The Little Red Chairs Book Club Discussion Questions

Please put your comments for The Little Red Chairs book club discussion questions in the comment area below.

Discussion Questions:

1.We meet Dr. Vladimir Dragan at the beginning of the book appearing like a holy man in white gloves and white hair. What does his appearance signify?

2. There were a cast of interesting characters and their stories. Which one did you like the most and why?

3. Did you find that having all the different characters included help to augment the story, or did it take away from the story?

4. The Little Red Chairs was very graphic in some parts, in the brutality of the crimes that were committed. Did you find it upsetting? How did you feel about the approach O’Brien took to convey her message?

5. There were many themes that were raised in The Little Red Chairs, good and evil for example. Which theme did you feel was the most important?

6. The start of The Little Red Chairs pays homage and commemorates the start of the siege of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces with details of the red chairs and the little chairs. Did you know much about the war crimes and crimes against humanity before reading the book? Do you feel that you want to know more about it now?

7. To what extent do you think O’Brien achieved in bringing up the philosophical questions regarding war crimes in The Little Red Chair? Do you think she succeeded in making us aware of the atrocities of war?

8. What prompted Fidelma to go to the Hague? Was this the end of her journey or a beginning of a new one?

9. Fidelma decided to visit Vlad in prison because “it occurred to her that a trace of him still lurked in her, minute and spectral, that effluvial stain that would be her stigmata forever.” Do you think that she would get closure from the prison meeting? Was her expectation met?

10. Both Vlad and Fidelma had dreams. What was significant about Vlad dream, when he was in the cove that involved dreaming of his friend K? What did Fidelma’s dream of the conjugal room reveal?



If you have other questions that we have not included in our discussion questions for The Little Red Chair, please add your opinions and questions below.

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4 thoughts on “The Little Red Chairs Book Club Discussion Questions

    1. Hello Vic!
      I couldn’t agree with you more that O’Brien is a fantastic writer.
      I did however find that she is so good at writing that the traumatic parts of the book was too real and disturbing. I’d rather not have the gruesome violence in my mind after I finished the book.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  1. hi dinh, just got a phone call about edna o’brien, thought she was dead, (86), believe your review, there was always a nauseating edge to her writing for me, this sounds a bit sick again…however, she is a good writer anyway but like in “august is a wicked month” I am not one bit interested in how to get syphilis by reading a stupid summer romance..etcetera…I prefer Edna from Coronation Street

    1. Hi Mique!
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      I don’t think O’Brien is dead, well she was alive in March 2016 when New York Times reviewed her book. I did a quick google and didn’t see any headlines indicating she might have passed away.

      I haven’t read August is a Wicked Month, should I start reading that first? I was going to check out The Country Girls trilogy. You’re right, O’Brien beats Coronation Street. Lol, I’m more of an East Enders sorta girl…. I don’t get to watch that anymore now that I am in the U.S.

      Thanks for stopping by! I appreciate it. 🙂

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