?

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