Chapter 5: A “Fecking” Mess


Swedish Again: Chapter-By-Chapter Guide

Questions for Understanding

  1. How many people lived in Kevin’s apartment when Anna arrived?
  2. What was Sinead doing when Anna tried to talk to her?
  3. What did Cara try to make Sinead and Rory do?
  4. Did Sinead and Rory go to day camp, as planned?

Questions for Group Reflection and Discussion

  1. What part of this chapter do you think is most significant? Why?
  2. Clearly, some challenges are being introduced. Based on this chapter, what do you think some of Anna’s challenges will be, moving forward?
  3. The title contains the word “fecking,” which is a word used in Ireland. Have you heard it before? If so (or based on the chapter), do you agree with Anna or Kevin about using it around children?

Ideas for Further Consideration

  • There is a lot of talk these days about “screen addiction” in children and teens. What are your experiences with this issue and/or your opinions?
  • Anna thinks her reaction to her 18-year-old stepdaughter’s boyfriend sleeping over is based on being religious and/or American. Do you agree with that assessment? Where do you stand on this issue?

Especially for English Language Learners

Key Words and Expressions:

“…his father’s imposing oak desk.” = his father’s big and sturdy desk made of wood (page 40)

All total, nine people lived…” = All together; If we add them up (page 41)

“the massive wooden table” = big and heavy (page 41)

“flip like a pancake” = change to the opposite; change completely (page 41)

“lounging on the couch” = lying down in a very relaxed or lazy way (page 45)

Grammar Focus:

Past Tense Verbs

This story is written in past tense, so let’s review the two basic categories of verbs in Simple Present Tense.

Examples of regular verbs:

(Add -ed, paying attention to spelling rules.)

walk = walked

play = played

try = tried

stop= stopped

Examples of irregular Verbs:

go = went

say = said

read = read

write = wrote


Write the base form of each irregular past tense verb. They are all from this chapter. The answers are below.


Answers to Part 1

  1. Nine. Six siblings (including Michael but minus Cara), one boyfriend, one girlfriend, and Anna.
  2. She was lying on a sofa, looking at her iPad, with earbuds in her ears.
  3. She tried to make them get ready for day camp.
  4. No.

Answers to Grammar Focus

fly, find, lie, slide, take, mean, burst, hang

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