Imposter Bride (Richler) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. What does the novel suggest about whether families are born or made?

2. Why do you think Lily chose to communicate with her daughter through rocks as opposed to words?

3. There are many secrets in The Imposter Bride, beginning with Lily's true identity. What secrets do other characters keep, and how do you think the secrets ultimately help or hurt their loved ones?

4. Lily attempts to sever her childhood and the difficult years in her homeland completely from her adult life. Is that ever really possible? Is it healthier to leave everything behind?

5. Why do you think Lily went to the home of the relative of the girl whose identity she had stolen?

6. The Imposter Bride shifts time periods and narratives several times, sometimes providing different perspectives of the same event. Are there any characters you wished had revealed more of their own perspective? In what ways does this structure reflect the experience of an individual within a family?

7. Why did some people have to take the identity papers of others at the end of WW2? Why did Lily feel she had to? Do you feel she had to?

8. What purposes were served for her by assuming the identity of another person?

9. Do you feel Lily bore any responsibility in the death of the girl whose identity she stole? Do the demands of morality/moral agency shift or change when a person is in danger or has been victimized?

10. Lily's behavior toward her daughter could be perceived as cold, distant, and uncaring. How do you see her attempts to communicate, and her treatment of Ruth later in life?

11. How do the main characters perceive loyalty? Does the abandonment of a parent affect Ruth's adult relationships?

12. Many of the characters in The Imposter Bride walk the line between selfishness and compassion. What does The Imposter Bride tell you about forgiveness? Do you agree with Ruth's forgiveness of the women in her life?

13. The conclusion of Ruth's relationship with her mother may be unexpected for some readers. Do you think it's realistic? After years of romanticizing her mother, does Ruth find what she was hoping for?

14. How were you affected when Ruth read the letter from her deceased grandmother? The letter from her own mother?

15. Did you find the conclusion satisfying?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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