If your book club is planning on reading Sima and you’d like me to take part in the discussion via phone or skype, drop me a line.
I can’t promise I’ll be able to virtually attend, but I’m always willing to try. (It’s just that when not writing I’m a midwife, and my hours can be, frankly, a little hairy.)
Meanwhile, your group may enjoy the discussion questions below, complements of Penguin.
- Beyond undergarments, what does Sima’s shop provide her community? What does it provide her? Is she aware of this?
- For thirty-five years, Sima’s seen a range of women’s shapes and sizes in her store and because of this, she is far more accepting of women’s varied body types. Do you think women have more body anxiety than men? Why? Do you have any fears or concerns about your own body image? If so, how do you confront them?
- Sima believes that good-fitting bras are the foundation of a good outfit. What item of clothing do you think is indispensable? What item do you think is impossible to find in a perfect fit?
- Not having children created a deep rift in Sima and Lev’s relationship. Did you feel any sympathy for either of them? If so, who and why? Is Sima and Lev’s marriage worth saving?
- Sima, Timna, Lev, and Connie all suffer romantic disappointments. In what ways are their heartaches similar? How do they cope?
- Should Sima have revealed Art’s secret to Connie? What would you have done if you were in her position?
- Compare Sima’s relationship with Connie and her relationship with Timna. How do these friendships develop over the course of the novel?
- Of all of Sima’s worries about Timna-heartbreak, infidelity, pregnancy-which, if any, do you believe were founded?
- Why did Sima keep her secret from Lev for such a long time? Should she have told him sooner? If she did, how do you think he would have reacted?
- What do Timna and Sima learn from each other? What is Timna’s greatest strength? What is Sima’s? Do you have a friend who inspires or teaches you?