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by Franny Billingsley
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1.Did you think Stepmother committed suicide? If not, who do you think murdered her? Were you shocked when you discovered the truth?
2.Throughout the book, did you think of Rose as Briony’s younger sister? Did it jolt you when reference was made that they were identical twins? Why was it easy to think of her as younger?
3.Rose was a screamer. What do you think she suffered from? How did the author use this in the story? Did Rose add a dimension of humor to the story? How?
4.Briony talked about going home and peeling off her mask and being herself (“let my face fall into its witchy folds.”) Do we all put on masks? Why? Is it good, bad or necessary at times?
5.Why did Briony feel she had to hate herself? She said it was very important – that she never forget. Why? What did hating herself do to Briony?
6.Why did Stepmother make Briony take care of Rose? Why did she tell her that she hurt Rose? Stepmother told Briony it was not safe for her (Briony) to go to the Swamp – why?
7.Why did Stepmother forbid the Brownie in the house? (p37)
8.Is jealousy debilitating? Does it make you feel as “small as a splinter, makes you feel empty?” What can you do about it?
9.Did you wonder why all three of the Larkins had been ill?
10.Did you believe in the magic that the author created?
11.How did Briony truly feel about Rose? Do you think that happens a lot with caregivers?
12.Why are stories important? Why did the Old Ones want their stories told?
13.What did you think “It” was that Cecil was talking about?
14.What do you love a person for? What did the author say about love?
15.Briony thought to get her heart back she needed to be a baby again. Do you think this would work?
16.Is it hard to tramp out the bad brain paths and make new ones? Why is believing in yourself SO important – that you are a good person?
17.If you could meet the author and talk to her, what would you say? What would you ask?
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