Adele (Slimani) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. On page 121, Slimani writes of Adele, "She understood that desire was unimportant." What do you think this means? Why does Adele feel so compelled to have sex with different men?

2. Did your opinion of Adele change when you learned more about her relationship with her mother?

3. Every so often, it seems that Adele is going to turn over a new leaf. For example, on page 48, Slimani writes, "She is going to clean up her life. One by one, she is going to jettison her anxieties. She is going to do her duty." Do you think she really wants to get better? Do you think she ever will?

4. Was Richard right to try to create a sense of routine and security for Adele toward the end of the novel? What would you have done in his place?

5. How did you interpret the novel’s ending? Do you think Adele will come back?

6. Did you feel sympathy for Adele? What about for Richard?

7. Slimani has said that this novel was loosely based on the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a French politician and former managing director of the International Monetary Fund who said that he was suffering from sex addiction after being charged with sexual assault in 2011. What do you think of Slimani’s decision to make the main character a woman?

8. Slimani’s first novel, The Perfect Nanny, was about a seemingly flawless nanny who ended up killing her two young charges. If you read The Perfect Nanny, did you notice any similarities between the two novels?
(Questions issued by the publisher.)

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