Bookclub Questions for ‘The Storm Sister’

1. Ally takes on various personas in different aspects of her life: ‘Al’: the sailor in a male-dominated environment; Ally: the lover of Theo; Alcyone: the leader in a family of five female siblings; and subsequently ‘Felicia’; Thom’s sister. How do you think she deals with all of these facets of her personality?

2. Jens, Anna’s lover and errant husband is portrayed as a cad and a bounder. This is obvious to every other character in the book and to the readers – but not to Anna herself. Do you think some women are destined to fall for unsuitable men?

3. Religion is very important to Anna and she makes great compromises in her faith to be with Jens. Given the attitudes to religion at the time, do you think you would have followed a similar path?

4. How do you feel about Pip’s initial lack of understanding towards how Karine and other Jews were treated leading up the World War II? Could Karine have done anything to convince him to leave Norway after the German invasion?

5. When Ally discovers her musical heritage, it re-awakens her creativity and her passion for playing the flute. Do you think such talents are passed on via nature or nurture?

6. Theo explains to Ally the anagram of her last name, ‘D’Aplièse’. Did you notice any other allusions to the Greek mythology that the series is based on? How well do Ally and the other characters correspond in the modern day to their mythological counterparts?

7. All the D’Aplièse sisters have very distinct personalities. Who do you identify with the most?

8. Ally and Anna both deal with many different kinds of grief throughout their fictional journeys – did you identify with their reactions to their circumstances?

9. The novel ends with an insight into Star’s perspective, a sister that has so far remained enigmatic. Does the concept of having the next sister’s voice in the last chapter of the book work for you?

10. How does Pa Salt’s quote for Ally, ‘In moments of weakness, you will find your greatest strength,’ affect and aid her decisions on her journey?

11. What did you think of Theo’s unromantic and pragmatic proposal? Would it upset you if you were proposed to this way?

12. Many of the characters, such as Ally, Theo and Anna, deal with questions of what ‘home’ really means. What does ‘home’ mean to you?

13. The book mentions a lot of different pieces of music – do you find that having a ‘soundtrack’ to a novel helps create a sense of atmosphere?