Saturday, January 1, 2011

Book Club Forum #11: Mercury In Retrograde

Book Selection Status: READ
Month: January 2011
Genre: Chic-Lit Fiction:
Book of the Month: Mercury In Retrograde
Author: Paula Froelich
Question source:

Discussion Questions:

1. On the surface, Penelope, Lipstick and Dana are three very different women. Why do you think they become friends?
2. Lyrics to several popular 1980s songs appear throughout Mercury in Retrograde. Why do you think author Paula Froelich decided to include them? How did they enhance your read?

3. What role does fashion play in the novel? What do each woman’s clothes say about her character?

4. Why do you think Paula Froelich included horoscopes at the start of each chapter? What do they add to the novel?

5. If she had not been fired from The New York Telegraph, would Penelope have ever quit her job?

6. Why is initially so important to Lipstick? If she “always feels dirty after reading the website” (pg. 15) why does she still visit the site?

7. Instead of staying at her parents’ home and joining the family business, why does Lipstick decide to strike out on her own?

8. Following her divorce, why is Dana so hesitant to socialize with other people? Is she afraid to get hurt, embarrassed about being single once again, or something else?

9. “And every day [Lipstick would] think, I’ll call them tomorrow. But she never got around to it” (pg. 186). Is she simply too busy, or is there another reason Lipstick never returns her mother’s telephone calls?

10. Following the disastrous events at the Met Gala, Lipstick thinks, “What is Bitsy going to do? What will be on What am I going to tell my mother?” (pg. 240). After previously declaring she no longer cared about what her fellow socialites think, why do these thoughts run through Lipstick’s mind?

11. Why doesn’t Dana finish decorating her new apartment? And why are the few items she does buy all in white?

12. Each woman has a complicated relationship with her parents. To what extent do they care about their parents’ approval, and do these relationships change throughout the novel?

13. Ultimately, is Penelope happy with her job at NY Access? Have Penelope, Lipstick and Dana found success both in their professional and personal lives?

14. There are several characters in Mercury in Retrograde who bear strong resemblances to real-life people. As a group, see if you can name them all.

15. Penelope, Lipstick and Dana all endure wacky, disastrous moments while on the job. Now that they’re behind you, why not share your own favorite embarrassing work story?

16. The Met Gala is an important event both in the novel and in New York society. Do some research on the soirĂ©e and post a picture of your favorite red carpet looks (maximum of 3).