Reading guide for The Spy Who Loved by Clare Mulley

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The Spy Who Loved

The Secrets and Lives of Christine Granville

By Clare Mulley

The Spy Who Loved
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  • Hardcover: Jun 2013,
    448 pages.
    Paperback: May 2014,
    464 pages.

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Sacha Dollacker

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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. The book is called The Spy Who Loved because Christine was a passionate woman. She loved action and adrenalin. She loved men, and they loved her, and she loved freedom and independence - both for her country, Poland, and for herself, personally. What do you think she was most passionate about?
  2. Mulley writes that Christine "lived boundlessly, as generous as she could be cruel." What do you think were Christine's greatest strengths, and what were her weaknesses?
  3. What do you think Christine would have done with her life if the Second World War had not taken place? What do you think she would have gone on to do with the rest of her life, were it not for her untimely death?
  4. Did you know much about female special agents during the Second World War before reading The Spy Who Loved? What, if anything, did you learn about women in this role from the book, and did it change your impression of this particular wartime practice?
  5. Take a moment to talk about other well-known books - biographies or novels - set during the Second World War. What are some of your favorites books, and why? Who are some of the most memorable characters - real or fictional?
  6. There are many different ways of looking at, and presenting, a life. Why do you think Clare chose to write Christine's story as a biography, rather than a novel? What strengths do you think the different approaches hold?
  7. Biography has sometimes been called the search for the truth of a person. Do you think that truths are always factual? What about moral or emotional truths? As a special agent, Christine's life and identity was often re-presented. Do you think she was true to herself?
  8. How do you think Christine would have felt about Andrzej's 'Panel to Protect the Reputation of Christine Granville'? Sixty years later, what might she have made of this biography?
  9. We are taught, as young readers, that every story has a 'moral'. Is there a moral to The Spy Who Loved? What can we learn about our lives - and our selves - from Christine's story?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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