Book Club Discussion Guide for
SECRET KEEPER by Mitali Perkins
Now available in Paperback from Random House!
Order some samosas, brew up some hot chai, and gather around. Let’s talk Secret Keeper in the safe, delightful space of a book club. (You may also download a copy of the discussion questions below to send to your book club members.)
- Publishers Weekly said that Secret Keeper is “heartbreaking and hopeful.” How is it heartbreaking? How is it hopeful?
- The French translation of the book is titled Waiting for New York. Brainstorm other alternate title possibilities for Secret Keeper. Would you keep the original? Why or why not?
- How does Ma help or hinder the girls’ situation?
- Doors, gates, and locks are used as metaphors throughout the novel. Find a few and discuss why and how the author uses them to reflect themes in the story.
- One reviewer called the book an “anti-fairy tale.” Do you agree or disagree? How is the hope of happily-ever-after depicted in the book?
- The novel was written partly in homage to Louisa May Alcott’s LITTLE WOMEN, so you might want to read or re-read that novel before your book club meets. How is Asha’s life similar to Jo’s? How are they different?
- Discuss the limitations and expectations these girls faced in their contexts: Asha in Kolkata, India in the 1970s, and Jo in Concord, Massachusetts in the late nineteenth century.
- Imagine a sequel that takes place in the 1990s, twenty years into the future for Asha and Reet. What do you hope their lives are like?
- Do you have a “secret keeper”? Share where you turn to confess secrets or explore thoughts and ideas.
Contact the author, Mitali Perkins (email@example.com) to see if she’s available for a quick Q&A via skype with your book club. Buy the books at your independent bookseller or from Amazon.