ICE Breakers

ALL AMONG THE BARLEY

Book Of The MOMENT

Edie’s father, George Mather believes himself to be the only true authority? Do you think this is true?

His daughter Edie is offered the opportunity to leave the farm. Do you think she wants to escape the life mapped out for her?

Her father is resistant to change but John, his right-hand man is open to new ideas? Who do you think is right?

The ending is brutal and unexpected. Do you think Edie’s fate was avoidable and how did it make you feel?

What role, if any, do yo think Constance had in Edie's fate. 

Do you think being a farmer is any easier today?

TRANSCRIPTION

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

The inspiration for Atkinson’s novel, her eleventh, was founded on a periodical release from MI5 at the National Archives. Did you enjoy the author’s spin on ‘transcriptions’?

All the characters appear to be playing a role in the evolving narrative and identity is a recurring idea. How important is identity in this novel? What do you think Atkinson was trying to unpick?

Did the time shifts from the ‘80s to the ‘40s & ‘50s and back again enlighten or cloud your judgement of the characters. And was Juliet always doomed to be revenged?

Juliet’s inner voice gives a powerful insight into her spy world and the author’s own voice? Does it feel credible and were you enlightened by the work of espionage in London before, during and after the war.

And finally if you have read Our Friends in Berlin by Anthony Quinn then there is plenty of opportunity to be tapped into the differing narratives, ideas and the author's own creative spin. Definitely a ‘Compare/contrast/discuss question

CONVENIENCE STORE WOMAN

THE WILD CARD

Were you able to warm to Keiko or were you frustrated by her social ineptness?

What did you think of Keiko’s sociopathic behaviour in her childhood and do you think this element of the story could have been developed further?

What do you think the author was trying to say about how susceptible people who don’t conform are?

Unlike Raymond who helps Eleanor Olphiant when she lets him into her life, Shiraha is a waster who is clearly out to hurt Keiko – what does this say about the vulnerability of people like Keiko?

Keiko’s family clearly love her and have her best interests at heart – why do you think they are unable to accept her for what she is and what does this say about society?

How did this story make you feel?

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