In His Shadow - Book Club Questions

Warning! These questions contain spoilers!

1. Discuss the factors that initially made Nicola vulnerable to Hugh.

2. Who could have helped Nicola more in her predicament and to what extent did they fail her?

3. Discuss the term gaslighting. What does it mean?

4. How does it manifest in the story?

5. Discuss the reasons Nicola and Kieren’s parents might have turned their back on Julie in her childhood.

6. There are said to be seven forms of domestic abuse – what are they, and to what extent does Hugh inflict them on Nicola?

7. Explore the reasons a person might stay trapped in an abusive relationship.

8. The theme of suicide is recurrent.  Discuss.

9. Which character elicited most of your sympathy?

10. The other goal of the initial plan was the incarceration of Nicola by sectioning.  What might this have achieved for Hugh?

11. Discuss what Hugh and Gary’s childhood might have been like.

12. Why might Gary have felt jealous and wary about Nicola?

13. Had Nicola and Julie gone straight to the police, how differently might the story have ended?

14. How do you see each character going forward from this?