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What a Happy Family Reader’s Guide

By Saumya Dave

What a Happy Family by Saumya Dave


Reader’s Guide
What a Happy Family by Saumya Dave
Discussion Questions:

1. What are your thoughts on the title of this book? Do you believethe Joshis are a happy family by the end of the novel?

2. Mental health is a prominent theme in What a Happy Family.How is each character impacted by it throughout the story?Why is there so much stigma surrounding mental health? Doyou believe this is changing?

3. The book states that “Suhani got a hopeful, struggling mother,which fueled her ambition. Natasha got a strict and scaredmother, which instigated her rebellion. Anuj got a softer, moresecure mother, which gave him comfort.” Do you think this istrue? Can the same parents be completely different with differentchildren?

4. Bina left her career as an actress, while Natasha is working tobuild hers in stand‑upcomedy. How did both women’s relationshipswith creativity change throughout the novel?

5. Suhani struggles with impostor syndrome despite how muchshe’s accomplished. What contributes to this? How do you feel about her journey at work? Have you ever navigated this inyour own life?

6. This book examines how family members shape one another.Were there any dynamics or interactions that you identifiedwith?

7. Bina takes pride in her strong female friendships. At one point,she reflects on the differences between her bonds with Anitaand Devi. How did these women impact her choices and goals? Do you ever see the three of them spending time together?

8. Natasha has always worried that something is inherently wrongwith her. What factors do you think made her feel this way?How big of a role did her family play in how she viewed herself?

9. Despite wanting to create their own paths, both Bina andDeepak learn that they internalized their parents’ beliefs. Howwere their kids impacted by this? Do you think it’s possible tochange longstanding patterns of thinking and behavior?

10. Suhani’s shame pushes her to keep secrets from Zack. How doyou feel about their marriage after she tells him everything?What do you think their future together holds?

11. It’s five years after the novel’s ending. How is the Joshi familydoing?
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