> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  15 January 2021


Fragile Monsters book club notes

Sweep your book club off to Malaysia with this spellbinding novel of war and family betrayal.

What happens when secrets fester through the generations? What happened to Durga's mother after she gave birth? Why did so many of their family members disappear during the war? And who is to blame for the childhood tragedy that haunts Durga? Ponder these questions as you read Catherine Menon's Fragile Monsters, then use the discussion points below to get the conversation started.

Discussion points and questions:

  • The characters in Fragile Monsters are captivating but often behave very badly. Did the characters’ bad behaviour, these ‘fragile monsters’, make the novel more or less compelling?
  • How do you think the author manages to draw out the reader’s sympathy for her characters?
  • Malaysia in the Second World War is a fascinating and vital part of 20th century history. What effect did the real historical backdrop have on your reading of the novel?
  • The landscape is so richly evoked in Fragile Monsters. What part do you think the heat, the floods, the mud play in the novel?
  • What did you think happened in the end (no spoilers!)?

Fragile Monsters Catherine Menon

A spellbinding novel of war and family betrayal set in Malaysia - The God of Small Things for our century

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Book clubs
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot book club notes

A tale of extraordinary friendship and a lifetime of stories to share with your book club pals.

Book clubs
Thursday Murder Club book club notes

A classic whodunit for the most perceptive reading groups.

Book clubs
The Champagne War book club notes

Sweep your book club off to the sun-kissed vineyards of rural France.

Book clubs
The Secrets We Kept book club notes

Two female spies, a banned masterpiece, a book that changed history... The Secrets We Kept is perfect for book club.

Book clubs
Star-crossed book club notes

The stars have aligned for your next book club hit.

Richard Flanagan Q&A

The Booker Prize winning author answers our questions about his strangely beautiful story about hope and love and orange-bellied parrots: The Living Sea of Waking Dreams.

Twenty insights: twenty years as an author

2020 marks Monica McInerney’s 20th year as a published author. Here she offers 20 memories and observations on her writing career.

Researching and writing The Godmothers

Monica McInerney on the family secrets, overseas trips and strange times that shaped her heartwarming new novel.

A Champagne sojourn

Fiona McIntosh shares five surprising facts she learned while researching The Champagne War.

Lisa Jewell Q&A

The bestselling author on thrilling reads and the things that scare her.

Jonathan Kellerman Q&A

The bestselling master of suspense reveals why he swapped psychology for crime writing.

The magic powers of toys

Robert Dinsdale, author of The Toymakers, on the instinct of kindness and the power of toys.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes