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Reader Discussion Questions for Flight Patterns
NAL, March 28, 2017
ISBN-10: 0451470915 ISBN-13: 9780451470928

To download these questions click here.

  1. The title FLIGHT PATTERNS has many layers of meaning that only become clear after you’ve read the novel. What do you think the title represents?
  2. Many people collect china or have pieces that have been handed down in their family through generations. Do you have a china collection and if so, do you know its history? Is knowing its history particularly meaningful to you?
  3. Georgia and Maisy grew up knowing that their mother, Birdie, was mentally ill, but it doesn’t seem to be something that is openly discussed in the family, and even between the sisters. Is there a stigma in talking about mental illness? Is this something you think you would be able to discuss with either family or friends?
  4. One of the themes in FLIGHT PATTERNS is family and what people do in the name of family, to protect their families. Many of the characters in FLIGHT PATTERNS have done extreme things to protect their family—whether it’s Giles sending Colette away, Georgia giving a precious gift to Maisy, or Ned protecting his wife even long after her death. Do you feel that this is realistic? Would you go to the same extremes for your family?
  5. Bees and beekeeping are important elements throughout FLIGHT PATTERNS. What do you think the bees represent to the different characters?
  6. After caring for the bees almost religiously most of his life, Ned does something so destructive towards the bees and nearly burns down the house and kills his granddaughters. Why do you think Ned acted the way he did?
  7. Birdie has been acting for nearly her entire life, despite not having a career on the stage or screen—who do you think the real Birdie is?
  8. Becky finds out a truth about herself accidentally. Is this something that Maisy should have told her about before? Why or why not? 
  9. We find out that Ned is the one who sent in Giles Mouton’s name to Yad Vashem to be recognized and honored for what he did during World War II. Do you think this helps to mitigate some of the guilt he bears in Giles’s death?
  10. Birdie’s inability to cope with her past and her emotional instability lead her to being a neglectful mother to both Georgia and Maisy. Do you think she deserves forgiveness from her daughters now that they know the truth of her damaged personal history?


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