Little Broken Things
by Nicole Baart
Discussion Questions:
1. Little Broken Things explores motherhood in all its many forms. Tiffany and Liz are official parents, but Nora and Quinn also take on mothering roles in the book. What makes a good mother? Would you consider these women good mothers?

2. Liz is unlike the other characters in the novel. She’s old-fashioned, patriarchal, and even a little racist. How does she change throughout the book? What do you think prompts this change?

3. In the novel, Nora sacrifices a great deal for Tiffany and Everlee. Why do you think she does that? Would you have done the same in her position?

4. Remembering her late husband, Liz says: “Jack Sanford had not been a good man. True, he was steady and levelheaded and hardworking. He had made a way for himself in a world that favored the lucky, the people who were born with privilege and a place at the table. Jack Sr. had none of those things. But he took a small farmer’s inheritance and made something of it, built a legacy for his wife and kids and fought for it every day of his life. If he argued the validity of a bootstraps philosophy, it was only because he pulled himself up by them. A success story.” Do you feel that Jack’s challenges and determination in any way justify his actions?

5. Tiffany’s story is one of heartbreak and loss. She leaves because she believes her daughter will be better off without her. Is this act sacrificial or selfish? Do you agree with her decision?

6. Nora thinks of her sister as “perfect little Quinn.” In what ways does Quinn live up to that reputation? In what ways does she defy her sister’s expectations?

7. Why do you think Tiffany named her daughter Everlee?

8. Although Liz is loath to admit that she and Walker have some- thing in common, they are indeed both artists. Throughout the novel, what are some ways these two characters’ art influences their worldviews?

9. Who is your favorite character in Little Broken Things? Why? Is there a character you don’t like or don’t understand? Explain.

10. Why do you think Liz’s relationship with her daughters is so strained, and who—if anyone—is to blame? Do you have hope for them at the end of the book?

11. Throughout the novel, Everlee’s paternity is in question. How does the revelation of her real father affect your reading of the novel? Does it change your perspective of certain characters?

12. Toward the end of the novel, Liz tells Macy: “I think I have a God complex.” Do you agree that this affliction could apply to a multiple characters in Little Broken Things? If so, which ones?

13. At the end of the novel, Tiffany makes a very deliberate decision that ends in Donovan’s death. Is she a killer?

14. Walker names his sculpture Elizabeth Undone. Why do you think he does this? Is that an appropriate title for his piece?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)

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