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:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2006, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2007, 448 pages

  • 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!

One-Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Here I Am
    Here I Am
    by Jonathan Safran Foer
    With almost all the accoutrements of upper middle-class suburban life, Julia and Jacob Bloch fit the...
  • Book Jacket: Harmony
    Harmony
    by Carolyn Parkhurst
    In previous novels such as The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found, Carolyn Parkhurst has shown herself...
  • Book Jacket: Commonwealth
    Commonwealth
    by Ann Patchett
    Opening Ann Patchett's novel Commonwealth about two semi-functional mid-late 20th Century ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Tea Planter's Wife
    by Dinah Jefferies

    An utterly engrossing, compulsive page-turner set in 1920s Ceylon.

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Darling Days
    by iO Tillett Wright

    A devastatingly powerful memoir of one young woman's extraordinary coming of age.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Sweet Caress
by William Boyd

William Boyd's Sweet Caress captures an entire lifetime unforgettably within its pages. It captivates.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Blood at the Root

Blood at the Root

"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D C Y C Before T A H

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.