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Book Club Reading Questions

Book Club Questions for Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan | WellRead’s December 2020 selection

Book Club Questions for Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan | WellRead’s December 2020 selection

WellRead’s December 2020 selection was Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan, a tender and funny, heartbreaking and life-affirming, witty and wise story.

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 Mayflies by Andrew O’Hagan: 

  • Was it just us or were you compelled to crank The Smiths after finishing the book?

  • In the spirit of Tully and Jimmy’s gorgeous friendship, list your top three moments or passages in the book.

  • "They say you know nothing at eighteen. But there are things you know at eighteen that you will never know again.” We adore this quote! What does it mean to you?

  • Did you find the portrayal of male friendship in the book refreshing?

  • “What we had that day was our story. We didn't have the other bit, the future, and we had no way of knowing what that would be like. Perhaps it would change our memory of all this, or perhaps it would draw from it, nobody knew. But I'm sure I felt the story of that hall and how we reached it would never vanish.” Discuss what you think is at the heart of this sentiment.

  • Did the second part of the novel make you reconsider your response to the first?

  • Paraphrasing LP Hartley, Jimmy muses that the past is not only a foreign country, but “a whole other geology”. What do you think, can you ever really know the past?

  • A review said that O’Hagan had created a “life-enhancing novel about death”. How do you think he achieves this and do you agree?
Please note, these questions were written and distributed in December, 2020.