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Dig Deeper into Big Library Read

 

Have you finished reading a Murder in Time as part of the Big Library Read?  Here’s the Reading Group Guide. Comment below or join the discussion at biglibraryread.com.

  1. We learn early on that Kendra’s relationship with her parents is complicated. How do you think her childhood experiences shaped her worldview, and how does that play into her relationships throughout the book?
  2. Even before Kendra falls back in time, she faces incredibly difficult situations. What are the qualities in Kendra that you admired the most? What is it about Kendra that allows her to persevere and adapt to a new time period?
  3. Arguably the most difficult adjustment for Kendra is learning to tolerate society’s ideas about what women can and cannot do in early 19th-century England. In what ways does she struggle against society’s dictates? Did you learn anything new about women’s (and men’s) lives at the beginning of the 19th century? Were there any particular historical details that stood out to you?
  4. 19th-century England was rigidly structured by class, but Kendra occupies a uniquely fluid position in the castle, befriending everyone from her fellow maid Rose to Lady Rebecca. Regardless of status, both Rose and Lady Rebecca face constrictions in their lives—what are the differences between the restrictions placed on the servant class and upper class women? Compare Kendra’s relationship with the two women—does she treat them differently?
  5. When Kendra falls back in time, she has no control over the time period in which she landed. If you were to be pulled back in time, what era would you most like to end up in? How would your individual skills in the modern world translate in your new surroundings? Which time period do you think that Kendra would pick for herself, given the choice?
  6. Kendra works hard to hide her modern origins from nearly everyone in her new time period and struggles to explain the term serial killer to her 19th-century audience, given that Jack the Ripper wouldn’t be around for another 73 years. In a similar situation, would you be tempted to reveal your modern identity? Would you talk to anyone about pivotal historical events that you knew were upcoming? Would you feel any ethical responsibility to try and prevent disastrous events or to explain modern inventions (basic medical innovations, etc.) or would you feel that it was safer to let history play out organically?

 

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