If you would like Solveig Eggerz to address your book group, please contact her at solegg24@gmail.com.

Suggested Book Group Questions for Seal Woman

  1. Does Seal Woman contain “magical realism”?
  2. Are elements of magical realism distinguishable from events that occur in the imagination of the characters?
  3. What does the story reveal about the healing power of art? Of nature? Of story?
  4. How does Charlotte’s fate related to that of the seal woman in the folk tale?
  5. What is the role of silence? Of talking?
  6. Does the story feel like historical fiction in that the character’s life is shaped by historical events?
  7. How does Charlotte change in the course of the novel?
  8. What does Charlotte learn about art from Max? What does she lean on her own?
  9. How does she apply art to her own struggle for survival?
  10. How important is Charlotte’s relationship to the Old Woman?
  11. Psychologically speaking, what role does Charlotte’s son Henrik play in her life?
  12. Are there differences in the writing style between the sections that depict Iceland and those that depict Germany? If so, why?

Suggested Book Group Questions for Sigga of Reykjavik

  1. What role does Sigga’s anger play in the story?
  2. How does Sigga’s childhood and her relationship to her mother relate to the choices she makes in Reykjavik?
  3. How would you describe the impact of her stay with Diva on Sigga’s development?
  4. How do Sigga’s conflicting goals cause her trouble?
  5. In what manner do Sigga’s choices regarding family and work relate to her goals?
  6. Describe the irony of Sigga’s plan to achieve her own independence through sewing corsets.
  7. How does Sigga’s choice of husband relate to her early relationship to men?
  8. Why does the allied occupation of Iceland in World War II pose a moral dilemma for Sigga?
  9. What aspect of Sigga’s nature causes her to be attracted to the refugee Fritz?
  10. How is Sigga’s childhood quest for her father different from her adult quest?
  11. How do the two father quests differ, Sigga’s and Tosca’s?
  12. What role does Sigga’s mother-in-law, Bergthora, play in Sigga’s search for family? What role does her stepson, Magnus, play in that search?
  13. How has Sigga’s concept of family changed by the end of the story?