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1. Describe middle-sister. She's 18 years old and bookish. What else? She says she prefers 19th century books "because I did not like the 20th century." What does that statement (or any of her others) suggest about her?

2. What is it about the middle-sister that draws Milkman to her? Reviewers call him creepy. Do you agree? How else would you describe him: agressive, violent, obsessive intimidating ... all of the above, none of the above, something else?

3. When Milkman finally prevails in his pursuit, middle-sister says, "I'd been thwarted into a carefully constructed nothingness by that man. Also by the commuity, by the very mental atmosphere, that minutiae of invastion." There's a lot to unpack in that sentence, which encapsulates the primary tension within the novel. Care to talk about what the statement means, say, phrase by phrase?

4. How would you describe the society in which the book is set (presumaly Belfast, though never acknowledged). Consider the city's atmosphere, the sense of totalitarian oppression.

5. The book is concerned with power. How does power operate in Milkman—on a personal as well as societal level? Who has power and for what purpose? How is power used and over whom?

6. Milkman is also about tribalism. Talk about how group identity functions in this novel. Consider the us versus them allegiances, even down to the brand of butter or tea.

7. Did you find the author's stream-of-consciousness style difficult?

8. What about the lack of character names? The author says that in her initial writing that she used names, but that the book never worked until she removed them. Why might the writing have gone more smoothly without names? Does the lack of names lend a dystopian quality to the work?

8. The author wrote Milkman years before the onset of the #MeToo movement, yet its subject of sexual predation is timely. How did you experience the book in light of today's more aware society. How might you have read it several years ago…or even (if you're old enough) 40 years ago when the events of the book supposedly (thought not specifically) take place? 

* Some questions from LitLovers.

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