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ICE Breakers

THE OFFING

BOOK OF THE MOMENT

Would you have liked to have discovered more about Dulcie and Romy's relationship or could you appreciate the fact that it was only touched on?
Dulcie is ultimately lonely and depressed, perhaps revealed by her drinking habit – would you agree?
There is clearly a big age gap between Dulcie and Robert. Why do you think Dulcie is attracted to helping Robert, what do you think makes him special to her? Equally why do you think Robert was prepared to stay and be looked after and educated by Dulcie?
What does this story say about class?
Do you think the setting in the north of England is key to the story?
What do you think of the casting of Helena Bonham Carter as Dulcie Piper?

THE FORTUNES OF FRANCIS BARBER

MISSED OPPORTUNITY

Had you heard of Francis Barber before reading this book and were you surprised about how much could be drawn from the biographies of Dr Johnson about Barber?
Was Johnson’s own circumstances what you expected and were you surprised at his eclectic household?
Johnson was clearly alarmed by the accounts of conditions on board the warships that led to disease, death and desertion. Why do you think Barber joined the navy, given his likely journey from Jamaica?
Was Bundock a convincing storyteller and did you enjoy the different views of opinion on his will and how his inheritance should be divided?
Have you read any similar books and how do they compare?

A RIP IN HEAVEN

Cummins wants this memoir to be a 'love letter' to her cousins so they are remembered for who they were, rather than the two girls who were brutally raped and murdered on the bridge – do you think she achieves her aim?
What impact does writing in the third person add to the story?
Why do you think the media gives greater exposure and attention to the perpetrators rather than the victims of the brutal crimes?
This book is described as a memoir of a murder and its aftermath. Do you agree?
This crime was clearly high profile but as readers in the UK, were any of you aware of this crime?
The police insisted that Tom should give his account several times immediately after the incident to prove his innocence. How did this approach which would not be allowed today, affect the investigation?

THE WILD CARD

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