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Buzz Book Club: The Life Before Her Eyes, Section One

Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! Hopefully you were able to get your paws on a copy of The Life Before Her Eyes, which seems to be a very hot property these days, and are all set to discuss the first section.

If you're new to the Book Club, this is how it goes: every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in April). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! This is particularly important with this book because each section reveals more about what I'm assuming is a surprise ending. After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next assignment: Read from Part Two to the end of the chapter titled "Blood." We'll chat about this second section a week from today, Friday, April 11.

To discuss the first section of The Life Before Her Eyes (in which we read to the end of the chapter titled "Footsteps"),


  1. The book opens with a very startling and upsetting scenario in which young Diana and her friend are threatened during a school shooting. Did you find the violence off-putting, or did it draw you into the story? Why do you think Kasischke chose to begin the book this way?
  2. There are several references to a dream life Diana always knew she would have. Sometimes, it seems like she's truly accomplished everything she ever hoped for in life; other times, like when she finds herself alone in the parking lot at Emma's school, it's like she's dreaming (or is a part of someone else's dream). What do you make of Diana's "dream life" so far?
  3. Speaking of which, Diana reminisces about how there probably was a time when she would have considered her "dream life" to be something glamorous, like being an actress. But now, she seems to be quite content as a mom, married to a nice guy in a nice neighborhood, and she occasionally reflects on the choices she made to get there. Do you think she compromised somewhere along the line? Do you see any connection between that and the choice young Diana was asked to make in the prologue?
  4. Kasischke is a poet, and her fluid writing adds to the dreamlike feel of the first section. I couldn't help noting all the references to mirrors sprinkled throughout. Which qualities of Kasischke's writing have stood out most to you so far?
Join The Conversation
Linda-McP Linda-McP 9 years
I'm still waiting for my copy to come in the mail from Amazon. So much for second day delivery! Cannot wait to get started. Hope I can follow adw's lead and get caught up quickly! Great pick, Buzz.
adw7984 adw7984 9 years
I cannot believe how hard this book was to get! I finally received mine yesterday via and I have to tell you all that I was hooked. I finished the book this morning at work because I could not bring myself to put it down! Luckily my boss was away... 1.) The beginning of this book definitely drew me into the story. I was immediately grabbed because of the shocking last sentence. Here the one girl offered herself to the killer and the other girl agreed "Kill her. Not Me" (page 10) I think Kasischke was correct in beginning the book this way; if she would have went straight into the story, we would have wondered what was going on with all the time shifts. I think by giving us this peek into the past, readers were not so confused by the jumping back and forth. 2.) I am always skeptical of a dream/perfect life. It seems that so many times she has referenced her perfect life, her perfect family that it makes me feel that not all is perfect. 3.) I can relate to Diana here, when we are younger we often think being an adult is glamorous. As we mature, our priorities shift and we begin to realize what is important. I don't think she compromised, I think that every decision we make leads us to where we are in life. Maybe by young Diana saying "Kill her. Not me." she realized that she really had to live her life to the fullest and maybe she also had to live it for Maureen as well. 4.) This book has a lot of imagery that I am noticing. I even busted out my highlighter! It is so vivid and so descriptive. That is something that I wasn't expecting, but am really pleased to see.
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