Book Club Questions: The Retreat

Has your book club read The Retreat, my novel about a writers’ retreat in a haunted house? Would you like to suggest it to them? I’ve pulled together a list of questions and possible discussion points that might help you. If you can think of any more great questions, please leave a comment – or let me know what your book group thought of my novel.   SPOILER ALERT: Do not read these questions if you haven’t already read The Retreat because they contain major spoilers regarding the plot and the characters, including the ending.


If you had gone to The Retreat like Lucas would you have investigated the disappearance of Lily? Would you have hired a private investigator such as Zara Sullivan?


Do you believe in urban legends like the Red Widow in the book? Are there any in the place that you live or do you know of any?


What would you do if you heard strange noises in the night as Lucas does at the writers’ retreat? Do you believe in ghosts?


Do you think it’s odd that the police didn’t search further into the woods and find the old church? Were they wrong to assume Lily had drowned and should they have searched for her for longer and further afield?


How do you think you would have got on with the different characters at the writers retreat like Max, Suzy, Karen and later Ursula?


Ursula had a spirit guide called Phoebe? Do you believe in spirits talking to the living?


Why do you think some of the residents of the town of Beddmawr kept the child disappearance cases such a secret?


Discuss the other residents of the village and their role in keeping the urban myth alive: Glynn Collins, Wendy, Megan and Jake; taxi driver Olly, his dad Malcolm, his girlfriend Heledd and B&B owner Shirley and Rhodri Wallace.


How do you think Carys was affected by being forced to live under the house for all those years? Do you think she would ever be able to adjust to normal life? How do you think Lily was affected by her ordeal?


How do you feel about Lily pushing Megan into the river at the end? Do you think she was justified in getting revenge?


Do you think Lucas and Julia getting together was connected to them both losing someone they loved Priya and Michael? What do you think about Lucas staying with Julia at The Retreat at the end?