Book Club Discussion Questions
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1. Many characters in Silenced jump to conclusions. For example, Annie assumes Cara is a drug addict and Grammy assumes Cara is pregnant. What other assumptions hold Annie back? What does Cara assume? What about other characters? Which stereotype did you relate to the most?
2. Annie’s attitude about homeschoolers changes throughout the story. Which depictions of homeschooling and public school were most surprising or funny? Did this novel change your outlook on education? How did the Covid pandemic quarantines impact your child's education?
3. Annie and Cara’s relationship goes off-kilter when they keep secrets from each other. As the mother, does Annie have the right to know that Cara is covering for Olivia? As the daughter, does Cara have the right to know Annie's secret?
4. Grammy tells Cara, “Men and women are never more different than when it comes to pregnancy. All the more reason we women need to rally around each other when the men walk away.” Do you agree or disagree?
5. Annie is on a quest to prove that she's a good mother. Does she convince others? Does she convince herself? Why do so many women wonder, Am I a good mother?
6. Regarding Dan, Nate, Zach, Rich and the principal, the men in this story are impactful, but often missing in the daily lives of the women. Is this an accurate portrayal? Does it resonate with you?
7. Willy’s bullies are never held accountable. Nate gets off the hook regarding his weed and his baby while Olivia and Cara face the consequences. What other examples are there in this story of misplaced consequences? What are some examples from your life? How do we as a community foster a more equitable and accountable village?
8. Olivia looks to abortion as a quick fix to her unwanted pregnancy, Wendy says it saved her education and career, Maggie believes it shows the mother lacked support, and Annie is stuck in shame. Given that people have profoundly different experiences, how do we have a meaningful conversation and reach a consensus on this important social justice issue?
9. Annie is a chronic liar, but several other characters deceive as well. Give some examples. Which was funniest? Which was most uncomfortable for you? The tagline reads, “It takes a village to raze a lie.” What does this mean?
10. Let's talk about the title. Who is silenced? Who is doing the silencing? What would help Annie to open up and speak the truth? When have you felt silenced?