THE BEE STING
BOOK OF THE MOMENT
Each member of the Barnes family has their own inner demon – which one could you relate to the most?
All of Murray’s characters want to change their course of life – do any of them succeed?
What did your book club think of the change in pace of the last section of the book and its conclusion? What questions did the end leave you with?
Why do you think Murray chose 'The Bee Sting' as his title?
How did your book club find the length of the book.
How does it compare to other Booker prize contenders that you have enjoyed and do you think it could be a worthy winner?
THE SEVEN HUSBANDS OF EVELYN HUGO
‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ is loosely based on Elizabeth Taylor and other glamorous movie icons of old Hollywood such as Marilyn Monroe. To what extent do you think this story could be true for the period in which it is set? And has it made you question or change your impression of this golden age in history?
Did you have a favourite husband? And did the descriptions lend themselves to guiding your opinion or was this Evelyn’s voice?
Evelyn gives plenty of advice to Monique and does not appear to regret her actions? Do you think Evelyn is a good role model for Monique and do you feel the reader really discovered the real Evelyn?
This is a story about women and the price of fame. Do you feel that the #metoo movement has helped improve this situation in Hollywood?
Did this novel make you reconsider what you read in the press and social media and is it actually ever possible to have a balanced account of the facts?
NORMAL RULES DON'T APPLY
Why do you think Atkinson returned to short story writing after 20 years? What did you and the group think of these stories?
Which story provided the most discussion in your book club?
Given the unsettling and at apocalyptic tone of the collection do you think the author was affected by pandemic? And did this perhaps give her license to be more creative and freedom to experiment with her writing?
Did you enjoy the characterisation and do you think Atkinson's writing style suits the short story format?
For Atkinson fans, what genre best describes her writing - murder mystery, historical fiction? And how would you describe this collection?
THE WILD CARD