Discuss Elvira’s relationship with her mother. Do you think Elvira’s mother cared for Elvira in the best possible way? What are the differences between the two characters?
Why do you think Elvira likes to stick to a routine? Describe your own daily routine. What are the benefits of having it? What are the drawbacks?
How does Sylvia help Elvira cope after Agnes’ stroke? Discuss Sylvia and Elvira’s relationship. Have you ever had a mentor in life?How did they help you?
Why does Elvira call Social Services? How do Sylvia and Elvira move on after the incident? What do you make of Sylvia’s reaction? Of Josh’s?
Elvira grew up believing that her father was a businessman who traveled “Away” often. However, she soon finds that that is not the case. Have you ever discovered something about a family member or friend that took you by surprise? What was the result?
What are some of the challenges Elvira faces throughout the story? How does she overcome them? What skills does she use?
If you had to live life by seven rules, what would they be?
Imagine seeing the world from Elvira’s perspective. What differences would you find? What would be the challenges? The strengths?
Elvira discovers some independence when she begins to learn how to access and use computers at the local library. When did you discover your own independence? What event triggered this?
How does Elvira’s life change after volunteering at Animal Arcadia? Think back to your first job—what was it? What did you learn there?
How are Paul and Elvira similar? How are they different? What do you think of their friendship?
Describe how the different characters relate to Elvira and her “Condition.” How do they treat her? Who do you think understands Elvira the best? The worst?