Here is the official set of Reading Group questions for The Perfect Guests:

Please note, these are intended as discussion points after the book has been read - they contain spoilers!

  1. In the early stages of Leonora’s relationship with Markus, she worries that she’s a bad person, and she hopes that Markus might help her ‘to change, to improve, to become more like him.’ Do you think Leonora’s desire to be a good person counts for anything? Is it fair to say that, in the end, it’s Markus who becomes more like her?

  2. Who was responsible for the cracks that formed in Beth and Nina’s friendship? Do you think it was inevitable that things would go wrong?

  3. Nina tells Beth, ‘My mother always loved this house more than she loved me.’ Do you think that’s true? Does it fit with Leonora’s behaviour when she ignores Markus’ instruction to phone the fire brigade and rushes upstairs into thick smoke to search for Nina?

  4. Stephanie tried to be a good friend to Leonora, protecting Nina’s identity and warning Leonora about Hendrik’s visits. Do you think Stephanie did the right thing? If she’d decided not to keep Leonora’s secrets, might the outcome have been better for Nina?

  5. Do you feel Leonora and Markus bear equal responsibility for the initial ‘game’? Was it reasonable for them to assume it would be harmless to Beth?

  6. If you could explore the life of one of the minor characters, which would you choose?

  7. How do you feel about the choices Caroline made, both before Beth was born and afterwards? Do feel any sympathy for her?

  8. In the aftermath of the 2019 events at Raven Hall, Beth says about her childhood there: ‘Most of the time – it was a pretty wonderful place to live’. Does this statement surprise you?

  9. Near the end, Sadie wonders whether it’s worse to be a targeted victim of a crime, or to be thought of as collateral damage. What do you think?

  10. What would you like to see happen at Raven Hall in the days and weeks following the final chapter?




Here is the official set of Reading Group questions for The Au Pair:

Please note, these are intended as discussion points after the book has been read - they contain spoilers!

  1. What were your feelings about Summerbourne as the setting for this story? Did you empathise with Seraphine's attachment to the house, or are you more like Danny as far as bricks and mortar are concerned?

  2. Seraphine tells us early on she's 'never felt much need for friendships'. Do you think this might have been influenced by her early childhood experiences? Do you think her attitude might have changed at all by the end of the book?

  3. Laura says to Alex, 'We all did bad things, Alex. You, me, Ruth, Dominic. Just because we haven't been arrested like Vera, doesn't mean we got away with it.' Do you think all four of them carry an equal amount of blame for their actions?

  4. Pregnancy denial is a real phenomenon. Did you pick up on clues that Laura was pregnant? Have you come across other forms of psychological denial, such as people refusing to acknowledge problems in their relationships, jobs, health or behaviour?

  5. The Latin inscription at the folly translates as 'A precipice in front, wolves behind.' Do you think this is an apt description of the situation Laura finds herself in after the babies are born? Could she have achieved a better outcome?

  6. When Vera admits she had initial doubts about the babies' identities, Seraphine tells us: 'I try to embrace her (Vera's) meaning: that it doesn't matter to her, that she loves us anyway. But it's not enough. Her love for us doesn't give her the right to hide the truth from us.' Do you agree? Do you have any sympathy with Vera's desire to bring up the babies as Summerbourne twins irrespective of where they came from?

  7. How did Michael's stories and the village gossip about the Mayes family make you feel? Do you think rumours and gossip are inevitable in any community?

  8. Do you believe Vera was guilty of all three of the crimes she was charged with?

  9. If you could spend an afternoon on the Summerbourne patio with any one of the characters from The Au Pair, which one would you choose, and why?

  10. What do you hope the future might hold for Laura and Seraphine?




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