Reading Group Guide
1. Although Julia and Nicholas are a Victorian couple, they have a very modern problem: his career versus their relationship. In what ways does his work complicate their future?
2. Hilda Allenby speaks bitterly about how difficult it is to be a woman and subject to the whims of men. What are some examples of this in the book?
3. The Allenbys have let down the villagers of Lesser Howlett by not fulfilling the responsibility they have toward the locals. How do they fail in their role and what impact does this have on the family and the community?
4. Jane gives up her relationship with Portia in order to assume the more traditional role of wife and mother. Was she right to do so?
5. Nicholas and Julia both rely to varying degrees upon intuition. How does this play into their decision-making?
6. The Allenbys are devoted to the memory of their ancestors. How is this pride manifested in the inhabitants of Grimsgrave Hall?
7. Hilda Allenby chooses employment and uncertainty over marriage with Valerius March. Why?
8. Julia Grey is not a traditional Victorian woman. Discuss the qualities that make her unconventional and whether these qualities make her relatable to a modern reader.
9. The tragic story of Mariah Young has repercussions into the next generation. Discuss.
10. Will Julia and Nicholas be able to sustain a working relationship or will they find this problematic?