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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

A Winter Marriage: A Novel

1. Is Hannie Bennet a survivor or an opportunist? How has her strategic approach to marriage helped her? In what ways has it harmed her?

2. Who stands to gain the most from getting married, Ned or Hannie? What sacrifices does each one make?

3. Do you consider Ned's hometown tranquil or desolate? What role does the eerily serene Irish countryside play in the tragedy?

4. Why does Hannie remain distanced from Ned's neighbors? Is it her chilliness or their unwillingness to accept change?

5. Hannie is caught between her loyalty to Joss and her responsibility to Ned. Does she make the right decisions? If you were in Hannie's place, what would you do differently?

6. Why is Joss so angry? Is his violence innate? What does the story seem to say about the nature of evil?

7. Do Ned and Hannie actually learn to love each other throughout the ordeal, or does their marriage remain a mutually beneficial accommodation?

8. Do you think Ned should forgive Hannie? What does the novel suggest about the nature of forgiveness?

9. How might the story told in A Winter Marriage have been different if the novel's setting were different?

10. Is Hannie a heroine or an antiheroine? Is she to be pitied or admired?

A Winter Marriage: A Novel
by Kerry Hardie

  • Publication Date: January 9, 2013
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316608475
  • ISBN-13: 9780316608473