Reading Group Guide
Dancing With Einstein by Kate Wenner
BOOK GROUP QUESTIONS
1. The title of the novel, Dancing With Einstein, suggests that Einstein might be both a character and a metaphor in the novel. What could be a metaphoric meaning?
2. What does Marea get out of seeing four different therapists at once? How do the different therapies reflect different parts of her character? Or different ways of understanding her world?
3. As a Holocaust survivor, how does Marea's father's history affect his behavior with his family? What legacy does he unwittingly pass on to his daughter? How much of that inheritance is inevitable? Could he have protected his daughter from his despair?
4. Is Marea's estrangement from her mother understandable, or is Marea too tough on her mother?
5. What is the lasting impact of Marea's childhood fears of nuclear war? Why is her fear so lasting? Are children particularly susceptible to these kinds of fears? Why? Are they as susceptible to these fears now as they were when Marea was a child?
6. Marea has traveled the globe for seven years. What do you think drives her to do all that traveling?
7. What does Marea learn from her relationship with the gay baker?
8. Why is Marea drawn to ride the subway? What does she find there? What does it teach her?
9. What allows Marea to confront her fears?
10. Journals are an important part of this novel. How does the discovery of one journal lead to the beginning of another one?
11. How has Marea changed by the end of the novel? Do you think she will now be able to make lasting relationships, or will her fears and doubts forever haunt her?
12. In the end, is Dancing With Einstein a novel of hope or a novel of despair - or possibly both?