Reading guide for The Sisters Mortland by Sally Beauman

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sisters Mortland

By Sally Beauman

The Sisters Mortland
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Jan 2006,
    448 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2007,
    448 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. This book involves a series of mysteries. Are any of the characters still a mystery to you at the end of the book? Which mysteries are left unsolved or ambiguous? Why do you think this is?

  2. One of Maisie's talents is communicating with the dead. Who are the other ghosts in this novel besides her nuns?

  3. A. E. Housman wrote, "That is the land of lost content,/I see it shining plain,/The happy highways where I went/And cannot come again." In this case, the "land of lost content" is Suffolk, but it could be anywhere. How important is the setting of Suffolk, and why? What about London?

  4. Though the novel centers on three female characters, much of it is written from Dan's point of view, and the women are immortalized by Lucas’s painting. How do these male perspectives affect your view of the three sisters?

  5. Maisie and Dan, the first two narrators in the novel, are both outsiders, each of a different sort. How does the outsider perspective inform the telling of this story?

  6. Did you find Julia unsympathetic in the early parts of the novel? How does this change when she becomes the final narrator? Is she an outsider, as Maisie and Dan are, in any way?

  7. Lucas's drawings of Dan become the triptych Trinity Daniel. What are the three components of Dan’s character?

  8. In the course of the novel, several characters appear blind to their true feelings and those of others.Toward the end, Dan says of Finn that he has "loved a woman who never existed." Is Dan right, or is he still denying a different truth, one that’s apparent to readers? What about Julia?

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

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Hundred-Year House
    The Hundred-Year House
    by Rebecca Makkai
    Rebecca Makkai's sophomore novel The Hundred-Year House could just have easily been titled ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Valley of Amazement
    by Amy Tan
    "Mirror, Mirror on the wall
    I am my mother after all!"


    In my pre-retirement days as a professor ...
  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

Tomlinson Hill
by Chris Tomlinson

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.