We’re very excited to introduce our next Read With BookClubbish Pick, A Good Family by A.H. Kim! It’s a story about an all-American family as it implodes under the weight of secrets, lies and the unchecked desire for wealth and power. Scroll down below for all the details.
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September’s Read With BookClubbish Pick: A Good Family by A.H. Kim
“A story of money, family, who you can trust, and the extremes to which one will go for blood. I couldn’t put it down.” —Lisa Ling, host of CNN’s This Is Life
Keep your family close and your enemies closer.
Beth is the darling of God Halsa, a pharmaceutical giant, and she’s got the outrageous salary and lifestyle to prove it. Until she lands in white-collar women’s prison, thanks to a high-profile whistleblower suit.
Sam, Beth’s husband, used to be the town’s most eligible bachelor, and he’s never had to do anything for himself. Until his wife goes to jail, and he’s left to raise two daughters on his own.
Lise, the au pair, is the whistleblower. But is she? Everyone knows she’s not clever enough to have done it alone.
Hannah, Sam’s sister, is devoted to her family. There’s nothing she wouldn’t do for them.
Eva, Beth’s sister, is the smart one. (Read: not the pretty one.) Her life seems perfect on the surface, but sibling rivalry runs deep.
Martin, Beth’s brother, is the firstborn, the former golden boy turned inside-the Beltway businessman. But what is he hiding?
Someone knows something. Someone betrayed Beth.
This is the story of the Min-Lindstroms. This is the story of the all-American family as it implodes under the weight of secrets, lies and the unchecked desire for wealth and power.
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- The two primary narrators, Hannah and Beth, are a study in contrasts. In what ways are they different? In what ways do we discover they are alike? What do you make of the relationship between the two?
- Hannah and Beth start off the book with distinct narrative voices. In what ways do their voices differ? Do you find that their voices change over the course of the book? If so, how and why? Whose narration do you find more enjoyable to read?
- The book opens with Hannah observing the luxurious details of Le Refuge—everything from the Carrara marble countertops in the kitchen to the memory foam mattresses in the dorms—and she continues to mention such details throughout the book. How do you think Hannah feels about these extravagances? How do you feel about them? Do Hannah’s feelings change over time? Do yours?
- Both Hannah and Beth face conflicts working in white, male-dominated environments. How do Hannah and Beth respond to such conflicts? Have you faced similar conflicts in your life? Whose approach do you find more relatable?
- Both Hannah and Beth come from modest immigrant backgrounds, although Hannah was born in the US and Beth was born in Sweden. What role does immigration play in each character’s life? What about race? Do you think it’s easier for an immigrant to “blend in” when they are Swedish versus Korean?
- The three main male characters in the book—Sam, Martin and Alex—share a number of common traits. Discuss the commonalities and differences among the men. What forces or events do you think made them the kinds of men they are?
- Sisterhood is a key theme underlying the book. How is Hannah shaped by her role as older sister of Sam and Doori? How are Beth and Eva shaped by their roles, respectively, as “the pretty sister” and “the smart sister”? Do you have a sister? Do you relate to any of the sisters
in the book, and if so, how?
- Both Hannah and Beth use language as a way to mislead without outright lying: for example, calling Alderson Prison “Mommy’s camp.” Are there other examples in the book—whether in the form of language or actions—where the characters mislead without outright lying? Are there examples in your own life where you’ve used language or actions to mislead without lying?
- In the end, we discover both Hannah and Beth have sacrificed themselves for the ones they love. What did Hannah sacrifice? How about Beth? Reflect on a time that you’ve sacrificed something for a family member or friend. Do you think Hannah gave up too much for Sam? That Beth gave up too much for her family? Why or why not?
- The story ends in tragedy, but the epilogue hints at better days. What do you imagine the characters are doing after Beth is released from prison? Does Hannah stay with the girls or does she have her own “happily-ever-after”?
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Do you have a question you’d like to ask A.H. Kim yourself? Let us know in the comments below!