Are you a member of a book group?
Underground is published by Hookline, who chooses its books based on the endorsement of book groups. As a result, book groups hold a special place in my heart.
Instead of providing you with a set of questions to look at in your book group, I’ll let you and your book group set the questions.
Go to Contact and let me know the date and location of your reading group. If it’s within an hour’s drive of my home in Kent, I’ll come answer questions in person. If it’s not, I can either Skype in and answer questions in advance.
Or if you'd prefer, an old-fashioned list of questions would be more than welcomed.
Book group discount
Buy your copies through Hookline and get a 25% discount and free postage.
Book Group Talking Points
A few readers have requested that I put up a Book Group Guide, so here it is! The list is by no means prescriptive – in fact, I feel a little weird putting this up at all, as I know book group conversations are often at their best when there is nothing guiding them, so I post these on the understanding that you can use them as much or a little as you want (or even not at all!).
-Is Underground – in your view – a feminist work? If yes, how? If no, how not? Of all the restrictions placed on Samantha, were there any that resonated with you? Were there aspects of feminism to Annie’s story?
-In what ways - if any - is the legacy of slavery still felt today? Which facet of slavery in the book did you find the most disturbing?
-Could Annie have taken the same journey without access to Facebook? Or, is technology necessary to the plot, or could it have been executed without it?
4. The Double Narrative
-One of the biggest challenges in executing a double narrative is that one story can invariably be more interesting than the other. Which of the two narratives were more interesting to you and why?
5. The sequel?
-Many readers have asked if I'm writing a sequel. I have to admit, that was never my intention. What I was trying to do was tie up most of the story's strands, but leave one facet open to the reader's imagination. Did you find the ending satisfying, and if not, why?
Any questions or comments? I'd love to hear from you!
Underground was partly inspired by a short story called 'The Yellow Wallpaper" by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. If you have a book group that tends to devour books, I'd recommend reading this alongside Underground and exploring how this little gem might have led to the novel being written.