Mrs. (Macy) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. The last line of Kirkus Reviews coverage of Caitlin Macy's Mrs. (see "Book Reviews" above) says, "Reading this sharply observed novel about New York's wealthier denizens is doubtless more enjoyable than it would be to actually join their crowd." What do think? Would you take the chance ... or give them all a wide berth.

2. Talk about the three women characters at the heart of the novel: Philippa, Gwen, and Minnie. Describe their differences from one another in terms of personality, social standing, backgrounds, and interests. Do you identify, or at least sympathize with any one in particular? If so, who and why? Or if none, why so?

3. Why the book's title Mrs—and why, other than Philippa, are the women referred to as "Mrs"?

4. From outside of this exclusive coterie of women, each appears to be seamlessly integrated into the same class. On closer examination, though, all is not right. There seems to be a fair amount of class consciousness. What aggravates the group's cohesiveness? What are the class distinctions within the class?

5. Discuss the three marriages. Do any strain credulity?

6. In the novel, how does class affect parenting?

7. Talk about how the author skewers the wealthy: the way they talk about their vacations, the food they feed (or don't feed) their children, the nannies, the clothes—their overall sense of entitlement.

8. Reviewers have pointed to the array of minor characters who serve as a modern-day Greek Chorus, observing and commenting (through chatter and gossip) on the action and personalities. What do we learn from them?

9. Does the social milieu of St.Timothy moms remind you of … say, high school?

10. Has this novel left you admiring the ultra-wealthy for their hard work, intelligence, and ambition? How about envying them?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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