The Road to Atlantis – Part 4 (pages 138 – end)

The Road to AtlantisSummer is coming to an end, and so is The Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of  The Road to Atlantis!

This week, book club leader Jenn has a few last questions based on page 138 to the end of the book. Feel free to use these as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have too.

Thanks to all who’ve read along and shared their thoughts on the book!

Leo Brent Robillard reads at the Vibrant Voices of Ontario Tent at 3:45 PM – 4:15 PM on Sunday, September 27th.


Welcome to our last week of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard! Thank you so much for being a part of this book club journey, whether you were a reader or a commenter or even just a lurker who was interested in learning more about the book. I hope you have enjoyed the novel, and that the questions helped you to think about the book a little more.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Parenting is a significant part of the last section of this book David has come full circle in that his own father has reappeared into his life, and David, Larry and Matty have to figure out their new roles with each other. Meanwhile, Anne has withdrawn from parenting Matty and her own relationship, while Kim has removed herself completely. How has parenthood changed for David and Anne? Have your feelings towards each of them changed over the course of the book?
  1. Matty’s destruction of the train set is a pivotal moment in his relationship with his father. Why do you think David hid this from his son for all those years? How does this connect with Larry’s memory of ‘driving’ with Davy so many years below? What point does Matty make by destroying it?
  1. Brooke’s arrival marks something special for everyone. Why do you think everyone wants to connect with her in the way that they do? What role does she play in their lives? Going forward, how do you anticipate their lives will work out?

The Road to Atlantis – Part 3 (pages 100 – 138)

The Road to AtlantisThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Road to Atlantis continues!

This week, book club leader Jenn has questions based on pages 100 – 138. Feel free to use these as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have too.


Welcome to week #3 of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard! We are over halfway through the book now, and I hope you are pacing yourself for the end! This week we will be looking at pages 100 to 138 (the chapter entitled “The House on Water Street”).

Again, please feel free to ask questions and to discuss each other’s responses, keeping in mind a culture of respect for everyone’s opinions and beliefs.

Introduction:

We’ve jumped ahead ten years now, and the characters we have grown to know in the previous pages have had some pretty significant changes in their lives. David is now working at the Dairy as a counter clerk, Anne is now with Danny but working for another cabinet minister, and Matty finally comes into his own as a character.

Discussion Questions:

  1. “He fell in love with the trains, the stations, and the tiny worlds people created. It all seemed so safe and contained and self-sufficient.”  David has, we learn, lost touch with his family and his previous life over course of the ten years. How then does his foray into the world of modern trains demonstrate his new reality? What do you think his new relationship with trains and need for control – previously a trait most demonstrated by Anne –  says about him and about his personality?
  1. This is the chapter where Matty becomes known to us – what surprised you most/least about his development? What is your feeling about his relationship with Ashley – an older, more confident female? Is she a substitute for the relationship he might have had with his sister?
  1. Anne and David seem to have changed roles in this chapter, with Anne being the person on the edge and close to snapping. After ‘moving on’ with her life, why do you think she still feels the need to self-medicate through drugs, exercise and diet? What does her reaction to Matty’s announcement at the end of the chapter tell us about her?

The Road to Atlantis – Part 2 (pages 48 – 97)

The Road to AtlantisThe Word On The Street’s Book Club discussion of The Road to Atlantis got started last week. Check out the conversation!

This week, book club leader Jenn has a few questions based on pages 48 – 97. Feel free to use these as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have too.


Welcome to week #2 of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard!

Thanks for your input and thoughtful reflection on the book so far … I think there is much to discuss in the coming weeks, and I look forward to seeing what you think through our discussions.

This week we will be looking at pages 48 – 97 (remainder of A City By the River).
Again, please feel free to ask questions and to discuss each other’s responses, keeping in mind a culture of respect for everyone’s opinions and beliefs.

Introduction:

There’s a definite progression in the story with these fifty pages or so, and some themes are starting to develop. By the end of this section, the story has developed significantly, and we have a much clearer picture of Anne and David.
If there is something in the book that isn’t mentioned in the discussion questions that interests you, by all means add it to the responses – I would love to read different interpretations.

Discussion Questions:

1. “He could not undo what was done.” Regret plays a big role in this part of the novel, especially regarding the idea of a “do over” (such as the memory with Nat and her parents in the Wal-Mart). How do you see regret as an influence on Anne and David and their present-day actions?

2. We are starting to get a picture of Natalie as a child – throwing a tantrum in the shopping cart, cutting her hair. Do we have as clear a sense of Matty? What is his response to his sister’s death? Why do you think that he is less detailed in the narrative at this point?

3. Both Anne and David are starting to form attachments with individuals of the opposite gender, but in very different ways. What needs do these fill for each person, and why have they chosen to connect with Sarah and Danny? By the end of this chapter, each person has indirectly influence significant changes in Anne and David’s lives – are they truly a catalyst for change or merely the last straw in a already heavy load?

The Road to Atlantis – Part 1 (pages 1 – 46)

Welcome to The Word On The Street Book Club!

We’ve selected four great Canadian reads by authors appearing at the 2015 festival as part of our second summer book club.

We’ll be discussing the books each week for the next month, and on September 27th, everyone will have the chance to meet the authors in person at Harbourfront Centre.

Share your views in the comments of the blog, using the questions posed by our book club leaders as a jumping-off point for any other thoughts or questions you may have.


The Road to AtlantisThe Road to Atlantis
Leo Brent Robillard

Book Club Leader: Jenn Hubbs
Blog: Lost in a Great Book

Born in small town Ontario to a librarian and a high school teacher, Jenn grew up surrounded by books of all genres and a family of readers. A former teacher, she is a public librarian and a selection and events coordinator, working with publishers across North America. As a proud CanLit supporter, Jenn continues to read, review and recommend books to anyone who will listen.

Take it away, Jenn!


Welcome to the introductory week of discussion for The Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard! I hope that you will enjoy the next few weeks of reading and conversation, and hopefully we will have a chance to meet face to face at the upcoming The Word On The Street event in Toronto.

Some housekeeping notes to start:

In order facilitate an easier discussion for us, I’ve broken the book in to four segments:

Week 1: pages 1 – 46 (Cape May and part of A City By the River)
Week 2: pages 48 – 97 (remainder of A City By the River)
Week 3: pages 99 – 138 (The House on Water Street)
Week 4: pages 140 – 192 (The Road to Atlantis)

Please feel free to ask questions and to discuss each other’s responses, keeping in mind a culture of respect for everyone’s opinions and beliefs.

Introduction:

I have vivid childhood memories of my family of five – two adults, three kids, of which I was the youngest – loading our things into the car to begin the long journey from small town Southern Ontario to the family cottage in Nova Scotia. I can recall the stickiness of hot vinyl seats, the roar of the wind from the rolled-down windows and back and forth conversations between my parents and my two older brothers. I can’t recall what was said exactly, but I do remember the tone and feeling of certain conversations … the boredom that underlined the various forms of little sister torment from my brothers, and the short, tense and snippy feeling between my parents as they decided where and when to stop for the night.

While we were fortunate to have avoided major family devastation such as those reflected in the book, I can picture each person in that first section of the book quite clearly. Like Anne, my mother was the type of person who would ask my father to turn the car around for a pretty garden, while my father (a high school history teacher like David) would become frustrated with us for not appreciating the amazing things he wanted to share.

It’s these memories that brought the first section of the book alive for me. While you may not have the same exact memories from your childhood, I hope you found something familiar in these first few pages.

Discussion Questions:

  1. While it is difficult to play the “what could have happened” game after the loss of Nat and the aftermath, it is clear in the first section of the book that David and Anne are not in sync during the trip. How has this tragedy shaped the family? What kind of family would they have become had their lives not been torn apart?
  1. Haruki Murakami reflects that, ““Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.” We are told that David has an almost photographic memory, and that he used to be proud of possessing such a skill. How does each character’s memory of Nat’s disappearance vary, based on their own filters and feelings?
  1. As parents, Anne and David deal with loss in different ways – Anne is beginning to develop OCD-style compulsions, while David is retreating from close relationships and previous passions, choosing alcohol over connection. Do you think it is characteristic of men and women to deal with grief or the loss of a child differently? Why do you believe each has reacted in the way that they have to the loss of Nat?

Join The Word On The Street’s Book Club!

Sign Up table

Email programming@thewordonthestreet.ca to sign up today!

The Word On The Street’s Book Club is back! 

We’ve selected four great reads for The Word On The Street’s second summer book club.

Chat with other CanLit fans, share your point of view, and get a free Advanced Reading Copy or book by a featured author at the biggest book festival in Canada.

Participation is FREE! Visit our website for more info about the books, and to join the club. We’ll be posting discussion questions right here on The Word On The Street blog in August.

Meet our 2015 Book Club Leaders

We’re excited to have four book-loving bloggers leading the discussions this summer!

The Man Who Saved Henry Morgan CoverThe Man Who Saved Henry Morgan by Robert Hough
Book Club Leader: Karen Ma
Blog: One More Page

Karen Ma has been a bookworm her whole life and can often be found reading and walking at the same time. Her love of books inspired her to create her blog, One More Page, which has been featured on CBC Books’ “Canadian Blogs” section. When she’s not reading, Karen can be found playing board games, watching TV, and looking at cute animal pictures online.

Deadbeat Club coverThe Deadbeat Club by Dietrich Kalteis
Book Club Leader: Christine Nguyen
Blog: Padfoots Library

Christine is a 25 year old book blogger who is also a graduate student. She particularly enjoys Japanese contemporary literature and some of her favourite authors are Haruki Murakami and Kazuo Ishiguro. She reads a wide range of books from Adult fiction and non-fiction to YA fiction. She started writing book reviews as a platform to sing her praises for books she really loved and to connect with the online book community.

The Road to AtlantisThe Road to Atlantis by Leo Brent Robillard
Book Club Leader: Jenn Hubbs
Blog: Lost in a Great Book

Born in small town Ontario to a librarian and a high school teacher, Jenn grew up surrounded by books of all genres and a family of readers. A former teacher, she is a public librarian and a selection and events coordinator, working with publishers across North America. As a proud CanLit supporter, Jenn continues to read, review and recommend books to anyone who will listen.

Monica Heisey- I Can't Believe-final cover -april 2015I Can’t Believe It’s Not Better by Monica Heisey
Book Club Leader: Michele Daniels
Blog: Just a Lil’ Lost

According to her family, Michele started reading when she was 3 – and she hasn’t put a book down since. Her love of reading and the online world inspired her to start her site, Just a Lil’ Lost, where she connects with others and writes about books and pop culture topics. She enjoys books in all genres; from adult and young adult fiction to non-fiction and graphic novels. As the creator of #ParisMonth, an annual blog event that just wrapped its fourth year, she celebrates her obsession with the French city all month long every April. When she doesn’t have a book in hand, Michele can probably be found with a coffee in one, and a macaron in the other.