Last Updated on June 21, 2023 by Louisa
The Giver of Stars is an engaging and inspiring novel and the ideal book to read in a book club. Come prepared for the next book club meeting with these book club questions for Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes.
Set in Depression-era America, this moving story follows a group of women who defy tradition and expectations to bring books and literacy to the rural communities of Kentucky.
It explores topics like gender roles, friendship, the power of education, and more, making it an ideal novel to read with a group of literary enthusiasts in a book club setting.
In this guide, I’ve compiled a list of The Giver of Stars book club questions that will help guide your discussion and delve deeper into the themes and characters of this heartwarming novel.
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Synopsis of The Giver of Stars
The Giver of Stars is a thought-provoking and powerful book about female horseback librarians in the Depression era of Kentucky.
They traveled from town to town delivering books to those in need. It follows the main character, Alice Wright, a British woman who hopes to start over with her handsome American husband, Bennett Van Cleve.
But small-town Kentucky is a far cry from England and it quickly provides its challenges, including living with her overbearing father-in-law.
Finding an escape from home, she follows a team of women delivering books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s traveling library. With her new friend, Margery, and three other singular women, they become the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.
Based on a true story, it’s a novel about sisterhood, finding love in unlikely places, and finding our place in the world.
Please note that the questions below contain spoilers of the book.
Generic Book Club Questions for The Giver of Stars
Let’s begin the list with some generic questions to get the ball rolling. These book club questions for The Giver of Stars are designed to encourage every member of your group to say something about the book.
Perhaps you have a shy member of the group or a newbie? These will help give them the confidence to speak up.
- What were your initial thoughts on the book? Did you enjoy it?
- What were your expectations before reading Giver of Stars? Did it meet them or exceed them?
- The Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky were real, did you know this was based on true events before reading? What did you know about the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky before reading?
- How did Giver of Stars make you feel?
- The Giver of Stars was set during Depression-era Kentucky, did the novel feel authentic to you?
- Were there any characters that you felt you can relate to in any way?
- Which was the most interesting scene in the book, in your opinion?
- What do you think happens to Alice going forward? What’s next?
- What are the key principles you have learned from the book? What have you taken away from the story?
The Giver of Stars Discussion Questions
After finishing up with small talk, it’s time to dive into a more meaningful and profound conversation.
To help steer your book club discussion in the right direction, we’ve put together some thought-provoking questions about Giver of Stars that I highly recommend you address.
- How did you feel once you finished?
- Alice is an outsider but soon learns to like her new home. What do you think was the turning point for her? Where did she start to feel at home?
- Did this story make you feel differently about your own life? Why or why not?
- Which of the five members of the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky did you enjoy the most? Why? Do you relate to any of the characters?
- Did you ever wish a character had made different decisions? When and what could he/she have done differently?
- Why do you think Alice married Bennett? What kind of life do you think she expected?
- Why was it so important for these women to share books with rural residents? Why them in particular?
- What was your reaction when Margery went to jail?
- Let’s talk about Margery and Sven. They clearly love each other, but Margery refuses to marry him. Why do you think this is?
Educated Book Club Questions for The Giver of Stars
If you’re looking to explore the book’s philosophy and discover its hidden messages, these educated book club questions for The Giver of Stars should be bought up at any book club meeting.
- Let’s discuss the themes of women’s literacy and censorship in this novel. Why do you think it was important for the author to write about these themes? What do we learn from the novel?
- Why do you think Alice felt like an outsider?
- In Giver of Stars, the acquisition of knowledge has the power to change a person’s life. Why do you think reading was so important in this era?
- What about our own era? If this book was set today, how would it be different?
- This book was set in the 1930s when men and women were divided into gender roles. These women challenges those roles and eventually proved to be a powerful force. Do you think it was easy for these women to make the decision to go on this quest? What implications do you think they met that weren’t mentioned in the book?
- As well to gender inequality, this book has themes of class inequality. What did you learn about the position of class in the depression era?
- What do you think Jojo Moyes meant when she wrote: “That some things are a gift, even if you don’t get to keep them.”
5 Suggestions for What to Read Next
Now you have a list of The Giver of Stars book club questions for your book club meeting, it’s time to plan the next one.
Here are some suggestions for what to read next.
1. The Vanishing Half – Britt Bennett
Another book about sisterhood is The Vanishing Half, which is about two black twins who live in a small town community. When they see an opportunity to escape their lives at 16, they run away from home and end up having very different lives.
Stella and Desiree have not had it easy after their father was murdered by white people and was never bought to justice.
Now as adults, they have very different perspectives on life. One lives with her husband and poses as a white woman, keeping her former life a lie.
The other returns back to their hometown and comes face to face with her past.
It is a heartfelt, powerful book about prejudice, finding one’s true self, and sisterhood.
Related post: The Vanishing Half Book Club Questions
2. The Midnight Library – Matt Haig
For something deeply profound, consider The Midnight Library, a multi-award-winning novel by Matt Haig about a woman who suffers from low mental health, and gets to see what life would be like had she made different choices in the past.
I loved this book so much and highly recommend it to anyone that might underestimate the importance of thinking on the bright side of life, and appreciating what you have.
When the protagonist Nora decides to end her life, she is taken to a place called The Midnight Library where she can choose a book, which has thousands of books about her life but with one thing different.
As she begins to read each book, she sees a different future each time. Each is beautiful and terrible in its own way…
This is a deep and meaningful book on a touchy subject, but Haig has written it with sincerity and deep emotion.
Related post: The Midnight Library Book Club Questions
3. Verity – Colleen Hoover
For something more pyschological and thought-provoking, consider reading the international sensation, Verity, written by New York Times Bestseller, Colleen Hoover.
The story follows Lowen Ashleigh, a struggling writer facing tough financial times and Jeremy Crawford – known for his bestselling author wife Verity – offers her the job of a lifetime.
Lowen reluctantly accepts the task of completing Verity Crawford’s unfinished book while she’s away due to injury.
When Lowen arrives at their home to go through Verity’s notes, she stumbles across her half-written autobiography which reveals a truth that could destroy Jeremy’s family life if he ever found out.
Despite feeling tempted to share this shocking discovery, Lowen respects Verity’s wishes and keeps them concealed from Jeremy.
She knows it will be impossible for him to keep loving his wife once he learns this information.
Related post: Verity Book Club Questions
4. The Henna Artist – Alka Joshi
For another story about adapting to the modern world, consider reading The Henna Artist next. The story is a vivid portrait of one woman’s struggle to find fulfillment in life, in a society that’s transitioning from traditional to modern.
Lakshmi is seventeen years old and already married. She finds a way to escape her abusive marriage and travels to the vibrant city of Jaipur. Set in the 1950s, she is living in a society where technology is starting to boom.
Fortunately, Lakshmi makes a living as a henna artist, and confidante, to the wealthy upper-class women.
But amongst all the gossip, she must tread carefully in order to not have her own secrets come out, and her reputation destroyed.
She dreams of an independent life until one day she is confronted by her husband, who tracks her down with a sister she never knew she had. Suddenly things are going to get complicated.
5. The Dictionary of Lost Words – Pip Williams
Perhaps one of the most popular book club books to read is The Dictionary Of Lost Words.
Set in 1901, this is the story of how a girl stole the word ‘Bondmaid’ from the Oxford English Dictionary.
Esme grew up spending her childhood in the ‘Scriptorium’, a shed in Oxford where a team of lexicographers, and her father, were collecting words for the very first Oxford English Dictionary.
In order to not be seen or heard, she must lie under the sorting table and keep out of the way. One day, a piece of paper with the word ‘bondmaid’ falls to the floor.
Esme takes the paper and hides it in a box. She then begins to collect other words from the Scriptorium that are either misplaced, discarded, or neglected.
Over time, Esme realizes some words are deemed more important than others, and the words that related to women’s experiences were left unrecorded.
While she collects words for the Oxford English Dictionary, in secret, she starts collecting for another dictionary: The Dictionary of Lost Words.
Final Word on Giver of Stars Book Club Questions
I hope these book club discussion questions for The Giver of Stars have provided you with some valuable insights and perspectives.
Moyes’ novel offers a captivating glimpse into a unique period in American history while also exploring timeless themes of friendship, courage, and the transformative power of education.
I encourage you to take your time and reflect on the thought-provoking questions I’ve shared, and to let the conversation flow naturally during your book club meeting.
Remember to keep an open mind and be respectful of everyone’s opinions, as that’s what makes book clubs so enjoyable and fulfilling.
If you have any other thoughts or questions about The Giver of Stars, please don’t hesitate to share them with us in the comments section below.