The Dolphin, Susan Clegg’s debut novel, is our most recent publication. We’re very excited about this book, and we’re loving the reviews that have been coming in. The book poses a lot of important questions about sexuality, gender, history, and how cycles are continued or broken. Below, we’ve provided some discussion questions to share with your book club (and we certainly think you should include this in your book club if you haven’t already!). If you’re not part of a club, these are great questions to ponder over a nice steaming cuppa after reading.
- What was your favourite part of the novel?
- Were there any characters that you related to? Why?
- The interwar and postwar settings are a strong backcloth to the narrative. Do you think the main characters would have acted differently in a more recent time frame?
- The building of The Dolphin is a central part of the novel. Can you relate to Larry pouring his passion into the fabric and interior of a building, and what do you think The Dolphin contributes to the novel?
- Rosemary is the novel’s most difficult main character. Why do you feel her character has developed in this way? Do you have empathy for her, or should we view her as the novel’s ‘baddie’ without room for positives?
- Water is a central motif in The Dolphin. What do you think it means to each of the characters? What meaning did it take on for you throughout your reading?
- There are two main locations in The Dolphin – the cafe and the pub itself. If you could visit either, which would you?
- Were there any passages or moments in the novel that stood out the most to you? Which and why?
- Do you feel that the women in the novel and the challenges they faced were shown realistically?
- Do you think Larry could have made any other choices, either at sea on The Dolphin or when faced with the possibility of saving himself in the fire?
And finally, as a fun little aside, if you could ask Susan Clegg any question about her novel, what would it be? Make sure to keep an eye out for her launches and events for a chance to ask her in person!