The Jell-O Girls Book Club Discussion Questions

For our September meeting, my book club read The Jell-O Girls by Allile Rowbottom.

There weren’t any discussion questions already online so I created my own. I tweaked them after our meeting, to address the points that came up for us.

I hope your club can use these to have a thoughtful discussion. If you do, I’d love to hear about it!

The Jell-O Girls by Allie Rowbottom – Book Club Discussion Questions

1.     What were your favorite parts of the book and why? And your least favorite?

2.     Allie’s mother believed the Jell-O money, and later the patriarchy, was the source of a curse in the family. Do you believe there was a curse? If so, what do you think was the source? Do you see patriarchy as a curse on its own?

3.     Discuss how wealth and privilege were sources of anxiety and tension for the women in this book. Because that was “Jell-O money” do you think that’s why Jell-O was blamed for the bad things that happened in the family?

4. Do you feel the connection to Jell-O and its history are valid in these women’s stories?  

5.    Discuss Jell-O’s role in shaping expectations for American women. 

6.     Discuss how the company pivoted to keep Jell-O relevant throughout the decades and change in America. 

7.     How did you feel about Jell-O before the book? And after?

8.     How has the role of food shifted in culture since Jell-O was introduced/first popular?

9.     Memoir often explores questions the author will never truly be able to answer. What were those for Allie? And do you think she found some closure in writing this book?

10.     What was the author trying to convey by introducing witchcraft and the teen girls’ mystery illness storylines? Did she achieve what she was aiming for?

You can learn more about Allie Rowbottom and The Jell-O Girls at

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