Book Club Discussion Questions for A Child Lost
1. As the title implies, this novel is all about lost children: Henrietta’s miscarriage, Anna, Billy (Rose’s mentally challenged brother), and even Clive and Catherine’s baby. Discuss each and which you felt the most sympathy for.
2. Did you enjoy reading about Gunther and Anna’s backstory? Did it surprise you?
3. Discuss Clive’s recurring PTSD, especially upon entering Dunning Asylum, and how Henrietta steps into a more commanding, nurturing role.
4. There are many mental health situations in this book – Mrs. Goodman and all of the patients at Dunning, Martha Von Howard, Henrietta, Liesel and Anna (who are not mentally ill, but are treated as such), Billy, Nurse Collins, even Rose’s father could be considered ill. Discuss how they are treated differently depending on their economic status. How is this the same or different from today.
5. Did you share Henrietta’s suspicions that something underhand was happening at Dunning?
6. Did you think it was unrealistic, given her and Clive’s relationship, that she ventured into Dunning alone?
7. What do you think of Clive employing Fritz to be his spy where Henrietta was concerned? Was it justified?
8. Did you guess who the killer really was?
9. Do you suspect Monsignor Gaspari (the rector at Mundelein Seminary) is hiding something more than he revealed to Clive and Henrietta?
10. Discuss Bennett’s increased presence at Highbury and Antonia’s reaction to him. Do you predict a romance there? Or maybe something else?
11. Discuss Stanley and Rose’s relationship. Do you think she actually loves Stan, or do you think she’s using him? Are you more sympathetic to her plight and her actions than you were in the previous books of the series? Is she justified in wanting to marry Stan?
12. Do you believe Madame Pavlovsky to be genuine, or is she the charlatan Clive thinks she is?
13. Discuss the continuing romance between Elsie and Gunther. Do you think Elsie is realistic in her hope that she can be a wife, a student and teacher, and care for an epileptic child?
14. Discuss Clive’s plan to take Henrietta away to Europe. Is it a good idea, or is he simply running away from their problems?
15. Of all of the many subplots weaving their way through the series, which would you like to hear more of?
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