Simon & Schuster
Reading Group Guide Think of England Synopsis
From an acknowledged master of short fiction comes a deeply affecting novel about a thoughtful girl's journey into adulthood. When the narrative opens in 1964, Jane MacLeod is a precocious nine-year-old, troubled by her parents' misery and trying to will her family into happiness. But soon her hopes are dashed by a tragedy that is to haunt her for many years to come. Jane is twenty-three when she travels to London to forge a new path for herself. After befriending Nigel and Colette, whose creativity and unfettered lifestyle inspire her, she meets a tall writer named Clay, who reawakens her longing for a happy life -- but again she is disillusioned. Decades pass before Jane, now a single mother with a daughter of her own, is able to come to terms with her past. Discussion points
1. "Set me as a seal upon your heart...for love is as strong as death, passion as fierce as the grave." These words from the Song of Solomon serve as an epigraph to Think of England. Why do you think the author chose this quotation? What role do love and passion play in the story? What kinds of love prove most powerful?
2. Split into three sections that take place many years apart, the novel has an unusual and intriguing structure. Why do you suppose Dark chose to tell her story this way? How do the leaps in time enrich our understanding of the characters and themes?
3. The young J