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Book Cover Image (jpg): The Jealous Kind
Author Photo (jpg): James Lee Burke
Photograph by James McDavid(0.1 MB)
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Reading Group Guide
In 1952, Houston, Texas, is as much a city of souped-up pink convertibles and Friday-night ice cream dates as it is a backdrop for violent class warfare and horrendous crime. As seventeen-year-old Aaron Holland Broussard discovers, offending the wrong person—in this case, Grady Harrelson, the son of one of Houston’s wealthiest men—can have deadly consequences. When Aaron gets between Grady and his girlfriend, the beautiful Valerie Epstein, he sets off a chain of events involving the darkest elements of Houston’s criminal underworld—a trajectory that tests his courage, honor, and capacity for violence.
Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. How does Burke’s portrayal of postwar Houston challenge or complement your preconceived notions about this time period?
2. In the opening scene of The Jealous Kind, Burke writes, “My experience with the jellyfish seemed to characterize my life. No matter how sun-spangled the day might seem, I always felt a sense of dange see more