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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Connellys of County Down

1. Discuss the childhood tragedy of the Connellys and how that affected their relationship as siblings. What was surprising or different than you expected?

2. Tara keeps secrets to protect her siblings. Do you believe there are situations where keeping secrets from loved ones is a good thing, or will keeping secrets always cause trouble eventually?

3. What were your opinions of Geraldine in the beginning of the novel, and how did your perception of her change throughout the story? Did you grow more sympathetic toward her as her character progressed through the story?

4. What factors do you think are holding Eddie back from living the life he wants?

5. Discuss the unlikely relationship between Tara and Brian. What endeared her to him and him to her? What were you thinking/hoping their relationship would end up becoming?

6. Imagination plays an important role in the story. How does Tara use her imagination to her advantage and to help those around her? How does the author use the tale of “The Connellys of County Down” to better explain the Connellys’ situation?

7. Tara’s art helped her find her way in prison, and it helped her again when she needed to find a new job. Do you have a creative hobby? How does it help you?

8. Were you surprised that the Connellys’ father made an appearance? Were you satisfied with the role he played or with Tara’s interactions with him? Would you have acted the same if you were in her shoes?

9. If you’ve read the author’s previous book, WE ARE THE BRENNANS, discuss the similarities and differences between these two Irish-American families living in the Westchester, New York, area. (Did you spot the reference to WE ARE THE BRENNANS in this book?

10. The author leads us to suspect early on that Tara is hiding more than just Roland’s whereabouts from the police. Did you figure out her secret, or were you surprised when it was revealed?

11. Which character did you bond with the most? Why? What do you think will happen next for these characters?

12. Who would you cast in the film of THE CONNELLYS OF COUNTY DOWN?

The Connellys of County Down
by Tracey Lange

  • Publication Date: August 1, 2023
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Celadon Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250865379
  • ISBN-13: 9781250865373