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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 literary debut set in Malaysia exploring family relationships, love and war

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