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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Girl From the South

1. This novel is about "being yourself" as much as "finding yourself." What does Gillon discover about herself during her stay in London? How does it change her?

2. In a way, when Gillon's life intersects with Henry's and Tilly's, she liberates both of them, though this is not immediately obvious. Discuss how this plays out.

3. Gillon thinks she needs to be free of her family and Henry longs to have one. Despite their very different backgrounds, though, Henry and Gillon are both struggling with the same issues of self-discovery. How do they help each other?

4. Ashley's post-partum depression reveals to her that aspects of her life have been oppressive and constraining. Why is childbirth cathartic? What role does Henry play in igniting her dissatisfaction?

5. Sarah's conservative etiquette and absolute conformity are treated as the family standard. Discuss the burden this must have placed on Martha. Is her emotional distance a result of Sarah's very proper tutelage?

6. In the end, one could feel that Sarah was the family member least true to herself--yet her example has shaped her entire family. What does this teach us about individuality and self-confidence?

7. Both Gillon and Henry betray someone they love. Do you think the circumstances justify it? Explain.

8. The good news in Girl From the South is that it's never too late: In revealing the temptation of her youth, even Sarah discovers her true self. Do you think that Boone and Martha have a real chance to break free of the roles they've slipped into, so that their relationship can be authentic?

9. Do you think that Margot created a void in Tilly, a lack of selflove, by putting her own happiness first? How did this manifest itself in Tilly's life and how did it backfire in Margot's?

10. Family is obviously a central theme in Girl From the South. How does Gillon's role in her family change? How does she wind up setting an enormous example for everyone else?

Girl From the South
(Promise Falls Trilogy #1)
by Joanna Trollope

  • Publication Date: July 1, 2003
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade
  • ISBN-10: 0425193500
  • ISBN-13: 9780425193501