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ICE Breakers



‘All their bonds were in the past. That was the secret of their friendship’ - Do you think Campbell was responsible for his own angst and downfall and was this bad judgement of character?
Did you empathise with Campbell or indeed any of his family?
The novel has been described as Dickensian as well as a modern day ‘Bonfire of the Vanities’? Do you agree? Were there any likeable characters in the novel and did you enjoy the ebb and flow of the narrative? Was it worth the journey?
Did you recognise any of these characters or situations in your own life and did it encourage you to be more aware of others?
Do you think this would make good material for a screen play and if so who would you cast?



Do you think not naming the mental illness was a good choice? Did you try and imagine what mental illness you thought Martha had as you read the book?
Martha is not a very likeable person yet we are still invested in her. How does Mason achieve this?
Do you think it is purely mental illness which makes Martha so self-sabotaging?
Could you understand Martha’s reasons for marrying Jonathan Strong? Were you surprised at the speed of the deterioration of her relationship with Jonathan on their honeymoon? Do you think it was realistic? Why do you think Jonathan wanted to marry Martha?
Patrick and Ingrid are unable to help Martha. Fergus is unable to help Celia? Do you think it is possible to help someone dealing with complex mental health issues unless they themselves ask for help?
“What people are ashamed of usually makes a good story.” Martha sees this quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald on an Instagram feed. Do you think this is true?
Do you think someone like Martha can turn their life around and make a new start?


What do you think attracted Big Swiss to Greta?
Beagin’s characters are basically strange and bold – do you agree and how does this add to the humour?
Why do you think Big Swiss handles her near death experience so matter-of-factly?
Both Greta and Big Swiss feel huge guilt for the traumas they experienced – do you think this is why they are drawn to each other?
Can you understand how the near death of the dog can affect someone so much?
Did you find this book an easy read?
What do you think of this book being made into a TV series starring Jodie Comer?


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