by Nancy-Gay Rotstein
of Shattering Glass
A PERFECT BOOK FOR
AND READING GROUPS
“What is the price of career
success for women?
“The author takes us through the lives of three successful women,
and in the inevitable juggling of home, family, career, sacrifices
are made. The plot is well-crafted, the dialogue realistic and the
“The novel left me thinking about the issue involved, it would
provide much material for discussion in a reading group -- how much
influence does a parent have over their child? Should there be
someone 'at home' all the time? At what age is it acceptable for a
child to be left alone -- how damaging is it to be with a parent who
is physically present, but preoccupied with other concerns?”
--New Books: The Magazine for readers and reading groups
(review from the recent publication of Shattering Glass
in the United Kingdom)
POSSIBLE TOPICS TO BE DISCUSSED BY YOUR READING GROUP:
- The women whose stories are told
in SHATTERING GLASS are struggling to balance family life with a
successful career. What are some of the personal costs for women
in achieving independence and success and in shattering the “glass
- In SHATTERING GLASS, Barbara is
a highly successful novelist whose husband has trouble handling
her success. Do you think a marriage can be adversely affected if
the woman’s career surpasses her husband’s or she gets more public
recognition or earns more money
than he does? If so, how might a couple work together so the
partner feels comfortable with her success? Do you think men are
adjusting better now that this is becoming more common?
- Many women, through divorce or
by choice, find themselves raising a child alone. Judy is a single
mother who struggled to get back into the workplace and took on a
highly recognizable and visibly successful career. What are the
special problems a single mother might face in light of the child
who waits for her at home? What are the best ways to handle them?
- Do you think changes in the
economy, with more women joining the work force, have brought
about new kinds of relationships between men and women? What about
new kinds of relationships between fathers and their children?
- With so many women working
today, do you think there have been any changes in how women — and
men — see each of their responsibilities in the home?
- Because of the current economy
many previously stay-at-home moms have entered the workforce, some
for the first time and others having to re-train, like Judy. As a
parent, what do you think the most difficult aspects of this would
be, both for you and your child?
- Judy doesn’t tell her small son
the real reason why his father has stopped seeing him. Barbara
hides her husband’s physical abuse of her from their daughter.
Dede suspects her sons may have been sexually molested but avoids
discussing it with them. Should we always be honest with our
children about what is happening in the family? Do you think the
characters made the right decisions? Would you have handled any of
these situations differently?
- All three mothers find it
increasingly difficult to keep the lines of communications open
between them and their children. What can parents do to be more
effective in communicating with their children?
- In SHATTERING GLASS, the CEO of
Judy’s company wants her to go to London on a business trip at a
time when her son is going through a difficult period. When, if
ever, should a woman put her job before her children?
- More and more women have become
successful in the eyes of the world; however, as Nancy-Gay
Rotstein’s characters reveal, when it comes to their children they
tend to view “success” in a different light. What do you consider
to be a “successful” woman? How does this compare with the
perception held by our grandmother’s generation?
- Judy feels pressured by her
son's request for things that he has become accustomed to and now,
after the divorce, she can no longer afford. Should children be
made aware of a family's financial difficulties? What advice would
you give her or anyone facing similar financial situations,
particularly with today's economic climate?
- Which character—Judy, Dede, or
Barbara— do you most identify with? In what ways?
- All three women overcome
obstacles in their lives to achieve their personal goals (their
own “glass ceiling”). What can be learned from this book that you
could apply to your own life and circumstances?
- On what level are these stories
- Can a woman truly succeed in
balancing marriage, children and a career? How successful do you
think you have been?
- Now that you’ve read the novel,
what is the significance of the title “Shattering Glass” to you?