I hope these questions enhance your book club’s discussion of THE SUBWAY GIRLS. Please note that the questions below will give away elements of the plot, so it’s best to read the book before reviewing the guide. Tag me on social media with photos of your book club holding up their copies of THE SUBWAY GIRLS and I’ll share! Thank you.
- Had you heard of the Miss Subways contest before you started reading the book?
- Were you surprised that the Miss Subways contest existed? What do you think of the contest?
- What were the similarities between Charlotte and Olivia in terms of ambition and opportunities even though they started in the work force so many years apart?
- Discuss how our society has changed – or not – since the time of the Miss Subways contest in terms of opportunities for women in the workplace, the pitfalls of female ambition, objectification of women, etc.
- If you were Charlotte, what would you have said to Rose in the coffee shop after the poster reveal? How do you think you would have handled the predicament?
- Do you think you would have sent in your picture to the Miss Subways contest? Why or why not?
- What did you think of Olivia and Matt’s relationship?
- Have you ever worked with someone like Thomas?
- Are you more of a Charlotte, a Rose, or an Olivia?
- If you were making a movie of this book, who would you cast?
- Did you take away any message from this book?
- The Henry David Thoreau quote, “I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours,” figures prominently in the novel. What does this quote mean to you?
Enhance your Book Club*:
- If your book club is near NYC, go as a group to the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn where you can walk through vintage subway cars and stare up at original Miss Subways posters. Or have your book club at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, owned by Miss Subways March-April 1959, Ellen Hart Sturm. There are original Miss Subways posters hanging throughout the restaurant.
- Make your own Miss Subways posters by printing out black and white photos of your book club members and writing fun descriptions following the Miss Subways poster design.
- Serve chocolate babka. You can even order it online from Green’s.
- Play music from the 1940s. Spotify has a great channel called “16 Most Requested Songs Of The 1940s. My favorite song on that playlist is “I’m Beginning To See The Light” by Harry James and Kitty Kallen.
*For all of these, please take photos and post on social media. Tag me so I can see them and share.