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Discussion Questions: The Pursuit of Pearls by Jane Thynne

April 28th, 2016

The Pursuit of Pearls_ThynnePerfect for fans of Jacqueline Winspear, Charles Todd, Robert Harris, and Susan Elia MacNeal, here is the next thrilling historical novel featuring Clara Vine, the British actress and special agent who glides through the upper echelons of Nazi society, covertly gathering key intelligence—and placing herself in mortal peril.

Use the following questions when discussing The Pursuit of Pearls with your book club.

1.    Despite their seemingly different political inclinations, Clara visits her sister when she is upset by Grand’s suggestion of Leo’s death. Blood may be thicker than water, but do you believe, as Clara does, that it should be thicker than war?

2.    How does Clara’s status as an English spy change her relationship with Erich?

3.    Clara talks about all the things that have been rationed, such as coffee and meat, or made more difficult, such as easy travel. What do you think is the hardest thing for her to sacrifice? What would be the hardest for you?

4.    What advice would you give to Hedwig about the conflict between Jochen and her parents?

5.    Though Clara narrates the majority of the novel, we occasionally see events from Hedwig’s point of view. In what ways are the two perspectives similar? In what ways are they different?

6.    In part due to Clara’s mixed heritage many of her acquaintances ask where she would eventually like to settle down. Where do you think she should go?

7.    Conrad Adler knows that Clara is part Jewish, but she continues on with her life as always, even seeing Adler again. Do you agree with her decision, or would you have handled the situation differently?

8.    Themes of heritage pervade the book, often bringing into conflict ethnic, religious, cultural, and national identities. What do you think it is that makes you who you are?

9.    What do you think Conrad Adler means when he says that Clara has a look of “fire behind ice”?

10.  In a world of spies, secrets, and war, it is difficult to know who to trust, and Clara chooses her confidants carefully. Do you agree with all of her choices? Who in your life would you choose to trust if you were in Clara’s circumstances?

11.  Do you think Conrad Adler is a good man, or do you think he is as bad as the political party for which he works? Would you trust him? Why or why not?

12.  There are quite a few revelations as the final pieces of the book fall into place. What surprised you the most?

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