Sunday, September 5, 2010

Discussion Questions for The Independence of Miss Mary Bennett by Colleen McCullough

1. Did you get off to a slow start or were you straight in?

2. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?

3. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?

4. How did your feelings change as you read through the book?

5. How do the ongoing lives of Jane‚ Lydia and Kitty compare to the lives you imagined for them? And how do you think Jane Austen might have felt about these newly created futures?

6. How do you feel about the state of Lizzie and Fitz?s marriage? Is the marriage that Colleen McCullough paints a realistic one?

7. Ned Skinner has a great sense of loyalty to Fitz‚ but also a darker side. After Ned?s actions‚ can there be redemption for him?

8. In what ways do Caroline Bingley?s words affect Charlie and his relationship with his father? How is Fitz and Charlie?s relationship repaired in the book?

9. How realistic is Mary?s quest at the beginning at the book compared to the task she undertakes at the end of the book?

10.. In what ways do the women of this novel exert their independence and to what extent is that independence respected by the men around them?

11. 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?

12. Did you feel that the book fulfilled your expectations? Were you disappointed?

13. How did the book compare to other books by the author (or other books in the same genre)?

14. How realistic was the characterization? Would you want to meet any of the characters? Did you like them? Hate them?

15. Were there any bits you would have written differently?

16. Did you like the cover/look of the book? Would you have chosen
to read it, and why (or why not)?

17. As this is a sequel do you think it would be hard to write a sequel to such a well known book?

18. How should the book have ended?

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