Book Club Discussion Questions for A Veil Removed
1. Clive and Henrietta return home from England to attend Alcott’s funeral. Almost from the beginning of the novel, Clive suspects his father’s death was not an accident. Did you share his suspicion? Did you believe that Alcott was having an affair?
2. Discuss Clive’s relationship with Bennett, his father’s right-hand man. Did you suspect he had a hand in Alcott’s death? Do you still think he is trust-worthy? What do you think of his plan to run Linley Standard behind closed doors?
3. Discuss Henrietta’s plan for Clive to form a real detective agency. Is it realistic? What do you think Clive should do?
4. Discuss Clive and Henrietta’s relationship with the Winnetka police and the role of Detective Davis in their life. Do you think he’s on the straight and narrow, or is he in cahoots with Chief Callahan?
5. Did you suspect who was behind the blackmailing?
6. What did you think of Alcott’s letter, which Clive and Henrietta found in the cottage?
7. Did you enjoy reading about Antonia and Alcott’s backstory?
8. Is Elsie’s admission into Mundelein College believable? Is her desire to become a nun justified or foolish?
9. Elsie finds herself the victim of many people’s schemes/desires, including both her Grandfather and in a certain way, her own mother, who expects her to stay home and tend to her. Discuss the limited roles of women in that era, and how Elsie tries to find her way.
10. Discuss the budding romance between Elsie and Gunther. Is it believable?
11. Did you guess who the mysterious Anna was?
12. Discuss Gunther’s use of literature and poetry as a way of coping with his life. Could you relate to any of the works he references?
13. Discuss the Stanley/Rose relationship. Were you disappointed that Stanley and Elsie’s relationship never went anywhere? Do you think Rose is genuine in her desire for Stanley? What role does her brother, Billy, play in their relationship, and does he make Rose a more sympathetic character?
14. Discuss the significance of the title. There are many veils referred to in the novel—did you catch them all?
15. Discuss the many side characters: Aunt Agatha, Julia and Randolph, Melody Merriweather, Sr. Bernard, Lloyd Aston, Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Hennessey, and even the servants—Billings, Carter, and Karl? Which are your favorites? Who would you like to hear more about?
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