BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS
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1. Fact and Fiction
Knowing that the book is a blend of fact and fiction, do you care what is based on history, which parts are inspired by events, and what is wholly fictional? How does the author’s invention enhance the narrative? How does the author play with the facts to serve her storyline?
2. Narration/Point of View
How many narrators are there? Are there different/conflicting points of view? Why might the author have chosen to write the novel this way? What impact does a young teen’s point of view have on the story?
What techniques does the author use to round out her major and minor characters? What unusual details struck you? Which characters grow or change through the novel? How? Do you identify with narrator Clara Swift? If so, how and why?
How did the story convey life in Ottawa during the late 1860s---what senses does the author call upon to invoke setting? Did you feel yourself transported there?
5. Plot & Genre
CELTIC KNOT is described as “history with a mystery” and “history re-imagined”. How did the plot balance the demands of historical fiction, a coming-of-age story and a mystery? How many subplots were there? Did the subplots tie into the main plot? Does mixing genres make this novel more vibrant and multi-layered?
Does the language create a consistent tone in the novel? Did the language and tone help convey theme?
What are the main themes in the book? How are they developed?
What symbolic imagery added to the novel’s depth and meaning? Is the author attempting to create an old-style legend?
Were the climax and the denouement each surprising but inevitable? Why or why not?