I put these questions together for my student book group at school. I thought they might be useful for other school/ public librarians. If you're thinking about using At Yellow Lake for a reading group, I would suggest it would be most suited to Year 9 and above. There are some more mature themes explored in the novel - sexual abuse, murder, vulnerability, innocence. There was also considerable swearing and I did find the book unsettling.
Discussion Questions: At Yellow Lake by Jane McLoughlin
- Which character’s viewpoint was the most convincing: Etta, Jonah, Peter? Did the “British” voice of Peter feel authentic? Did the author succeed in creating different tone of male and female teen narratives?
- How do you feel about the swearing? Was it too much? Was it necessary for a book that explores being in a violence community?
- What themes did you identify running through the novel?
- Peter, Etta and Jonah all focus on their relationships with their mother’s. Why might this be significant?
- Did the Lake hold a beauty for you at any point in the story? Did your feelings towards the lake change?
- Is it a part of the human condition to want to know where we came from? Are we shaped by our heritage if we are not raised in the culture? Is there a part of your heritage you would like to explore?
- What did you think of the ending? Is there anything you would change?