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Still Lives by Maria Hummel gives a look at the inner workings of a museum. There’s also a mystery too. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the book yet, check out my preview and review first.
The story centers on the disappearance of the artist Kim Lord. She’s a no-show for the opening night of her latest exhibit, Still Lives, which is comprised of self-portraits depicting herself as famous, murdered women—the Black Dahlia, Chandra Levy, Nicole Brown Simpson, among others. Maggie, the museum’s editor, takes it upon herself to find out what happened to Kim after suspicion falls to Maggie’s ex.
Let’s get into the book club questions.
- The story is told in first-person present narrative. Do you like this type of narrative? Why or why not?
- The Still Lives exhibit sounds disturbing but it is representing real-life murders of women. Why do you think this kind of exhibit was a focus for the story? What was the larger message it was trying to convey?
- Did you suspect Greg, Maggie’s ex, had something to do with Kim’s disappearance?
- There are quite a bit of characters, especially with all the museum workers. Did you like there’s some many characters or did become it confusing?
- Why do you think there was such a focus on Maggie’s past as a journalist? How did it relate to her investigative work?
- Why did Maggie take it upon herself to find out what happened to Kim? Was it because of Greg or something else?
- Beyond the mystery, there’s three different areas of focus: the inner workings of a museum, life in LA and commentary on society’s obsession with the abuse of women. What did you think of those different sections?
- How did the book taking place in 2003 make it a different read than if it would have taken place in 2018?
- What was your impression of the ending and the reveal of the killer? Did you see hints of it or did it take you by surprise? Was the ending satisfying? Why or why not?
- What happens next to Maggie?
Next on my TBR (to be read) list
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