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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Yellow House

1. How do you think Eileen’s life would have been different had misfortune not visited her family?

2. Were Da’s messages to Eileen regarding the O’Neill legacy helpful or harmful? How did they shape her character?

3. Was Frankie’s attitude towards the O’Neills justified --- even if it hurt Eileen?

4. Was the Quakers’ paternalistic attitude towards the mill workers ultimately helpful or harmful?

5. What did you think of Mary Galway? Was she a feminist, or anti-feminist?

6. How do you think James’s family upbringing contributed to his obsessive attitude towards the Cause?

7. Was James a villain or a hero?

8. How might Owen Sheridan have been different if he was not a Quaker? Was it conviction or cowardice that brought him home to the Quaker tradition?

9. Why do you think Eileen continued to love James?

10. Was Eileen’s deception of James about the baby justified? Why do you think she did it? How much was she influenced by the Catholic church?

11. Did the Music Men enrich the narrative? Discuss each of their contributions to the story.

12. Did Terrence Finnegan have any moral authority over Eileen?

13. Was Eileen’s decision to save the mill and shoot James justified? Would she have done it if she was not in love with Owen?

14. What was the symbolism of Slieve Gullion?

15. How do you think the partition of Ulster impacted future Irish history?

16. Do you think there will eventually be a lasting peace in Ireland?

The Yellow House
by Patricia Falvey

  • Publication Date: February 15, 2010
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street
  • ISBN-10: 1599952017
  • ISBN-13: 9781599952017