What Makes The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope a good book club choice?
“This is the most beautiful book about love I have ever read. I gladly wrapped myself up in this deeply moving, satisfying love story of an exceptional man and his steadfast, pioneer of a wife for hours at a time. I felt the loss of Evelyn, Adam and their children when I had finished.” -Vikki
“The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope could be-dare I say-the perfect book club book. Unlike Vikki, who felt the loss of the characters after she finished, my mind was reeling. I had so many thoughts and questions, I couldn’t wait to meet at 7 West to discuss everything about Adam Hope.” -Kaiti
Here are some discussion questions to get your conversation started…
1. In this interview, Rhonda Riley reveals that an early title was Adam Hope: A Geography. She says that, “Personally, I like titles that immediately make me ask questions like: “A geography of a person, what would that be?” What does the earlier title and this statement reveal about the author and the book?
2. Adam’s natural voice is described as beautiful and unearthly. Riley discusses her inspiration for this below:
“I first got the idea for his voice from something that happened to a friend of mine. She was awakened one morning by a beautiful, mysterious sound that seemed to come through her body, an experience that left her euphoric.
Then, years later, I was once sitting on the toilet in the ladies room in one of the old bathrooms at UF (you take your inspiration where you can get it). The stall walls were marble and I discovered, quite by accident, that if I leaned forward while singing the second note of the Gloria chorus, my voice and the thin marble resonated in a lovely way. My head and chest vibrated. And I thought how wonderful it would be if we could do that to each other.
Thus, Adam’s voice. The first time I heard Tibetan singing bowls was a turning point in creating a description of his vocal abilities.”
What is the significance of Adam’s voice? Is it an expression of his humanity or his other-worldliness?
Listen to Tibetan singing bowls here:
3. What do you think happened to Adam at the end of the book?
4. How would you classify this book? Which genres does it fit into and why?
5. Do Adam and Evelyn have an idealized marriage? Why or why not?
Author Insights can also provide some interesting discussion topics:
Reviews provide food for thought.
“A husband literally made in the image of others teaches Evelyn Roe about enduring love and the equally enduring human distrust of difference in Riley’s debut…. [If] Evelyn’s love was ever shaken by any real conflicts, this sweet but rather anodyne tale would gain some needed bite. As is, despite a few asides on racism, it’s basically a romance with E.T. trimmings. Well-written and stocked with many strong characterizations, but fuzzy in plotting and theme. ” -Kirkus Reviews
“Riley’s exquisite language draws the reader into this improbable, beautifully rendered, somewhat biblical love story with a wildly imaginative premise that is irresistible, tender, and provocative.” –Library Journal
Book Club Eats:
Riley’s descriptions of life on the farm in North Carolina made me want to bake my own bread and slather hand-churned butter all over it. You could also put a nice big pitcher of punch on the table and see if anyone goes for it. At the very least it will be a good conversation starter (remember the punch scene?)
Supplementary Reading Material:
For more ideas, stop by our Enchanted Life of Adam Hope Pinterest board or discuss with us on Twitter. We’ll be discussing The Enchanted Life of Adam Hope all month, so join in! Follow us @SavvyReader and use the hashtag #SRBC. Can’t wait to hear what you guys think!
Next month, we’ll be reading The Curiosity by Stephen Kiernan and you have a chance to WIN a set for you and your book club! Follow the instructions below. If you’re not on twitter, leave a comment on the blog post or email firstname.lastname@example.org with your full name.
Vikki and Kaiti
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