How Angels Die (Harding)

Discussion Questions
1.  Consider Monique and Claire as characters—what are their personality traits, motivations, inner qualities, external qualities/talents? Why do they do what they do? Are their actions justified?  Now change whose definition of 'justified’ you are using. Try theirs. Their parents. Yours. Do you admire or disapprove of the sisters’ tactics for the Resistance? Why?

 2.  Explore & describe the dynamics between the sisters. Between each sister and the other Resistance fighters.  Between each sister and their parents.

3.  How do Monique and Claire change throughout the novel? Where does the change happen and what drives it?

4.  You are Estelle’s neighbor. What advice would you have shared with her over tea and stitching uniforms to help her with her relationship with Claire? Given Estelle’s clandestine role, what could she have done to bolster her relationship with Claire?

5.  Consider the novel’s plotlines and structure. Are the relationships, events, and circumstances that tie Paul & Valerie to the primary story line plausible?  Consistent?  Engaging? How do you feel about Paul and what would you have said or done to help him?

6.  Are there particular lines of dialogue or passages that encapsulate a character for you? Is it a subtle or foreshadowing effect, or an "in your face" point?

7.  Could you relate to the sisters’ snipping/biting dialogue they reserved only for each other? Why does Claire come to mask her love for her sister?

8.  What is the significance of Sean’s pipes?

9.  Comment on Estelle’s line below from the big blow out at the McCleash house following Claire’s raid. (Hard copy page 217). “Which stays on your soul?  Which stains the hands of our daughters more, the killing or the sex?” Does this reflect the main theme of the story? Is it the sin, the contrition, or the redemption that makes a story—makes a life?

10. Did you suspect Monique's big secret?

11.  Describe the reading experience. Were you engaged immediately, or did it take you a while to "get into it"? Did the characters and story stay with you after the reading?

12.  If you could ask the author a question, what would it be? Have you read other books by the same author? If so how does this book compare. If not, does this book inspire you to read others?

13.  Have you learned anything in the reading of How Angels Die? Historically or more personal?

14.  Movie time: who would you like to see play what part?
(Questions courtesy of author and publisher.)

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