A reading guide for your literary pleasure

1 Do you think ‘kitchen sink drama’ is an appropriate description for this story?

2 A central idea of this book is revolution; in which way does The Mussel Feast mimic an actual revolution?

3 How do you feel about the mother? In which way is she complicit in the father’s dominance?

4 What age is the narrator?

5 At which point in the story does the mother start to support the children’s ‘insubordination’?

6 Considering that this book was written a month before the fall of the Berlin Wall, how does the story relate to the historical events?

7 Are there any aspects of the father’s behaviour that you recognise from your own life, or could relate to?

8 The mussels are present on the table throughout the story; what symbolic role do they play?

9 What will the family do next?

10 What do you think has actually happened to the father?