Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. What does food mean to the author? How did your particular attitude toward food develop?
2. What challenges do writers and chefs share? Are they unique to those professions?
3. What saved the author from a life of substance abuse and crime?
4. Gabrielle Hamilton’s mother-in-law is a central figure in her book. Why did she become so important for her? Do you have someone equally important in your own life?
5. Being invited by Misty Callies to prep for a large dinner party and, later, to work at her restaurant were milestones for Gabrielle Hamilton. Why were these experiences significant for her?
6. Gabrielle Hamilton writes about her ambivalence in wedding her husband. Why do you think she married him? Have you ever felt similarly about your own relationships?
7. Getting one’s needs met is a recurring theme. How do you think Gabrielle Hamilton feels about this and how has it influenced her journey?
8. Is Blood, Bones & Butter a funny book?
9. Many have commented on the “honesty” of the book, suggesting that such candor and intimacy are uncommon. Are readers mostly responding to the way Gabrielle Hamilton writes about her own family or does that “honesty” manifest elsewhere? What is her point or objective in being so forthcoming? Do you think you would be so upfront in your own memoir?
10. Did you like/not like the ending and why?