This reading group guide for Love in the Years of Lunacy 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.
Set in the Kings Cross neighborhood of Sydney in 1942, Love in the Years of Lunacy
is a war-torn tale of love and jazz. Pearl, just shy of her eighteenth birthday, is the impetuous daughter of showbiz musicians. She plays saxophone in an all-girl jazz band at the Trocadero and occasionally sits in on underground gigs with her twin brother Martin, who also plays the sax. When the enlisted American G.I. James Washington breezes into the Booker T. Washington Club one night and brings down the house with his tenor sax solo, Pearl is hooked. Their budding romance unfolds against the blacked-out nights and rumorfilled days of a city in the grip of war. In the face of mid-century attitudes about race and gender, and the looming threat of the Japanese, this is the story of two young musicians in love, and their struggle to stay together against increasingly unlikely odds. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. The book’s title draws on Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s novel Love in the Time of Cholera
, also about a young