Has your book club read The Devil’s Work, my novel about a dream job turning into a nightmare? 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 Devil’s Work because they contain major spoilers regarding the plot and characters, including the ending.
- Sophie goes back to work after being a stay-at-home mum for four years. How do you think she must have been feeling about being back in an office and leaving her daughter Daisy?
- The book flits between the past and present; Sophie as a student at university in the past and then Sophie as a mum and career woman in the present. Is this an effective way to tell the story? How do you feel about this method of writing?
- The book spends time going over Sophie’s past and her life at university. How would you describe her friendship with Jasmine and Liam? Did you go to university and how did you find life there?
- One student Becky, known to torment fellow students, becomes the tormented. Do you think the pranks played on her – the dead mice, smashing up her room, photographing her with another man – were justified?
- Guy’s Twitter account gets hacked and it tarnishes his reputation as a writer, affecting his career. How do you feel about social media such as Facebook and Twitter? How do you think it has changed society?
- Do you have any phobias like Sophie has of cockroaches? What are they? What would you/do you do when faced with them?
- Sophie and Jasmine decide to get tattoos. Do you have any tattoos? How do you feel about tattoos, particularly as they are becoming more prevalent among young people?
- Franklin Bird is an odd character with intense behaviour. How would you feel after hearing some of the things he says to Sophie when they first meet? How would react after he reveals he knows who she is and should leave the company?
- Sophie discovers a text message from her colleague Cassie on her husband Guy’s phone and tries to read it. She can’t as he has changed his passcode. Is this appropriate behaviour to look at someone else’s phone/messages? Would you have confronted Guy as Sophie did? Would you look on a partner’s phone at their text messages/emails?
- Sophie’s predecessor says on Facebook that she’s followed her heart and moved to be with her Scandinavian boyfriend. Her colleagues believe the circumstances could be more mysterious, would you investigate like Sophie does? How would you go about it?
- Jasmine and Liam both disappear from university and Sophie never hears from them again. How do you think this made her feel? How would you cope in this scenario? How would you react after finding out the truth 15 years later?
- There is a theme of revenge/jealousy in this book – Jasmine taking revenge by killing Liam and then Becky taking revenge in the final scenes against Sophie with Daisy. How do you feel about revenge in this book? What did you think of Becky’s role in the drama and also Simon’s role and the way he protected Daisy at the end?
- Franklin Bird pleads ill health for his part in the murder and the story suggests he would be too old and ill to stand trial and go to jail? Do you think he should have gone on trial and to prison? What do you think should have happened to Franklin Bird?