Serendipity in the Stacks #21: Lottery
Posted by: Kaite Stover
Don’t let the sweet nature of this first novel fool you into thinking there’s not much to talk about. Patricia Wood’s debut, The Lottery is based on some personal experience and she’s done a great deal of research about lottery winners and life after winning.
After readers get past the initial discussion about what life would be like after winning the lottery, they can start talking about how much better life would be like without winning the lottery. They can also talk about the ‘important’ things in life and what they cost, both financially and morally.
Wood’s guileless hero is Perry. He may be a little slower than the average person, but he’s got his Gran’s wisdom to guide him. Perry has a very good friend, Keith, who lives on a boat and has his own brand of earthy philosophy. Perry has a job and a girl he likes and very soon, he has more money than he can comprehend and it’s not making life any better. In fact, it’s making all the people around him, especially family, rather unpleasant.
Once readers have finished talking about how money changes everything, have them discuss Wood’s distinctive use of voice in her novel. Lottery will encourage readers to think about the daily lottery that is life in addition to windfalls of good fortune. Here’s the link to the reading guide. A smart selection for book groups who like gentle fiction.