> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  29 September 2020

 

The Godmothers book club notes

Your reading group will adore this family drama from much-loved author Monica McInerney.

With a whole new set of marvelous characters to become acquainted with, The Godmothers is about the families we are born into and the families we make for ourselves. The story follows Eliza Miller, who takes up an enticing invitation from one of her godmothers and finds herself in the midst of a complicated family in Edinburgh. This moving book will transport you and your book club pals from Australia to Scotland, Ireland and England as Eliza seeks to solve the biggest mystery of all – who is her father? Use the questions below to get the conversation started at your next meet-up.

Discussion points and questions:

  • When Eliza loses her job, Gillian tells her, ‘I’m doing you a favour.’ Does this prove to be true?
  • In what ways are Maxie and Olivia the opposite of ‘wishy-washy’ godmothers?
  • Eliza says there isn’t a ‘label’ for Sullivan, but what is it about him that makes him special, do you think?
  • Why was it so hard for Olivia to ask Celine to leave?
  • Despite their best intentions, do you think it was right for Olivia and Maxie to withhold the truth about Jeannie from Eliza for all those years? What would you have done in the same situation?
  • Olivia tries not to mourn too much for the past and lost moments with Edgar. Is she successful in that?
  • Eliza, too, has coping strategies for dealing with the loss of her loved one, by bringing out the ‘jukebox of Jeannie tales, her playlist of happy memories’. What other ways might people handle the pain of losing a beloved family member to death or dementia?
  • What role does the box of postcards play in Eliza’s recovery?
  • Can a godmother be any sort of replacement for a real mother?
  • Can godchildren replace children in a woman’s life, as in Olivia and Maxie’s case with Eliza?
  • Do you understand why Emmet chooses not to tell the rest of his family about Eliza?
  • Jeannie had never wanted a conventional life for herself or for her daughter. Do you think she would be happy with how things turned out for Eliza?
  • Emmet believes that ‘family life is sometimes more about pretending to get on than actually getting on’. Discuss.
  • Which is your favourite fictional family of Monica McInerney’s?

The Godmothers Monica McInerney

The heartwarming new novel by Australia's #1 bestselling author.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Article
Twenty insights: twenty years as an author

2020 marks Monica McInerney’s 20th year as a published author. Here she offers 20 memories and observations on her writing career.

Article
Researching and writing The Godmothers

Monica McInerney on the family secrets, overseas trips and strange times that shaped her heartwarming new novel.

Article
What you should read next based on your fave Netflix shows

Done binging the latest TV sensation? Pick up a book and keep the good times rolling. 

Book clubs
The Paper Palace book club notes

A magnificent literary pick for book club.

Book clubs
A Slow Fire Burning book club notes

An exciting new thriller from the author of The Girl on the Train to discuss with your book club.

Book clubs
How to start a book club

Get your very own book club off the ground with these tips from The Wattle Island Book Club author.

Book clubs
The Farmer’s Friend book club notes

An uplifting Australian drama from rural midwife and bestselling author Fiona McArthur.

Book clubs
Wattle Island Book Club book club notes

A story filled with courage, passion and hope to share with your reading group.

Book clubs
Cutters End book club notes

A desert highway. A remote town. A murder that won’t stay hidden.

Article
The 2021 Booker Prize shortlist revealed

The shortlist for the 2021 Booker Prize has been announced, with four Penguin Random House novels named.

Article
Simple reading hacks for time-poor dads

Two authors — who are also dads — share their tips on how fathers can get a moment to themselves.

Article
The top books for dad this Father's Day

Show them you know them by picking a book that perfectly matches your dad.

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes