Reading guide for No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie

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No Mark Upon Her

A Novel

by Deborah Crombie

No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie X
No Mark Upon Her by Deborah Crombie
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2012, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2013, 384 pages

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Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. One of the themes of No Mark upon Her is the notion of family - both the blood kind and the kind a person willingly creates on his own. How are these ideas of family manifested? Do you see one as being more important than the other? Can a person belong to two kinds of family at the same time?

  2. Should Gemma have given more weight to her blood family's opinions, both in her marriage and in agreeing to foster Charlotte?

  3. Talk about Gemma and Duncan. What are they like? How do their personalities work together? How have they changed over the series? Has getting married changed their relationship? How has being parents altered their lives and their outlook?

  4. Do you feel they made the right decision in bringing a mixed-race child into a white family? Are they prepared to deal with the problems this will generate, including Gemma's family's reluctance to accept Charlotte?

  5. What other families are created in the course of the story?

  6. If you've read the previous books in the series, how does No Mark upon Her compare? How does this book differ?

  7. Are there themes the books share that offer insight into the author's values?

  8. Does No Mark upon Her focus on a particular theme?

  9. If you have read previous Gemma and Duncan stories, what did you learn about them in No Mark upon Her that you didn't know?

  10. Do you think Rebecca Meredith could have seen justice served in a way that would not have had such tragic consequences?

  11. How did Kieran's relationship with Finn help him in dealing with post- traumatic stress disorder? Do you think he would have had a chance of recovery without Finn and without Tavie's intervention? Did his relationship with Becca help or hurt that process?

  12. The author uses possessions and habitat to tell the reader something about a character, as Duncan demonstrates when he asks DI Singla to describe the contents of his wife's handbag. What does Kieran's boatshed tell us about him? What does Becca's cottage tell us about her? Can you think of other examples?

  13. How does rowing tie the threads of the book together, both literally and metaphorically?

  14. Do you think that Duncan's refusal to go along with the corruption in the police culture will have long term consequences for his job, and in his relationship with Gemma? Do you feel he made the right choices?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of William Morrow. 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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