Reading Group Guide
1. Deanna Raybourn has an amazing gift when it comes to creating unusual and imaginative characters. Discuss your favorite character and explain what it is about them that captured your attention.
2. The relationship between Lady Julia Grey and Nicholas Brisbane is unconventional by Victorian standards. What are their long-term prospects for happiness? Will society allow them to succeed?
3. The relationship between sisters is an important one, and most sisters would agree that their feelings toward one another can go from loving kindness to plain old nastiness in a matter of moments. Does this accurately summarize the relationships between Julia and Portia, and Emma and Lucy? Discuss their sisterly behavior and the reasons behind it.
4. Nature or nurture? Emma and Lucy were raised poor on the fringes of the wealthy, noble March family. How has this perspective shaped their characters? Would they have been different people had they enjoyed a more privileged life?
5. A reversal of fortune can have important repercussions on a person's character. Discuss the ways in which Lucy, Ludlow, Sir Cederic, and Lucian Snow changed as a result of their revised circumstances. Were these changes positive?
6. Alessandro Fornacci offers Julia a different life than the one she is currently leading. What do you think attracted Alessandro to Julia in the first place? Would she have been happy accepting his proposal?
7. The relationship between Julia and Morag is colorful to say the very least. Which of the two women is the more conventional? Discuss why. Could or should Julia replace Morag with someone else?
8. The story of Mariah Young gives the reader greater insight into Nicholas Brisbane's early life. How has this relationship shaped his life?
9. Julia's makes an unexpected, generous gift to Magda that some might describe as impulsive. Why did she do this? Was it the right thing to do?
10. Was there something about this story that took you by surprise? Discuss.
11. Titled, moneyed people of this time tended to remain inside their own social circle. It appears as if Lord March and Nicholas Brisbane ventured beyond the social bounds of the day. What do you suppose is the nature of the relationship between them?
12. Even for an unconventional family like the Marches, the situations that played out in Silent in the Sanctuary are very unusual. Would you agree that Lord March may finally want to settle into a more placid and quiet life? Did the events of this story take a toll on him?
13. Villains come in all shapes and sizes, and from all walks of life. Who, among the various villains in Silent in the Sanctuary has the most to atone for?