One of those wonderful soul-stirring novels that has immense irresistible appeal for a huge raft of readers — from fans of funny, read-in-one sitting stories, to lovers of literary fiction — Matt Coyne’s Frank and Red is likely to delight pretty much everyone in your reading group while also sparking conversations around grief, finding new ways to live through loss, and the glory of intergenerational bonds, community and neighbourly kindness.

We adored this story of how curmudgeonly, grief-stricken Frank re-finds his mojo as a result of forming an unlikely friendship with his new six-year-old neighbour, Red — a charming, lively little boy who’s struggling with his parents’ separation and school bullies. 

Read on for a few questions to get your book club discussions going — we guarantee you’re in for a moving, funny, life-affirming treat.

1. How did you respond to the scenes between Frank and Marcie? What role did they play in the story? Why might the author have chosen this narrative device?

2. “Like all things catastrophic, it began in the most mundane of ways.” Discuss this statement relating to Marcie’s illness. Did the line resonate with you beyond its context in the novel?

3. Discuss the representation of a child’s perspective on an adult world, as delivered by Red. Did it chime with your experience of six-year-olds? Discuss the authenticity of the novel’s representation of childhood perspectives, and Frank’s grief. 

4. Discuss the role of humour in the characters’ lives, and as a device in the novel.

5. “As Frank brooded over his son’s refusal to apologise, Mikey continued to fume over his father’s stubbornness and inability to accept that he was in the wrong.” Who was in the wrong in the feud between father and son?

6. What role does coincidence play in the novel, across different characters’ lives?

7. What did you think of the way Frank and Red ended? How did you feel after finishing it? Would you recommend it?

Look through all our Book Club recommendations and our discussion questions for more inspiration. Click below to add the book order a copies for you and your reading group.