This reading group guide includes suggested questions that are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Questions for Discussion
1. Discuss the D. H. Lawrence quote from Lady Chatterley’s Lover that opens Fallen Skies. How does this epigraph relate to the novel’s title? How have the skies fallen for Stephen and Lily?
2. Stephen is first attracted to Lily because she reminds him of the time before the war. “She looks like there had never been a war” (page 4). He thinks she will help him forget the atrocities he witnessed and committed. Why do you think his marriage to Lily fails to clear his conscience and erase his nightmares? Were his expectations of her unrealistic?
3. “A solitary rebel, [Lily] pretended that the war, which overshadowed her childhood and drained it of joy, did not exist” (page 34). Do you think Lily’s efforts to ignore the war and its aftermath helped her to survive difficult times or failed to prepare her for reality?
4. Coventry and Rory are literally silenced as a result of their wartime experiences. Discuss each man’s muteness and eventual recovery. What do you think helped each man to reclaim his ability to speak?
5. Does Stephen’s relationship with his brother, Christoph