Bookclub Questions for ‘The Shadow Sister’
1) Early on in the book, it seems as if Star is oppressed by CeCe. As the story unfolded, did you feel sympathy for CeCe or were you rooting more for Star to stand up for herself? Do you think CeCe is misunderstood?
2) Do you think Alice Keppel was naive to believe that she could have any influence over the King during his final days?
3) Do you think many young women feel a great affinity with Star and her lack of confidence in expressing herself? In what ways does Star try to change herself?
4) It becomes clear that the relationship between Star and CeCe needs to change. Who stands to benefit most by becoming more independent – Star or CeCe?
5) Star is one of many characters who was adopted as a child. What kind of complex emotions does she feel when she finally meets her mother? What are the underlying messages that Lucinda conveys regarding adoption – from the points of view of the adopted children, and the parents who adopt them?
6) In this period of history, how do you think the Royal family kept quiet about the identity of illegitimate children?
7) Do you think it was a mistake that Archie and Flora didn’t inform Teddy earlier about his true heritage?
8) Do you think Alice Keppel was admired or despised by London society at the time? What impression of Edwardian society did you get from the descriptions?
9) When the reader first meets Mouse, he comes across as arrogant and detached. Were you completely sympathetic to him once you learnt of the reasons behind his behaviour?
10) If it was found out that one of two children in a family had a different father, one being the lover of the mother before marriage, how do you think this would affect the relationships throughout the family?
11) ‘There is nothing dishonest about love,’ Archie says to Flora, leading her to act drastically to protect Teddy. Do you agree with these words? How would you have handled Flora’s dilemma?
12) Violet is fiercely rebellious against the constraints placed on women by society. How do the various female characters cope with these constraints? How would you have coped?