The Fortunes of Jaded Women
by Caroline Huynh
Discussion Questions:
1. The story starts with the beginnings of a curse and predictions from a psychic-how do both the curse and psychic set up the rest of the story?

2. Discuss the similarities and differences between each generation of women. Are any of the daughters like their mothers?

3. Th?o references her "Asian-daughter guilt" (page 74), when talking about being away from home for as long as she has. Do you think the idea of mother/daughter guilt is a universal concept?

4. Why was jade such an important symbol to the family, specifically through jewelry?

5. Although they all have various frustrations with one another, the D??ng sisters and their daughters clearly love each other. What are some ways they demonstrate their affection, albeit in perhaps untraditional manner?

6. Setting plays an important part in the novel. What feelings are invoked when in Seattle, Saigon, or Orange County? Discuss how the different neighborhoods and houses play a pivotal role in the characters' lives.

7. There are many funny scenes in the novel, in addition to its humorous tone. Which moments made you laugh, and how did they make you feel about the characters?

8. Mark, Andy, Daniel, Anh and even Dr. Hak all have their roles to play as the men in the lives of the D??ng sisters. Discuss how these relationships are all woven together and the significance of each of these characters.

9. "Pass this necklace on to your oldest daughter, and when your oldest daughter is of age, the necklace will help her bear the children she wants. She will continue passing down the necklace, throughout the generations, and the necklace will always reveal their real desires in their children" (page 240). Why was this revelation important? How does it change everything the sisters have ever believed about their family?

10. Discuss how the novel is organized and broken into five parts-"The Predictions," "The Funeral," "The Pregnancy," "The Wedding," and "The Grandson."

11. Each character brings something different to the story-did you relate to any of them? If so, please explain who and why.

12. When the novel ends, we see Priscilla go see the psychic to learn about her daughter. Given that she is someone who "always relied on numbers as the source of truth in the universe" (page 19), why do you think she continues this tradition?




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