Book Club Discussion Prompts: Orange is the New Black

Thursday, November 20, 2014

My book club here in LA really enjoyed reading Orange Is The New Black.  Probably because at least half of us are huge fans of the show.  While the book definitely differed greatly from the show, I personally enjoyed learning about the treatment of non-violent criminals here in the United States and found Piper Kerman's views on the subject to be enlightening.  This great website contains some pretty interesting statistics, and delves more in depth into the differences between the show, the memoir, and the actual U.S. prison system, if you're interested in researching more post-read.

Here are some discussion prompts for your own book club meeting, after the jump.   Beware... SPOILERS AHEAD!

xo V

1. ) What were your thoughts on Piper's sentence?  Did you feel it was fair for the crime she committed?  Did you sympathize with her "Wild Child" mentality in her youth, or did you feel she was putting herself in needless danger?

2.) If you watch the show, how do you feel main characters in the book are different from the show?  Who did you recognize from the book as composite characters on the show?  Which versions did you prefer, and why?

3.) Did you find it shocking that Piper and other non-violent offenders had to wait for their trials in large, co-ed areas with violent and repeat offenders, such as Piper's stays in Oklahoma City, and the Metropolitan Chicago Correctional Center?  How did you feel when you learned that the prisoners are denied water aboard Con Air, or that they are often denied information pertaining to their release dates?

4.) What part of the book did you find to be the most interesting?  The most shocking?  The most distasteful?  The most informative?

5.) Did you expect Piper to run into Nora and her sister?  Did you think there would still be a spark between them again?  Were you expecting them to become friends?

6.) Were you surprised with how the book ended?  Did you hope that Piper would see the ladies at Danbury again?  

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