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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Slow Waltz of Turtles

1. Why does Joséphine wait so long to report her attack to the police? What might you have done in her situation?

2. Is the man Joséphine sees on the Metro really Antoine? If so, why is he pretending to be dead?

3. Is Zoé’s reaction to seeing Joséphine and Philippe kiss unfair? Is being a good mother more important than being happy?

4. Were you surprised to learn that Luca and Vittorio were one and the same person? Would he have eventually confessed his deception to Joséphine?

5. What is your take on Philippe’s relationship with Dottie Doolittle? Is either taking advantage of the other?

6. Do you believe in witchcraft? Is Josiane the victim of a curse or of postpartum depression?

7. What does Hortense’s encounter with Carlos and Agathe’s other mafia pals tell you about her? Will she eventually win Gary’s love? 

8. Do you feel some compassion for the two Hervés? Do their unhappy childhoods at all excuse their adult behavior? 

9. Despite knowing that their daughter was trapped in an abusive marriage, the Mangeain-Dupuys refused to help her because she ignored their initial warnings about Hervé. Do you agree with their decision? 

10. Is Hortense being callous or honest when she says, “As deaths go, it suits [Iris] fine. Besides, I don’t think she could’ve handled getting old. It would’ve been terrible for her!” (p. 400).

11. Would Joséphine have been able to endure everything that happens to her without Shirley’s support? Can a friend’s love adequately replace that of an absent or abusive mother? 

12. Did you read THE YELLOW EYES OF CROCODILES? If so, how would you compare the two novels? Did you anticipate any of the events of THE SLOW WALTZ OF TURTLES?

The Slow Waltz of Turtles
by Katherine Pancol

  • Publication Date: November 1, 2016
  • Genres: Fiction
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • ISBN-10: 0143128175
  • ISBN-13: 9780143128175