Reading Group Questions: The Seven Imperfect Rules of Elvira Carr
1. “The label caught on my fingernail: ‘John lewis: hand wash only.’ John Lewis was a reliable upmarket shop, Mother’s favourite. I hadn’t known they had branches in Japan.” – Is Elvira a reliable narrator?
2. What did you think of Elvira and Mother’s relationship? Does Elvira’s opinion of Mother differ to yours?
3. Discuss Elvira’s Rules. Were there any you think you would benefit from following yourself?
4. Mother used to say Sylvia was kind but common. – How would you describe Sylvia?
5. ‘I’m not surprised, you know, dear,’ she said. ‘About the stroke. If ever there was a woman driven to one, it was your mother.’ – Did you have sympathy for Mother and her life before the stroke?
6. Who was the better parent – Mother or Father?
7. In what way are Elvira’s difficulties universal ones?
8. Do you have to be ‘normal’ to be happy?
Following twenty-seven year old Elvira Carr as she navigates her way through the 'real world' for the first time, armed with her seven very important rules, Frances Maynard's novel is a charming and uplifting story of family and friendship, the perfect book to read next if you loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completley Fine or The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.