Frog Music (Donoghue)

Discussion Questions
1. Discuss the title. How do frogs relate to the story?

2.  Frog Music takes place during 1870s San Francisco. How does Donoghue describe the city?

3. How is Frog Music different from other historical fiction you've read recently? Did anything surprise you about the novel?

4. How does Donoghue incorporate lyrics and French references into the book? What do the lyrics and references reveal about the characters and plot? How do they influence the structure and style of the book?

5. Discuss the role of cross-dressing in Frog Music. How does Jenny defy and transcend the social boundaries of 1870s San Francisco?

6. Frog Music features depictions of strong female characters. How are Jenny and Blanche similar? How are they different?

7. Describe the role of motherhood in Frog Music. How does Donoghue depict the role of motherhood during this time period and for specific characters in the book?

8. What roles do secondary characters play in the story? Discuss the role of Arthur. Why does Arthur find Jenny so threatening?

9) What taboos does Emma Donoghue address during Frog Music? Do any of them still exist today?

10. Was Blanche a likeable character? In what ways did you sympathize with her? In what ways could you not relate? In what ways does Blanche have to fight against what she wants in life versus what society expects from her? Discuss.
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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