Discussion Questions – Fatal Reaction

  1. Fatal Reaction Cover ArtWhy did Mitzy choose to leave her career as a newspaper reporter? Did her decision seem valid? Why/why not?
  2. What job-related skills did Mitzy transfer into her new career as a special education teacher? How did these skills benefit her?
  3. Describe Mitzy’s relationship with her mother. How does their relationship change over time, if at all?
  4. How does Harry’s entrance into their lives affect Mitzy and her mother?
  5. Compare and contrast the relationship between Ellie and her parents with that of Mitzy and her parents.
  6. Hypothesize how the car accident and resulting comatose state of Ellie’s mother psychologically impacts the daughter.
  7. Discuss how Mitzy’s attention deficit disorder affects her relationship with her students, friends, and family. How is her ADD a positive/negative in her life?
  8. Compare and contrast the academic and psychological strengths and weaknesses of Sammy and Ellie. How do those tensions play out in their relationship?
  9. Discuss the personality traits of Joseph Barge which led to his death. Were you surprised at learning who “did him in”? Was it an accidental or purposeful act? What was the motive?
  10. Describe the belief system shared by the English teacher and the special education supervisor. To what lengths did they go to achieve their mutual goal? How did you feel about the choices they made?
  11. How did Mitzy’s caustic style affect her relationship with Eric? What hopes, if any, do you have for their relationship in the next book?
  12. What impact, if any, did the interjection of Jewish traditions serve in the novel?


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