“PLAYING WITH FIRE” Book Club questions

Things to think about as you read PLAYING WITH FIRE:

–The pediatric neurologist believes that Lily may be suffering from “Complex Partial Seizures.” What are the symptoms? What does the patient experience?(for more information, visit: http://www.epilepsy.com/learn/types-seizures/complex-partial-seizures)

— What seems to be the trigger for Lily’s apparently violent acts?

–Listen to the music “Incendio.” Can you hear the “Devil’s chords”?

For more information on this dissonant interval, also known as a tritone, visit: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2011/07/the-devils-interval/

To hear the music, performed by concert violinist Yi-Jia Susanne Hou, you can find it here:

US readers: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016DVN3JO?ie=UTF8&keywords=incendio%20hou&qid=1445346407&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=8-1

UK readers: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Incendio-Theme-Music-Playing-Fire/dp/B016ECNCMA/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1469798174&sr=8-2&keywords=incendio+playing+with+fire

 

— Imagine yourself living as a Catholic in Nazi-occupied Italy. If a Jewish friend or neighbor turned to you for help, would you shelter them, knowing that you might be executed for your actions?

— Why did so many Jews remain in Italy until it was too late to flee? What kept them from leaving, despite the ever more onerous laws against them?

— In the Todescos’ place, knowing no more than they knew, would your family have uprooted itself and fled the country? Or would you have tried to “ride out” the war?

— Why did such a large percentage of Jews survive in Italy, unlike other parts of Nazi-occupied Europe? What made Italy different?

 

 

****QUESTIONS WITH POTENTIAL SPOILERS. ONLY FOR THOSE WHO’VE FINISHED THE BOOK:

 

— When did you realize that Julia’s narration might be unreliable?

— Early in the story, did you spot the neurological clues pointing to the final revelation about Julia?

— Do you think this story has supernatural elements or is everything explained by science?

 

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