This reading group guide for Starting from Scratch includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Susan Gilbert-Collins. 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.
When her mother dies suddenly, just as she is defending her doctoral dissertation, Olivia Tschetter’s world falls apart. Upon returning home she must face her father and three older siblings, who, despite all she’s accomplished, continue to treat her like a child. Through her passion for cooking—a love she had shared with her mother—Olivia finally begins to confront her grief. Along the way she makes both painful and joyous discoveries that change her perspective on herself, her family, and the many lives touched by her mother. Interspersed with delicious recipes, Starting from Scratch
is a funny, bittersweet ode to the power of family bonds and the solace of good food.For Discussion
1. Of all of her siblings, Olivia is closest to Annie, yet they are the farthest apart in age. Do you think their closeness is because of this difference?
2. Conversely, Olivia shows frustration and irritation toward her other two siblings, Ruby and David.