The Paris Affair has now been out for two weeks, so I thought I would start a place for discussion and comments. The Reading Group questions are below in case any of them stir thoughts and discussion, but feel free to post thoughts or questions on anything relating to the book. And since it’s difficult to discuss the book without mentioning plot points, don’t worry about spoilers (so if you haven’t read the book yet, proceed with caution).
I’ve been having a lot of fun blogging and talking about The Paris Affair, including a very fun interview with Cara Elliott/Andrea Penrose on Word Wenches, and Mélanie and I had a great time at Book Passage for my author event (photo above). In case you missed it, RT Book Reviews ran a piece on “celebrity look alikes” on April covers, including a comparison of Suzanne on The Paris Affair cover to Bérénice Marlohe who played Sévérine in Skyfall (rather appropriate for Suzanne to look like a Bond girl :-). Take a look and see if you think she’d make a good Suzanne. Also, The Paris Affair is one of RT’s nominees for April “cover of the month” (huge thanks again to the Kensington art department!).
On April 15, I have a special treat in store. I’ll be interviewing the fabulous Deanna Raybourn about her forthcoming, much-anticipated A Spear of Summer Grass, and Deanna will be giving away a copy of the book.
Finally, thank you so much to everyone who has bought The Paris Affair and/or has been posting about it on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere online. The support is hugely appreciated!
1. Compare and contrast the marriages of Suzanne and Malcolm, Cordelia and Harry, Rupert and Gabrielle, Paul and Juliette. How do secrets affect each marriage?
2.How does the solution to the mystery of Tatiana’s child parallel the issues in post-Waterloo France?
3. Discuss the different ways in which issues of inheritance drive various characters in the book.
4. Did you guess who was behind Antoine Rivère’s death? Why or why not?
5. How are Malcolm and Suzanne similar to a modern couple struggling to balance family and the demands of careers?
6. Which new characters in this book do you think might play roles later on in the series?
7. How do you think Malcolm and Suzanne’s relationship will change if they move to Britain?
8. What did Suzanne gain in giving up her work as a French spy? What did she lose? Without that work, is she more or less herself?
9. How do you think Paul and Juliette and the Lacloses will resolve the question of Pierre’s inheritance?
10. What do you think lies ahead for Rupert, Bertrand, and Gabrielle?
11. How do the events of the book change Malcolm, Suzanne, Harry, Cordelia, Wilhelmine, and Dorothée? How do the relationships among them change?
12. What do you think Gui will do after the close of the story?
13. How has the outcome of the battle of Waterloo shaped the choices faced by the various characters?
14. Discuss how both Talleyrand and Raoul O’Roarke have influenced Malcolm in the absence of a strong relationship with his own father.
15. Suzanne says, “Sometimes honesty can make things worse.” Malcolm replies, “Than living a lie? Difficult to imagine.” Would their situation improve if Suzanne told Malcolm the truth? Or would it make it impossible for them to go on living together?