Book Club Discussion Questions

Greedy Heart: A Novel

1 . Lightning round

Get the group moving with this lightning round! Pick one of the following, and comment in no more than 30 seconds:

  • Did you love Delia or hate her?
  • Was the book funny? What tickled your funny bone?
  • Who was your favorite character?
  • Best moment in the book?
  • Worst moment?
2. Sex
How is sex used in the novel? When is it used for recreation? For power? For love? Where do you see abstinence and why? How does sex change throughout the novel? 
3. Mother-Daughter
The relationship between Delia and her mother is fraught. What do you think is at the heart of that? Does it remind you of any relationship in your life?
4. The book starts with a quote from the Gospel of Matthew, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Do you agree or disagree with this sentiment? Does the novel follow through on the spirit of this line? 
5. Greed 
How is greed explored in the novel? What are the different depictions of greed and possession? 

6. Sexism 
Where is sexism evident in the novel? Is Delia a good example of a women who overcomes sexism or not? 

7. Hoarder 
What ethos does Vivianne the Hoarder represent? 

8. Honest Horses 
Delia’s first sexual experience is with the Hungarian riding master. What important life lessons does she learn from him? What impractical lessons does he leave her with? 
9. NewYork 
In many novels, the location functions like a character. In what ways does New York City function as a character? Do you know New York and/or like it more/less through the novel?  
10.Characters & Money

Pick a character and describe what facet of money they depict:

  • Delia
  • Peter
  • Rob
  • Mom
  • Bert
  • Norah
  • Viviane
  • Judith
  • Aunt Kathleen
11. God & Religion
How does Greedy Heart deal with God, religion and spirituality? 
 12. Legacy
What does a “legacy” initially mean to Delia and what does it come to mean? Have you ever experienced a desire for a legacy? Valuing a legacy?
 13. Animals
How do the animals in the novel (parakeets, migratory birds, hawks, pigeons, horses, rats), contribute to the story? What messages and meanings do they reveal?
“Book Clubs are a joy! I know from personal experience. My club meets about once every six weeks and focuses on women’s issues. The interesting thing about our group is that we aim for age diversity-with participants in every decade, from 20s through 90s. With such different generational perspectives, we have rich and lively conversations.” – A.P. Murray
14. Art & Artifacts
What is the importance of art and artifacts in the novel? What different objects does the author use? What is their connection to value?
15. Friendship
Discuss the different kinds of friendship that exist in the novel.
16. Climate
How does global warming make a kind of appearance in the novel?

17. Finance
What did you learn about finance and the 2008 crash that you didn’t know before?

18. Chapter Headings 
What did you think of the chapter heading quotes? Was there one you particularly liked? Why? 

19. Surprise
What twist or turn in the novel surprised you most? Why? Was there a “surprise” you totally saw coming?
20. Delia
What did you admire most about Delia? What did you like the least? Was she redeemed for you? By which action was she redeemed? Any hanging threads or lingering doubts?

Do you remember the crash of 2008? How did it affect you? Do you think there will be another crash? When? How bad?

22. Gangsters

Who are the worst and best gangsters in the novel?

23. Chain, tropical birds, and cloaks
What is meant by the “chain of evil,” “improbable birds” and “stretchy magical cloaks”?
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