Maggie Cotton’s life is a mess. Self-entitled, a little bit useless, utterly shameless and downright reckless, she has no direction, no safety net, no work ethic and a whopping Centrelink debt. And her mum’s just disinherited her. The one thing she does have is a decrepit 1960s caravan. But don’t ask her to move it… Treat your book club with Rose Hartley’s compulsive and hilarious Maggie’s Going Nowhere. Get the conversation started with the questions below.
Discussion points and questions:
- How do you feel about Maggie’s behaviour at the start of the book? How do you feel about her at the end? When and how did your perception of her change?
- The novel is told in the first person from Maggie’s point of view, and Maggie has built a hard shell around herself. In what ways does the author convey Maggie’s vulnerabilities?
- Do you think Valerie was right to cut Maggie out of her will and throw her out of the house? What would you have done if you were Maggie’s mum?
- Why does the caravan feel like home to Maggie from the first moment she enters it? What does it symbolise in the story?
- ‘The cat was the only person none of us were embarrassed to love.’ What bearing do you think Maggie’s childhood and family dynamics have had on her adult life?
- At one point Rueben says, ‘You do worry about what people think, Maggie.’ Were you surprised by Maggie’s embarrassment at the party when Jono reveals to everyone that she lives in a caravan?
- Although Maggie’s Going Nowhere could be described as a romantic comedy, the strongest relationship in the story is between Maggie and Jen. Do you agree with this statement?
- Was Maggie wrong to want to split up Jen and Jono? Was it inevitable that Jen would choose Jono over her? How could Maggie have handled it differently?
- ‘He reminded me of myself,’ Maggie says of Jono. Discuss the similarities and differences between the two characters.
- At what point in the story do you think Maggie finally ‘grows up’? Is Maggie still going nowhere at the end of the book?