Lovers and Liars Notes for Reading Groups

September 3rd, 2010

Lovers & Liars is a novel which may have echoes in the real life experiences of one or more members of your group. Such books often stimulate a discussion that goes beyond the book itself to psychological issues.

Points for Discussion

  • Do you think that this is a book about the lies we tell ourselves as well as the lies told to other people?
  • Who is the most honest character in Lovers & Liars?
  • In the classic ‘romantic’ novel (which can include everything from Jane Austen to Jilly Cooper), the hero is often ‘strong and dominating’ do you think that, in real life, many romantic heroes, particularly those from the past, such as Heathcliffe, Mr Darcy or Mr Rochester would actually now be considered abusive if they behaved like that in real life?
  • Do you think that Paige was slowly sucked into an impossible situation, or could she have saved herself by getting out earlier? Similarly, could Jess have spotted the danger earlier, or was she so used to manipulation and control in her own family that Jake’s behaviour seemed normal and loving?
  • Do many men engage in that level of control? And has this changed over the generations for example, do you think that men brought up in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s are more controlling than those brought up in the 1970s?
  • Do you think women also control and manipulate in an abusive way?
  • What do you think about the ‘Finchley Road’ problem in the book?
  • Where do you draw the line between looking after or protecting someone and controlling them?

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