This reading group guide for Dreaming in French includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
QUESTIONS AND TOPICS FOR DISCUSSION
1. Why did Frank and Astrid move to Paris? Is the city a natural fit for them? Do they consider France their “home”?
2. In a novel filled with expatriates, what does nationality mean to each of them? Do the main characters consider themselves French, American, both, or neither?
3. Why does a teenaged Charlotte cling so closely to her mother? Are they too close for Charlotte’s own good? In one way or another, was she always afraid of losing Astrid?
4. Why do Charlotte and Lea call their parents by their first names?
5. “I didn’t trust perfection. That was why I fell in love with boys like Patrice and not Serge” (page 75). Why doesn’t Charlotte trust perfection? Are her choices in men consistent throughout the novel?
6. Which characters truly care about the political struggles happening in other countries? Is Charlotte aware of the world around her? Is Lea? Maybelle? Grace?
7. Maybelle tells Charlotte, “You and me, we’re worker bees.” (p. 84) How do they