What could drive a mother to do the unthinkable?
With themes of motherhood, climate change and family ties, Echolalia is an interesting pick for book club. Briohny Doyle's latest work has been described by Ronnie Scott as 'a beautiful, calm, frightening novel that digs into the unconscious of settler Australia and tells it like a lucid fever dream'. Get your reading group chat started with the thought-provoking questions below.
Discussion points and questions:
From Anna Karenina to Little Women, Boy Swallows Universe and Echolalia, mothers have long featured in fiction. Are there as many forms of mothering as there are novels? How honestly do you think mothers are generally portrayed?
The fictitious town of Shorehaven is at the hub of Echolalia, and its changing fortunes become pivotal to the Cormac’s lives. What is the author using the town to explore?
Did you find Echolalia a particularly Australian novel? Or perhaps this story of heritage, legacy and development could play out on the fringes of cities around the world?
Briohny Doyle wrote the novel because she saw motherhood as a concept so ideologically loaded. What do you think of this statement? Do you believe that mothers, like Emma, can be crushed by the burden of expectation?
Echolalia, through Emma, her own mother, Pat, and the mothers Clem obsessively returns to, shares a range of different approaches to parenting. Are there good mothers and bad mothers? Or is it more about the environment and support system they are functioning in?
Emma feels like there is something inherently bad in baby Robbie. What is your response to this idea?
Novelist, Jane Rawson, on reading Echolalia said 'It's so great to read a novel that incorporates climate change as a lived reality rather than a futuristic dystopia, and that interweaves it with capitalism and colonialism and class issues'. Is this how you read the novel?
A pick for book club that's warm, witty and wise.
A beautiful and uplifting story to share with your reading group.
Sweep your book club off to Malaysia with this spellbinding novel of war and family betrayal.
A tale of extraordinary friendship and a lifetime of stories to share with your book club pals.
A must-read for book clubs and fans of The Little Coffee Shop of Kabul.
A classic whodunit for the most perceptive reading groups.
These friends think they know everything about one another, but time has a way of making us strangers to those we love...
Tips to help you pick a reading goal and achieve it.
The Funny Thing About Norman Foreman author on grief, happiness and her favourite comedy legend.
The author of City of Lies discusses revisiting Silasta and exploring the traumas and triumphs of her characters in the sequel.
This December we found exquisite rays of light amongst the dark verse of an American maestro.
This November we revisited Louisa May Alcott’s towering work of American fiction.