BKMT READING GUIDES

Rise and Shine: A Novel
by Anna Quindlen

Published: 2006-04-24
Paperback : 279 pages
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Introduction

Rise and Shine: A Novel

Editorial Review

No editorial review at this time.

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

From the publisher:

1. Rise and Shine centers on the unique bond of sisterhood–potentially one of the most supportive, competitive, and difficult relationships in life. Describe Bridget and Meghan’s relationship and how each woman views her sister, and herself. What roles do they each play? Does this portrait of sisterhood reflect your own relationship with a sibling, or perhaps with a close friend? Do you identify with one of the Fitzmaurice sisters more than the other?

2. Meghan’s audacious on-air slip, and its repercussions, incites the novel’s forward action. How would you judge the seasoned anchorwoman’s mistake? Was she wrong to let her personal opinion and emotions show? Do you believe that the network’s reaction was justified? Finally, what was the public’s response to Meghan’s fall from grace?

3. Describe Anna Quindlen’s portrait of New York City. Is the Big Apple “unequivocally the center of the universe,” as some New Yorkers believe? Compare Bridget and Tequila’s experiences at the shelter with Meghan’s worldview from the Upper East Side. How does Quindlen attempt to capture all sides of the city?

4. Describe Meghan and Bridget’s conflicting perceptions and memories of their mother. How does the loss of their mother shape the Fitzgerald sisters’ lives and ways of relating to each other? What role does Aunt Maureen play?

5. Is Evan justified in leaving Meghan, or do you agree with Bridget, that there must have been another woman in the picture right from the start? What factors led to the failure of their relationship? How does Bridget deal with the breakup? Meghan?

6. Meghan retreats to Jamaica to escape the turmoil in her life and, in doing so, detaches from her old persona and responsibilities. What did you think of this episode? Was Meghan being selfish by isolating herself? How did it affect Leo? Bridget? Or was this period in Meghan’s life necessary and inevitable? Finally, discuss the outcome of the trip. Does Meghan sustain this growth of character when she reenters the real world? How about Bridget?

7. What attracts Bridget to Irving Lefkowitz? Describe Irving’s attitude toward children and his reaction to Bridget’s unexpected news. Will this relationship work for Bridget? Why or why not?

8. Bridget’s daily experience in New York City is marked by relationships with “familiar strangers.” What does she mean by this? Are there “familiar strangers” in your own life?

9. Discuss Meghan’s role in apprehending the shooter in the Tubman projects; was her involvement self-serving, or was she defending her son and the safety of others? What were her true motivations, and how were her actions perceived? Do you agree with Meghan’s decision to take matters into her own hands?

10. Quindlen writes in the first person, from Bridget’s perspective. What effect does this narrative viewpoint have on the story? How would the book be different if it were told from Meghan’s point of view?

11. In the last few pages of the novel, Quindlen writes, “Does someone have to break so someone else can be whole?” (p. 268). Who in Rise and Shine breaks, and who has been made whole? Is there more than one way to think about this question?

12. The dust jacket for Rise and Shine shows a beautiful butterfly, a symbol of metamorphosis. How does the concept of change apply to the characters in the novel? Consider, especially, Meghan and Bridget, Evan, Leo, Irving, Tequila, and Princess Margaret. Have you undergone similar changes in your own life? Finally, how did your opinion of the Fitzmaurice sisters, and your assessment of their relative strengths and weaknesses, evolve over the course of the novel?

13. What do you think defines a “successful” life? According to your definition, who is the most successful character in Rise and Shine? Does success equal happiness? How does that concept play out in the novel, and what do Bridget and Meghan come to understand by the end?

14. Does Rise and Shine have a happy ending? What new directions and challenges face the Fitzmaurice sisters, Leo, Irving, and the others?

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Living life in NYC"by dchase21 (see profile) 12/13/08

Two adult sisters livinging divergent lives in NYC. One is a high powered wealthy married co-host of the #1 rated morning show. The younger of the two is a free spirited single head of a not for profit... (read more)

 
  "Makes for interesting discussions"by nanyannie (see profile) 12/08/08

I enjoyed this book because I found it easy to relate to. While not eveyone will be able to do this, the book is still worth reading and then getting reader opinions.

 
  "life between 2 sisters"by aliciafaierman (see profile) 12/08/08

2 sisters. life happening. ups & downs. rich & poor. nyc.
happy ending.

 
  "good read - not great -"by rosalie (see profile) 12/06/08

overall enjoyed the characters and the story line.

 
  "We enjoyed discussing family and sibling relationships."by jrc071601 (see profile) 04/13/08

Families are complicated and often troublesome. Anna Quindlen does a good job of illustrating how frustrating and rewarding these relationships can be. She also tells an interesting story involving the... (read more)

 
  "Story of the relationship between two sisters."by eckyi (see profile) 10/18/07

 
  "Two sisters, one is a famous newsanchor and the other isn't."by maddiemac (see profile) 10/17/07

I really did not like this book. It took me over a month to get through half of the book. Very slow, too much detail as she digresses into the past just as she is about to tell us the present.

 
  "An easy read that engages in complex relationships and keeps you reading until the end."by cjballard (see profile) 07/30/07

After reading, use the book club guide to support discussion. You'll understand why a butterfly is on the front of the book!

 
  "Timely topic about life, love and sisterhood"by ResedaBabe (see profile) 07/30/07

The Literary Lyres Book Club enjoyed this book over brunch. We rated it a 7 on a 10 point scale (10 being perfect). We used the book discussion questions as provided by Random House.

We

... (read more)

 
  "A beach read ....... movie material."by [email protected] (see profile) 05/18/07

No depth, not earth shattering, just an easy read for fun and discussion.

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