The Last Cuckoo - Book Club Questions

Warning! These questions contain spoilers!

1. What do you think the significance of the title, ‘The Last Cuckoo’ is?

2. What are your thoughts on the use of ‘second person narration?’ (Where a character is addressed directly as ‘you.’) What effect does it have?

3. Research has shown that eighty per cent of ‘second time’ families fail. What factors might contribute to this? How can they be overcome?

4. How does the emotion of jealousy manifest itself in this story?

5. Throughout the story, Jamie is treated in a variety of ways by others, as he works his way through the grieving process. How do people respond to him? Is this typical of society?

6. The smell of acrylic paint makes Jamie cry. Why is smell so evocative? What smells evoke emotion both in the story and for you?

7. Is there any truth behind the stereotypical ‘mummy’s boys’ and ‘daddy’s girls?’

8. What are your thoughts on Claudia? To what extent does she redeem herself at the end of the story?

9. To what extent can Phil be blamed for the events in this book?

10. Why does a person’s art seem more valuable after their death? Can you think of examples of this?

11. How much does money cause family division within this story?

12. What are your thoughts of Iain’s fidelity?

13. What forms of domestic abuse are there in the story? What are the effects of this?

14. Does Phil love his son?

15. Might a successful relationship between Meghan and Jamie have changed the course of the story?

16. Does the story evoke any emotion in you, as a reader? How are you left feeling at the end of it?

17. What do you feel will become of the characters next?

18. This novel has used an unreliable narrator. What is this and what effect has it had on you as a reader?

19. How would the scenes involving Claudia look, if written from her point of view?

20. Given Jamie’s imprisonment, what should happen to Anna’s estate?