Book Club Guide

Book Club Guides on this page:
1. The Secret Mother
2. The Girl from the Sea
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1. THE SECRET MOTHER - Book Club Guide
 
*This guide contains spoilers*










Special thanks to Tiffany Dupree-Atwell, Kisha Craig and Eileen Lambert for coming up with some of these great questions and for making me feel so welcome at their wonderful Facebook Book Club: 'Black Girls Read!'.

Questions 
  • How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to get into it? 
  • What major emotional response did the story evoke in you?
  • Did the book take you outside your comfort zone?

The characters
  • Did you like the characters? If not, was that important?
  • Were there any characters you loved to hate?
  • Did you ever feel sympathy for Dr Fisher?
  • Were Angela's actions justified? How would you have reacted in her situation?
  • Did any of the characters remind you of people you know? 
  • Tessa comes home to find a strange boy in her kitchen. Would your reaction have been the same as Tessa's? How would you react differently?
  • Which character did you find easiest to relate to?
  • How do you feel their twins deaths impacted on Tessa and Scott's actions?

The structure
  • What do you think about the use of first person present tense? How did it add to or detract from your feelings towards Tessa.
  • Why might the author have chosen to tell the story the way she did—and what difference did it make in the way you read or understood it?

 Moral dilemmas
  • Dr Fisher didn't tell his wife about the switch until right before she died. Was he right to tell her? Would you have wanted to set things right like Liz Fisher tried to do?
  • Do you think you would have been determined to find the truth as Tessa, to go to such lengths, risking jail?

 Wrap up
  • Did your opinion of the book change as you read it? How?
  • Did you feel the ending was appropriate? Did you enjoy the "happy" ending or would you have preferred a more shocking/unexpected twist?
  • What do you think the future holds for Tessa and Ben?
  • Do you feel any sympathy for Scott and Ellie?
  • Did the novel leave any questions open-ended that you would have liked to have known the answer to?
  • If you could hear this story from another character's point of view, who would you choose? Why?
  • Had you read any reviews before reading the book? If so, did you agree with the reviewers or not?
  • If you had to halve the size of your book collection, would this book stay or go?
  • If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?
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2. THE GIRL FROM THE SEA – Book Club Guide

 *This guide contains spoilers*
 
























Questions
  • How did you experience the book? Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to get into it? 
  • Which character – including the supporting cast – did you feel the most empathy towards?
  • What major emotional response did the story evoke in you?
  • Did the book take you outside your comfort zone?
  • ‘Some things never change, memory or no memory.’ When Mia met Jack after her amnesia, he evoked the same feelings in her as before. Do you think we are drawn to certain people in life regardless of their character and personality? Should we trust those instincts?

 The characters
  • Did you like the characters? If not, was that important?
  • Were there any characters you loved to hate?
  • Did you ever feel sympathy for Piers?
  • Who was your money on as the ‘bad guy’ and why?
  • Were Jack’s actions justified? How would you have reacted in his situation?
  • Did any of the characters remind you of people you know?

I allow my characters to say and do things I would never do myself…

  • Would you have gone home from the hospital with Piers? Would you have ended things sooner with him?
  • Would you have tried to kiss Jack?
  • Should Mia have tried harder to bond with her mother and sister?
  • Do you think it would have been better to have Mia change her personality for the better after her memories returned? Or did you enjoy the fact she reverted to her crazy-former-self?
  • Do you think Mia would have remained a more sympathetic character if her memories hadn’t returned? Or do you think that ultimately her previous character would have broken through?

 The book’s themes
  • What main themes does the novel explore?
  • Did the author use any symbols to reinforce the main ideas?
  • How effective do you think the author’s technique of using amnesia was to use as a motif for personality?

The structure
  • What do you think about the use of first person present tense? How did it add to or detract from your feelings towards Mia.
  • Why might the author have chosen to tell the story the way she did—and what difference did it make in the way you read or understood it?

 The book’s setting
  • Mia’s story is set mainly in a beautiful riverside town. Do you think the setting should have been bleaker to echo Mia’s state of mind?
  • With the river and sea being at the heart of the story, how did you relate to this aspect? How did the scenes on the water make you feel?

 Moral dilemmas
  • Piers lied to Mia, omitting to tell her that they broke up right before her ‘accident’. Do you think he was in any way justified?
  • Suki didn’t tell her husband what had happened between her brother, his wife and Mia that night. Should she have confided in him? Should she have gone to the police? What would you have done if it had been your brother?
  • Who was mainly at fault here? Mia for getting involved with a married man? Or Jack for cheating on his wife?

 Wrap up
  • Were you disappointed there was no traditional ‘happy’ ending? Did the twist make up for it?
  • Did you see the twist coming?
  • What do you think the future holds for Mia?
  • Do you feel any sympathy for Jack and Suki?
  • Did the novel leave any questions open-ended that you would have liked to have known the answer to?
  • Had you read any reviews before reading the book? If so, did you agree with the reviewers or not?
  • If you had to halve the size of your book collection, would this book stay or go?
  • If you could ask the author a question, what would it be?myBook.to/SecretMother

2 comments:

  1. I recently started reading your books and I'm HOOKED!!! After reading The Best Friend - I had to read more, more more! I just started Marchwood Vampire Series, but Girl from the Sea is my favorite! I actually miss Mia James! I just recommended it to a friend. I'm just now seeing the signed paperbacks...ohhh I might need one!!!! Thank you for hooking me into such great writing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you SO much, Kristi! I'm thrilled you're enjoying my books xxx

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