I have found that one of the most enjoyable aspects of reading a novel that has really grabbed me, is discussing it afterwards. Conducting a literary post-mortem. We all see things differently, often subjectively, and so discussing a book’s central themes and the issues it raises, as a group, can be enlightening and good fun too. Particularly if you add wine!
My debut novel, The Love Detective, is ripe for discussion. It contains some thought-provoking, conversation-inducing, and at times, dark themes not often explored in the chick-lit genre. So, to further stimulate dialogue, I have included some questions and notes, specifically for reading groups and book clubs.
I have detailed these below and am delighted to be able to offer a 20% discount on purchases for book clubs and reading groups (minimum order of 5 copies.) Do email me on firstname.lastname@example.org for the promotional code you can enter at checkout.
THE LOVE DETECTIVE – READING GROUP GUIDE
1: What did you think of the row between Clarry and Laura?
Have you ever experienced the issue of jealousy (or at least the perception of it) with a friend?
2: Clarry loves food and is confident in her body size and shape. What are your thoughts on Body Image Activism and Body Positivity?
3: “Confidence in men so often displays itself with a sexual edge. Women instinctively recognise it and the suggestion of threat that can lie beneath its surface” thinks Clarry on meeting Simon Napier. Do you agree with this statement? What have your own observations been?
4: Clarry is reluctant to tell Laura about Simon’s fuck-buddy relationship with Karen. Do you think it’s right to be honest with a friend if you know her/his partner is being unfaithful? Or is it potentially too damaging to the friendship?
5: Flan is seventy years old, looks great, has bags of energy and is having an active sex life. She inspires Clarry. Do you think attitudes to ageing (particularly towards women) are changing? And do you have an older female role model?
6: Clarry embarks on a causal fling with fellow waiter, Tim. Is it ever a good idea to have a relationship with a co-worker? Or is it just too complicated?
7: “It struck me that might I, like much of society, be secretly afraid not just of poverty but of The Poor? And of what they could do if ever they grew tired of being the underdogs?” Clarry asks herself this question on meeting Dan, Maggie and Sheena. What are your thoughts on this?
8: “I noted how very ordinary they looked. You could pass them in the street or work alongside them in an office and would never know what monsters they truly were. They walk amongst us I thought. They are our fathers, our brothers, and our husbands” This is Clarry’s immediate response as she watches the men at the “auction” being led away by the police. Do you think her reaction a fair one?
9: After the “auction” Clarry decides to talk out the experience and describe the fear and fury she felt. In the outpouring she finds her centre again. How important do you think speaking your emotions aloud (to yourself, your friends or a professional) is in the recovery process?
10: The Love Detective comes to a close with the following statement: “Anything can happen to us and around us. And maybe the trick is not to be afraid of whatever it is that’s coming out way?”
Would you agree with this statement?