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Book Club Reading Questions

Book Club Questions for The Fell by Sarah Moss | WellRead’s December 2021 selection

Book Club Questions for The Fell by Sarah Moss | WellRead’s December 2021 selection

WellRead’s December 2021 selection was The Fell by Sarah Moss. The Fell asks probing questions about the place the world has become since March 2020, and the place it was before. This is a story about compassion and kindness and what we must do to survive by a masterful storyteller who is clear-sighted about what just went down. 

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 The Fell by Sarah Moss: 

  • A Guardian review observed that "much of the impetus for the story comes simply from recognising how humans need to be outside." Consider what 'being outside' means to you on a philosophical level. How was this tested in lockdown?
  • What does the natural world represent in The Fell?
  • Did you judge Kate for leaving her house?
  • In an interview, Moss said of lockdown rhetoric: “It’s also terrifyingly apolitical. If you have to go around being grateful to be alive, then you’re not allowed to demand equal pay, or safety on the streets, or just policing, or anything else. Because you should just be so glad you’re not dead.” Discuss!
  • One of the recurring themes in The Fell is that of empathy – the ability to imagine what life might be like for others when they are under duress, and what happens to us when it is absent. How was this explored in the novel?
  • Was there a character whose interiority read similar to your own? Was there a character you struggled to empathise with?
  • "Epidemiology is particularly interesting to novelists, whose characters imagine themselves autonomous but are in fact patterns in the author’s mind," Moss wrote in a blog post during lockdown. Discuss what the author is intimating here.

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