Reading Group Questions

  1. Discuss the structure of the novel and how the past and present stories are woven together. Does it work for you?Does the book have a central theme or themes and, if so, what are they?
  2. Do you think Sam should be more open about what she is experiencing? And, if so, how do you think someone like yourself, or the people around you, would react?
  3. Is stealing ever justified?
  4. How do you think a modern day girl would react and act if she was put in the situations that Jess has to deal with?
  5. Are Jess and Tom really ‘in love’? Is she right to be unsure about their future?
  6. How are the book’s images symbolically significant? Do the images help to develop the plot, or help to define characters?
  7. All three main characters, Sam, Jess and Tom, individually make the same decision in the book. What is that decision?
  8. What do these two girls, born a hundred years apart, have in common?
  9. Were you pleased or disappointed by the ending?
  10. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
  11. Have there been any ‘unexplainable occurrences’ in your life and, if so, what and when? And have you, before now, ever told anyone about them?
  12. Have you read other similar books? Perhaps books with a similar theme, or set in the same time period? If so, how do they compare?