So Much for ThatAuthor: Lionel Shriver
Imprint: 4th Estate
Featured in the April, 2010 magazine
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1. Do you think that Shep′s island-paradise retirement plan - an escape from the banality and pressures of the everyday - is a realistic aspiration in our contemporary society?
2. If Glynis hadn′t been ill, do you think Shep′s Pemba ultimatum would have been fair?
3. What does Glynis′s vocation as a metalsmith, and particularly the way she operates as an artist/artisan, say about her character?
4. Is Shep′s accommodating nature healthy? How do you feel when Shep′s good deeds are either thwarted or ignored?
5. What purpose do Jackson′s conspiracy theories serve in the story? Are people′s reactions to these reasonable?
6. Glynis pushes Shep to voice how he truly feels about her difficult temperament and his role as her nurse. What do you think your limits would be as the carer of a gravely ill loved one? Would you be pushed to your limits faster than Shep was?
7. With Flicka′s sickness having become the perceived norm for the Burdina family, their plight has often left them isolated from the wider community. Has reading So Much for That changed the way you will respond to people with serious illness or families coping with the serious illness of a loved one?
8. Glynis and Flicka form a special bond as a result of their physical vulnerabilities and medical prognoses. What do you think of their alliance?
9. Zach and Amelia have distinct reactions to their mother′s prognosis. What do you think of their individual reactions?
10. Do you feel that Dr Goldman did the right thing by his patient Glynis and her loved ones?
11. How do the stresses they experience at the hands of the healthcare system transform the marriages of Shep and Glynis, and Jackson and Carol?
12. Shriver presents sharp insights into how the American healthcare and welfare systems impact on quality of life. How are these systems different in Australia and how do they impact on our lives?
13. Shep still commands a high level of respect within his workplace environment despite Pogatchnik being the boss. Why do you think Handy Randy′s employees still default to Shep as their authority figure? Is Pogatchnik justified in some of his opinions?