top of page
ICE Breakers



Were you suspicious of Elspeth’s gentleman caller and do you think her situation was common in households such as Sir Guy's?
Was Elspeth lucky in love or is this a fantastical notion that would never happen in real life?
Do you think Cashel’s life would have been different if he had not broken into Sir Guy’s desk?
Do you know anyone like Cashel who has experienced a full ‘historical’ life?
Did you have a favourite love match for Cashel and why do you think he forgot about Frannie?
Do you think Cashel was unlucky in love or just a bad judge of character?
How does 'The Romantic' compare to Boyd's other novels? Do you have a favourite?



What makes this a story about love and do you think Lucy came to terms with her choices in lovers?
Did you enjoy being Lucy’s confidante and how did this affect your views of William and other characters in the novel?
The novel explores William’s own demons and his own family secrets and shame. Do you think people still carry secrets or are we more willing to share difficult truths?
Were you surprised to discover Catherine’s secret and her own humble beginnings?Does it still really matter today?
Is it strange to discover a family secret and how does this make you reevaluate his/her life?
Were you familiar with other Elizabeth Strout characters and who do you like best?


Did your book club enjoy this book and style of writing?
What is it about “the man I am obsessed with” that attracts our writer to him – is it his talent, intelligence, fame, status or is our writer simply jealous of his other relationships and the fact she can’t have him to herself?
Do you think she could ever find happiness with the “man I am obsessed with”?
Do you recognise this fixation the narrator has for someone she can’t hope to have to herself? Do you think this makes her a victim?
How does being so exposed online affect young people’s lives?
Do you think she made the right decision with her boyfriend?
What did your book club make of the ending? Sheena Patel says she likes stories which start and end in the same place – do you agree?


bottom of page