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Book Club Reading Questions

Book Club Questions for Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny | WellRead’s May 2021 selection

Book Club Questions for Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny | WellRead’s May 2021 selection

WellRead’s May 2021 selection was Early Morning Rise by Katherine Heiny. Heiny has a brilliant capacity for taking the ordinary stuff of everyday life and making it extraordinary. Her astute observations and quirky but oh-so-vivid cast of characters literally make you laugh out loud. As a reader, you’re so consumed with all the laughing and the sheer delight of the story that you hardly realise how seamlessly Heiny steers the novel into moments of seriousness that elevate it to something profound. 

Use these discussion questions to engage with the book further, whether in a book club with friends, or just on your own as you digest the story. 

Reading questions for Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny: 

  • Just about every review we’ve read of Heiny’s work describes how skilled she is at crafting characters readers genuinely feel for. Was this your experience, how do you think she does it so well, and which character did you feel for the most?

  • Did you find the story’s balance of joy and sorrow, love and heartbreak, idleness and activity, humour and seriousness true to life?

  • “She felt a sort of cellular-level sorrow and wondered if she loved more deeply than other people. Or was everyone else just more mature, more rational? More realistic?” Consider Jane’s ruminations and offer your own thoughts.

  • Jimmy is described by many as "slow learning". Do you think this is a fair assessment of his character and in what ways does he prove people wrong?

  • The book raises intriguing questions about the definition of family and how the families we inhabit from birth differ from those we create. How do you define family?

  • A review described the book as having a “deep awareness of the ways the potential for tragedy lies just beneath the surface”. How did you respond to the tragedies in the story and did you sense them coming?

  • What do you think is the relevance of the title?

Please note, these questions were written and distributed in May, 2021.