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Patty Jane's House of Curl


Patty Jane's House of Curl Cover

ISBN13: 9780449911006
ISBN10: 0449911004
Condition: Standard
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Reading Group Guide

1. What kind of childhood did Patty Jane and Harriet have? How has their childhood affected the course of their adult lives?

2. Why is Thor terrified by his impending fatherhood? Do you think he was really ready to embrace it before he disappeared?

3. The private investigator hired to track Thor down remarks that the good-looking never seem to have close friends. What do you think of this statement? Is there any merit in it?

4. Why does Patty Jane refuse anesthesia when she is in labor? Discuss the various reactions to her behavior during labor.

5. How would you describe the family that Patty Jane and Harriet create for themselves? Discuss the families that we are born into and the ones we create.

6. How do Ione and Patty Jane navigate the dangerous currents in their relationship? Do you think you could do the same in a similar situation? Would you want to?

7. The characters in this novel use Patty Jane's House of Curl as a place to unburden themselves. What other places might people go to share their problems? Would you like to spend some time at the House of Curl? Or do you already have a House of Curl in your life?

8. Why do you think Avel's sisters hate him so much?

9. What do you think provoked Esme Ames's change of heart? Discuss how it can take a loss to make people value what they have as opposed to what they do not have.

10. Harriet says that "too much thought scared her, that she was happier doing than thinking." Why do you think she feels this way? Do you agree?

11. Harriet's decision to face the ghosts from her past almost costs her her life. What do you think separates those who hurt themselves in the face of great pain from those who are able to channel their demons more constructively?

12. Why does Patty Jane finally let Harriet go down the dangerous path she has chosen? What does it cost each of them? Do you think Patty Jane made the right deci-sion by letting go?

13. Why does it take Patty Jane and Clyde so long to get together? What are the obstacles in their path?

14. Did the explanation of Thor's disappearance surprise you?

15. In what ways do the rest of the characters underesti-mate the Thor who returns to them? Do you think he understands what has happened to him?

16. What frees Ione to finally begin the traveling she waited her whole life to do? Discuss the dangers of using other people's needs to avoid addressing your own.

17. Discuss the varied reactions to Harriet's illness by her family and friends. Is there a "right" way to respond to such news?

18. Why doesn't Patty Jane ever divorce Thor?

19. "What a big chunk of God is to be found by looking into the face of someone you love!" Discuss the signifi-cance of this statement--both the good and the bad.

20. "Honey, life can be a ballroom dance and it can be full of shit. Your job in both cases is to watch where you step." These are the words to live by that Patty Jane imparts to her daughter. Do you agree with this state-ment? If you had to boil down your own philosophy of life into one sentence, how would it read?

21. Are there any characters you would like to have heard more (or less) from? Why or why not?

22. If you could ask the author a question of your own, what would it be?

23. How does your group decide what to read? What are you reading next?

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

emmejo, April 25, 2013 (view all comments by emmejo)
Patty Jane and Harriet are sisters, sharing in running their beauty salon and raising Patty Jane's little girl after her husband Thor disappears. Neither of their paths are running smooth, but with each looking out for other, Thor's mother Ione, their motley group of employees, and a boisterous crew of regulars and friends coming to the shop, they manage to keep their spirits up and have a fair bit fun even during the hard times.

I picked this up because I had liked Landvik's Oh My Stars. I didn't like this one as much. It is a much tighter, smaller story, almost like a blend of interwoven character studies, but I didn't find any characters I could really sympathize with or root for. They weren't bad characters, just bland.

Landvik's to-the-point, no-frill writing is balanced with a sly dose of wry humor and zany characters, making it compulsively readable. The writing is really what saved the book for me.
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Jonna, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Jonna)
I tend to choose books based on titles, so how could I resist "Patty Jane's House of Curl?" This snappy title didn't let me down; every moment of this novel is charming, and delightful. I laughed, I cried, and I got my hair done! Found a new favorite author, too!
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Product Details

Landvik, Lorna
Ballantine Books
New York
Humorous Stories
Community life
Beauty shops
Domestic fiction
Minnesota Fiction.
Beauty shops - Minnesota
Literature-A to Z
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Mysteries & Horror
Publication Date:
September 1996
Grade Level:
8.02x5.20x.72 in. .57 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Patty Jane's House of Curl Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Ballantine Books - English 9780449911006 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A funny, poignant first novel about the bonds between women."
"Review" by , "Patty Jane's House of Curl has the emotional warmth of Lake Wobegon and the tender/tough female characters who populated Fried Green Tomatoes....A unique story."
"Review" by , "Lorna Landvik stands by her characters...embracing their eccentricities, delighting in their accomplishments, forgiving them their failings. She knows these people and loves them — and gives us their story with uncommon wit and charm and, best of all, a wonderful sense of mischief."
"Review" by , "Reminiscent of Steel Magnolias, Patty Jane's House of Curl will make you laugh, cry and open your heart to love."
"Review" by , "Amazingly vivid....This novel breezes merrily along, but don't read it without a hankie. This is a winner for fans of Garrison Keillor and Danielle Steel."
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