Reading guide for Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom

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

Winter In Madrid

by C.J. Sansom

Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom X
Winter In Madrid by C.J. Sansom
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2008, 544 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 544 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lisa A. Goldstein

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

Discussion Questions

  1. Institutions loom large in the book, from public school (which is the equivalent of private school in the US), to the Communist party, to the Catholic Church. How do the main characters reinforce and/or defeat them?

     
  2. Bernie begins the book as a devoted Communist, yet eventually becomes disillusioned with its ideology. Disillusionment with the Catholic Church also plays a large role in the book. Why does the author juxtapose the two? What are the dangers of ideology?

     
  3. The threat of approaching winter permeates the book. What does the cold weather symbolize? Why did the author choose to set the book during the winter?

     
  4. Each of the book’s main characters is tempted by corruption and bribery. Is corruption a by-product of war? Can corruption ever be positive?

     
  5. Bernie is a fervent believer in communism and also an atheist. Yet in the labor camp, he is threatened by the power-hungry Estalbo, a fellow prisoner and Communist, and shown kindness by Father Eduardo, a Catholic priest. Why did the author choose to upend Bernie’s perceived notions of good and bad? What does Bernie learn about kindness and cruelty?

     
  6. How does Harry’s parentless background and experiences at Dunkirk shape his character? Is his reluctance to spy on Sandy justified?

     
  7. Have you read any other novels about the Spanish Civil War? How does this book compare?

     
  8. Bernie and Sandy are very different characters, yet Barbara forms a relationship with both of them. What draws her to each? Is her relationship with Sandy believable? Why or why not?

     
  9. Harry, Sandy and Bernie are all classmates at Rookwood, but each of them has a vastly different experience at the school. Why did the author choose to connect Sandy, Harry and Bernie in this way? How do their experiences at Rookwood define them as characters?

     
  10. How do you feel about the book’s conclusion?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Penguin Books. 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!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Killers of the Flower Moon
    Killers of the Flower Moon
    by David Grann
    Voted 2017 Best Nonfiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    The long, sorrowful list of injustices done ...
  • Book Jacket: The Dry
    The Dry
    by Jane Harper
    Voted 2017 Best Debut Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    After receiving a letter from his childhood...
  • Book Jacket: Little Fires Everywhere
    Little Fires Everywhere
    by Celeste Ng
    Voted 2017 Best Fiction by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    Small towns, big drama. Acclaimed author ...
  • Book Jacket: La Belle Sauvage
    La Belle Sauvage
    by Philip Pullman
    Voted 2017 Best Young Adult Novel by BookBrowse's Subscribers

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

"Electrifying . . . as beautiful and as icy as the Minnesota woods where it's set."
—NPR

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Story of Arthur Truluv
    by Elizabeth Berg

    An emotionally powerful novel from New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Berg.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Autumn

Autumn by Ali Smith

One of the New York Times 10 Best Books of the Year, and a Man Booker Prize Finalist

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

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.