top of page
ICE Breakers


What do you think are the key elements which have made this book such a surprise bestseller?
How do you think the author avoids sentimentality of her heroine?
How does the remote backdrop of the marshlands impact the story?
How believable is it that a young girl could go officially “unnoticed” for so many years? Do you think it would have been possible for her to survive on her own?
What different influences do Chase and Tate have on Kya’s life?
Would you agree that the theme of loneliness is integral to the story?
Did the ending surprise you?
Have you seen the film starring Daisy Edgar-Jones and if so how did it compare to the book?

Did you like Leila?  Were you able to understand the choices she made?
How did this book make you feel about the power of friendship?
Turkey today still appears to be a patriarchal society – why do you think women can still be silenced in the modern world and how does this make you feel?
The second half of the book has a very different feel to the first - did you think this transition was successful and which did you enjoy the most and why?
Did the ending move you or did you feel Shafak tied up all the loose ends too quickly and made the story less powerful and believable?
Shafak beautifully captures the minutiae of every day life in Istanbul - would you agree and what are your favourite examples of this?
Elif Shafak felt it unsafe to return to Turkey for fear of arrest - do you think she is a credit to her country and could she have told this story differently?


In what ways has the author made Count Alexander's story of being under house arrest in the same hotel for over 30 years credible?
What did you think about the love interest, and role of women vs men?
An adaptation is underway with Kenneth Branagh at the helm, with Ewan McGregor starring as the Count. What do your club think of this casting?
What appealed to you about the writing style?
Bonus question available from Towles - who in the novel, also appears in Rules Of Civility (his first novel)?

The story is told to us through a number of characters? Did you have a favourite and why?
Did this novel change your opinion on what happened in Nigeria and Britain's role in its outcome?
How did the transition of Ugwu's life from a small village to a privileged and intellectual setting add to the story? Do you think this is credible?
How does Half of A Yellow Sun explore the changing roles of women in Nigerian society?
What do you think of Adichie's style of writing and have you read any other novels by the author?

The book is reminiscent of a stream of consciousness with the author repeating each phrase in several different ways – did you find this kind of writing powerful and was it is easy to read?
Did you appreciate the dark humour and the macabre references throughout the novel?
Anna Burns's writing has been compared to Beckett? Do you agree? Did you like it?
Do you have any memories personal or passed down in the family of the Troubles and what other recent 'war' does it remind you of?
The young girl tries her hardest to avoid the political situation going on around her. Do you think this is true of young people today?
Was this a marmite read amongst your group?
The author has said that the repressive society and political situation she describes has much relevance to today referencing Brexit, discussion of borders and other repressive societies – would you agree? And how has our experience of lockdown affected your reading of the novel?


bottom of page