FOUR: Reading group questions

CAUTION: There be spoilers ahead!

1. Alistair is the least sympathetic character in the book. But did he achieve redemption in the end?

2. From one perspective, Faye is the least ‘powerful’ character in the story. How does that power shift throughout the course of the story?

3. What happens to Mike and Sally after the end of the book?

4. Which character(s) undergo the most significant change in the book?

5. How might Mike and Sally’s stories have played out if that night in Brighton had never happened?

6. Who – if anyone – was the main instigator of the bed-swapping that sets the book in motion?

7. How might the story have developed had Mike been named as the parent of Faye’s baby?

8. Faye hypothesises that sexual adventurousness, such as the night in Brighton, is preferable to complacency and routine in a relationship? Is she right, or is this simply self-justifying cynicism?

9. To what extent does the play that Faye stars in – A Still Life – foreshadow events and that happen later that night, or later in the book? (Manipulation, recklessness, responsibility).

10. Similarly, to what degree does the opening sentence of the book encapsulate and establish the events and/or theme of the novel.

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