Book Club Guide

 

About the Book

This warm and exuberantly comic debut tells the story of the Molochniks, Russian-Jewish immigrants in suburban Connecticut. Daughters wed, houses flood, cultures clash…and the past has a way of emerging at the most inconvenient moments (and in the strangest ways.) Equal parts Jane Austen and Gogol,  The Cosmopolitans casts a sharp and sympathetic eye on the foibles and rewards of family and life in
America

Discussion Questions

1.      The book begins with Milla Molochnik and Malcolm Strauss planning to get married, in spite of Milla’s crush on a female co-worker, the opposition of Malcolm’s parents, and Malcolm’s continuing ties to an ex-girlfriend. Why, in the face of all these obstacles, do they get married?  

2.      Do you think Jean Strauss is a sympathetic character? Why or why not?

3.      According to Webster’s dictionary, a cosmopolitan is “a person who is free from local, provincial, or national bias or attachment.” Which, if any, of the characters in the book does this definition bring to mind? Is it possible for anyone to be a true cosmopolitan? 

4.      Which, if any, of the characters reminded you of people in your family?

5.      At the end of the novel, Yana and Pratik, Katya and Roman, and Milla and Theandra are together. What kind of future do you predict for these couples?

6.      What is the role of Lev in the novel? Do you know anyone who, like Lev, seems to prefer observing life to living it?