Reading Group Guide: The Widow’s House

  1. What are your first impressions of Clare and Jess’s relationship? What clues and
    subtext does the author include to paint the landscape of their marriage early on?
  2. How did the author use themes and motifs from gothic tradition and classic literature to richen the novel? What were some that you were able to identify?
  3. Both the house and the town have a very vivid atmosphere. In what ways did sense of place contribute to the narrative?
  4. In your opinion, what was the significance of the various strange discoveries that Clare made: the handkerchief in the bath, the illustrations beneath the wallpaper, the collage? How do each of these speak to existing fears and questions in her own life?
  5. Were you surprised when the villain was revealed? Why or why not?
  6. After reading this novel, how have your views on marriage changed? Is it possible to have a marriage without any secrets?
  7. Did you feel bad for Jess after hearing his side of the story (that he felt trapped by the miscarriage)? Why or why not? How could he have handled things differently?