The Secret Wife
by Gill Paul
Discussion Questions:
1. Frederick Forsythe said of historical fiction: ďItís alright to say that Hitler won the Second World War, but all hell will break loose if you say that Green Park is on the Northern Line.Ē In other words, get the details right but feel free to take liberties with the main events. Clearly, The Secret Wife takes liberties with the history of the Romanovs. Do you think these were justified and that it still remains convincing as a story?

2. Dmitri is a morally flawed character, who makes a disastrous decision in Ekaterinburg. Do you, as a reader, forgive him for this and sympathise with his anguish? If so, why? And if not, why not?

3. Dmitri also makes mistakes in his relationship with his children, mistakes that reverberate down the generations. Is there anything in his background that might have led to this emotional inadequacy as an adult?

4. Did you sense any genetic similarities between Kitty and Dmitri?

5. The Kitty story is shorter and much less dramatic than Dmitriís. Its role is partly to provide a way of explaining Romanov history to readers who might not be familiar with it. Did this work for you or do you think the stories in Ďtimeslipí novels need to be of equal weight? How did the movement from one story to the other work for you?

6. The Russian part of the story is told from Dmitriís point of view. This means that the reader can only hear about events that he witnessed. Would you have preferred an all-seeing narrator who could have given more information about the Russian army during the war, and about the Russian Revolution?

7. Why do you think the author decided against presenting the narrative from Tatianaís point of view?

8. What did you think about the creation of a sense of place in the novelís main locations: Tsarskoe Selo, Tobolsk, Ekaterinburg, Berlin and Lake Akanabee. Did it make you want to visit any of them?

(Discussion Questions by Author)
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