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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Ireland: A Novel

1. Is the storyteller a phenomenon unique to Ireland?

2. Why is Ronan enthralled before the storyteller even begins to speak? Can you imagine why Alison is so repelled?

3. There's nothing quite like Newgrange in the US -- or is there? What do public monuments represent in the United States? Were they built in anything like the same way?

4. Why is Ronan so much more interested in history than girls? What is it about the Storyteller that has made such a deep impression?

5. The Storyteller has a very specific method for reaching his audience. Is his method similar to that of an actor or a writer?

6. The Penal Laws made it very difficult for Catholics to become educated. How is a culture that is forcibly denied the growth and insight available through education and learning able to keep itself vitally alive?

7. In following the Storyteller for so many years, has Ronan, in fact, become a Storyteller himself?

8. Between the Norman-Irish and the Anglo-Irish, it seems difficult to define, who, really is "Irish." Is this similar to how "American" identity is formed?

9. How would have Ronan's life been different if he knew his family's great secret all along?

10. The book is called Ireland. To what extent is the country itself a character in the novel?

Ireland: A Novel
by Frank Delaney

  • Publication Date: February 15, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0060563486
  • ISBN-13: 9780060563486