Questions for book groups
1. For the person who chose the book: What made you suggest it to the group?
2. Do the characters Maggie and Chloe seem real and believable? Did you identify with or warm to one woman more than the other? How do they change throughout the book and did your allegiance shift as you read? If so, at what point in the novel?
3. Talk about James/Jamie. What did you think of him? Did you find him an attractive character in any way? Do you think the author did?
4. The Other Half focuses on the thorny issue of infidelity. At times the writing is relatively explicit. What did you think about the sex scenes? Did you find them believable? Did reading them make you in any way embarrassed? Or did you find them erotic? (Discussion of this topic is left to the leader’s discretion.)
5. What did you think of the structure of the book and the use of alternating chapters? Consider if you’ve come across any other novels that use structure in a particularly unusual way.
6. What was more important, the characters or plot? Was the plot moved forward by decisions of the characters, or were the characters at the mercy of the plot?
7. What about the language/writing style? Was it appropriate to the story? Was it more poetic or vernacular? (You might like to have each member read a favourite passage out loud. It’s best to warn them ahead so they'll be prepared.)
8. What specific themes did you notice throughout the novel? Did you think there was anything particular Sarah Rayner was trying to get across to the reader overall? In what ways do the events in the book reveal evidence of the author's world view?
9. Has anyone in the group read either One Moment, One Morning and/or The Two Week Wait by this author?How do you feel these novels compare to this one?
10. What do you think will be your lasting impression of The Other Half? Are you glad you read it and would you recommend it?