The Weight of Ink
by Rachel Kadish
- In The Weight of Ink, character Helen says, “This is not a Jewish story. This story, whatever it proves to be, belongs to all of us.” Do you think this statement applies to the book? Why or why not?
- What choices and sacrifices do the women of the novel make? Do you think these are choices that women still face today? What can we learn from this book about how women in different historical periods have grappled with gender expectations?
- What is the purpose of history, according to Helen and Aaron? Why do they study history? What does it offer them?
- Many of the characters in the book feel tremendous passion and desire – sometimes for people and sometimes for ideas. What is the relationship in this novel between love of ideas and romantic love?
- The tension between the willingness to sacrifice oneself and the will to live arises repeatedly in the novel. How do you understand these warring impulses? Is one more noble to you? If so, which one? How might gender influence these impulses?
- Why is uncovering Ester’s story so important to Helen and Aaron? What new perspectives and insights are revealed when they learn the true identity of Aleph?