Reading Group Guide
1. How does Trevor portray the differences between the English and the Irish landscapes? How does the Ireland Felicia leaves differ from that of De Valera's dream, the Ireland "whose fields would be joyous with the sound of industry, with the romping of sturdy children, with the laughter of comely maidens"?
2. Trevor never describes what has happened to Mr. Hilditch's girls in "Memory Lane"—Sharon, Jakki, Elsie, and Gaye. What effect does this have on the story? What does this lack of information reveal about Hilditch himself?
3. What effect does the ending have? Would Felicia have been better off staying in Ireland? Why does she seem to accept her final fate so readily?
4.Both Hilditch and Felicia are haunted by memories of their mothers. How are both mothers portrayed in the novel? How is each character controlled by these memories?
5. What is the significance of music in the novel? What does the music Hilditch listens to reveal about him?
6. What does Hilditch's final visit to the Spa foreshadow? What does the Spa represent?
7. What ultimately allows Felicia to escape Hilditch's house?
8. What impression of Johnny Lysaght do we have? How does Trevor portray him?
9. Is Felicia truly an innocent at the end of the novel, or has she gained a deeper understanding of the hand that fate has dealt her?
- Publication Date: January 1, 1996
- Paperback: 240 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics)
- ISBN-10: 0140253602
- ISBN-13: 9780140253603