Buzz Book Club: The Life Before Her Eyes, Section Two


Welcome back Buzz Book Club readers! Are you addicted and intrigued yet by The Life Before Her Eyes? I have to admit I'm having a hard time putting this one down, and though I'm willing myself not to flip ahead, I'm really curious how this will all play out. I also am trying to just savor the haunting and gorgeous images Kasischke brings to life through her poetic prose.

If you're new to the Book Club, this is how it goes: every week I'll suggest chapters to complete by the next post (which, in this case, will go up every Friday in April). In these weekly Book Club posts, I'll posit a few questions to prompt discussion in the comments section.

Of course, you are always welcome to read beyond the weekly chapters, but please don't spoil anything in the comments! This is particularly important with this book because each section reveals more about what I'm assuming is a surprise ending. After the jump you'll find some questions that struck me as I read this section.

The next assignment: read from the start of Part Three to the end of the chapter titled "Glare." We'll chat about this third section a week from today, Friday, April 18.

To discuss the second section of The Life Before Her Eyes (in which we read to the end of the chapter titled "Blood"), read more.

  1. Starting first with the end of the chapter: The image of Diana eating the raw hamburger, savoring its "smooth as pudding, as smooth as ice cream" texture, gave me chills. What do you make of that?
  2. In this section, we learned that, in contrast to the perfect life Diana lives now, her high school experience was much rockier: an abortion, naked photos, getting high before ballet. There are a couple of times where Kasischke juxtaposes a happy high school image right next to a dark one: comparing a scent to "a funeral parlor or a prom dance," for example, or describing her prom corsage as "a pin stabbed just above her heart." What do you think accounts for the differences between Young Diana and Diana now?
  3. This chapter also introduced a strong element of magical realism, with the strange "slut" letter, the suddenly-made bed, the teenagers swimming (or not) in the neighbors' pool. How are you separating fact from fiction? Are you even trying to?
  4. Speaking of the pool, the girl Diana is watching sounds like she is very physically similar to teenage-Diana. She also sees a blonde little girl eating ice cream with her father. It's almost as if she is seeing different versions of herself. Why do think this is — and how does it factor into your overall theory of what's happening to Diana?
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