I quite often get asked for book club or discussion questions for my books. These can usually be found in the back of the paperbacks, however, some of the earlier digital formats don’t have them, so I’ve listed the below. Just to be aware, though, they do contain spoilers, so if you haven’t read the book yet, you might not want to continue.
But first a letter to my readers
Thank you so much for taking the time to read The Girl Who Lied, I do hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.
As a wife and mother, writing about the family unit in one form or another is where I’m most comfortable, where I can dig deep for emotion and where the catalyst for the ‘what if..?’ questions are.
Families and their dynamics are fascinating whether they are traditional, blended, same sex marriage or partnership, single parents, foster families, to name just a few. How we interact with each other, what we assume about each other within that family is very individual, not just to the family but to the members within the same family. They can all share the same experiences yet all have their own take, opinion and version of shared events.
Not only that, families can evoke such strong emotions and can bring out both the worst and the best in us. They can provide the safety net which allows us to say or do things we wouldn’t necessarily do ‘in public’ good or bad and, equally, the can provide the source for us to do things which would be considered out of character. It was this line of thought that provided me with the idea for The Girl Who Lied how far would you go to protect your child? which I then expanded to include family and loved ones. It’s been a really interesting and challenging question to ask people what they would truly do to protect the ones they love.
Book Club Questions
i) Was Erin right not to tell Niall’s parents about her pregnancy? How much right/entitlement should a grandparent have to their grandchild?
ii) Was Marie’s decision to keep Erin’s secret from everyone, including her husband, the best thing to do?
iii) Is there a stigma still attached to teenage pregnancy?
iv) Can teenagers offer a child the love and care, that older parents can? Do older parents make better parents?
v) Did you feel any sympathy for Roisin? Did you feel she was trying to do her best for her mother or was it simply revenge for her brother’s death?
vi) Both Erin and Joe felt that adults should not be judged for the things they did as teenagers – do you agree with this?’
vii) Did Fiona and Sean make the right choice in agreeing to help Erin when she was pregnant? What was the alternative?
viii) In the beginning, were Kerry’s feelings towards his mother justified?
ix) Should Kerry’s mother have chosen her younger son over her older son? Is it possible to choose between your children?
x) Is there such a thing as the ideal family set up? If so, what would you consider this to be?
xi) Is there a limit to what a person should do for the love of another? If so, what is that limit?
Erin’s story touches on an issues that is still relevant in the Republic of Ireland where the termination of a pregnancy is illegal unless it presents a real and substantial risk to the life of the mother. In 2014 an estimated 4000 women were forced to leave Ireland, north and south, to terminate their pregnancy, with an estimated 2000 travelling to England ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-health/1675113/Abortion-Northern-Ireland-nightmare-law-could-be-about-to-change.html) and although this book does not set out to delve deeply in to this issue, I wanted to tell one particular scenario of a teenage pregnancy though the main character.