When: Thursday, October 1st
Time: 7:30 p.m. with discussion beginning around 8
Where: Danielle's House
1. Did you enjoy the book? Why or why not?
2. Cornelia Read shares a lot of similarities with her protagonist, Madeline Dare. She comments, "In some senses, Maddie's who I'd like to be. She's tougher and braver than I am, not to mention way more handy with shotguns and snappy comebacks." If you were to base a novel on your life, how would you shape your own character?
3. Despite near-death experiences, Maddie relentlessly investigates the secrets surrounding the dog tags. Why do you think she is so compelled to uncover the truth?
4. Maddie is confronted by shocking and harrowing events throughout the novel. How do these experiences impact her? How does her character change or remain the same by the end of the novel?
5. Cornelia notes, "To me, the most important thing Madeline learns in A Field of Darkness is that her heritage can't dictate her destiny without her consent." What elements of Maddie's past haunt her the most? How is she able to overcome them?
6. A Field of Darkness begins with Maddie pondering her sense of place: "There are people who can be happy anywhere. I am not one of them." The setting in this novel switches between rural Syracuse and posh Oyster Bay. How is Maddie situated in each place? Where does she belong?
7. Maddie would be the first to tell you that her family's money is so old there's none left. Still, many of her Long Island relatives have married into wealthy families and enjoy lifestyles as extravagant as their predecessors. Consequently, Maddie feels like a foreigner when she visits her relatives. Discuss her position as an outsider looking into her own family.
8. Fleishmann tells Maddie how to discover someone's secrets in their face: "You have to look and look, until the secrets come out. They cannot stay hidden if you are quiet for long enough, because the secrets are foolish and they have no patience." As Maddie strives to discover the truth about the past, she discovers that people are not always as they seem. Discuss the secrets that characters strive to protect in this novel and why they are being hidden.
9. A Field of Darkness is filled with intriguing characters. Which characters would you have liked to know more about? Why?
10. Maddie and Dean will return in Cornelia Read's next novel. Can you predict how their lives might change after the events of A Field of Darkness? What would you like to see happen?
11. Would you recommend the book? Why or why not?
Menu: 'Autumn, the year's last, loveliest smile.'
Bring your favourite fall dish, as we enjoy the most beautiful season of the year!
Favourite coleslaw salad
Favourite butternut squash soup
Favourite sweet potato soup
Favourite chicken dish
Favourite spiced cake recipe
Favourite pumpkin recipe
Warm Spiced Cran-Pom Toddies - Danielle
Coffee/Tea/Juice - Danielle