Book Club Discussion Questions for A Ring of Truth

1.  Henrietta is surprised by Highbury and the Howard’s wealth and is not altogether enthralled. Is this believable? How is it similar or different from the traditional Cinderella story?

2.  Do you think Clive betrayed Henrietta in not telling her about his real background before now?

3.  Why is Clive reluctant to take up his role at Highbury?  Are you sympathetic to his plight?

4.  Discuss the two mothers in the story.  Are they black and white characters or is there more to them?  Do you love or hate them, or something else?

5.  What do you think really happened between Eugene and Fr. Finnegan?  Were you surprised that Clive was able to guess Eugene’s homosexuality?

6.  Discuss the “have and have-not” dynamic in the following relationships: The Howards and the Von Harmons, Martha Exley and Leslie Von Harmon, Henrietta and Edna, Henrietta and Clive.  There also exists a sort of hierarchy among the servants.  Discuss.

7.  Discuss the characters of Virgil and Jack.  Was it obvious who the villain really was?

8.  Were you surprised by the Exley’s warm reception of the Von Harmon children?

9.  Do you find Stanley to be a sympathetic character?  Do you think he and Elsie are destined to be together?

10.  Discuss the significance of the title of the book.

11.  This book has been compared to Pride and Prejudice.  Can you see any similarities? (Hint: think about Eugene and the errant Lydia Bennet.)

12.  What do you predict Henrietta will do about the letter she receives from Elsie at the end?  Will she tell Clive about Eugene stealing the eggs or simply destroy the letter?