Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Your Blue-Eyed Boy

1. Do you agree with Simone's belief regarding children and television that "it is wrong to see so much and understand so little?" (p.11) If so, how could this be changed?

2. The novel is full of surprises, in terms of both character and event. Discuss how this is achieved and the effect it has on the reader.

3. Discuss the ways in which Donald, Simone, and their children cope with Donald's bankruptcy and Simone's financial support of the family. How do you imagine you would cope in similar circumstances?

4. How does history impact certain characters--Michael and Simone for example--and how does their response to it express their individual selves?

5. Confronting Simone's fears during the squall, Michael says that the worst thing that could happen is "We could drown." (p. 122) What is the worst that could happen to Simone if the truth of her past were to surface? Is she right to fear it?

6. Is Michael correct in saying, "You can't pretend the past didn't happen?" (p. 145) What truths do the pictures reveal to Simone, not only about the past but also about her present with Donald and the children?"

7. Michael questions Simone's abilities to be a judge of others. Do you agree with his assessment? To be a good judge, is it necessary to be impartial?

8. Can victims of blackmail ever be said to be at least partially to blame for what happens to them? 

9. How else might Simone have reacted to Michael falling off the seawall, and what do you imagine the outcome would have been?

10. Discuss the ending. What do you think happened?

Your Blue-Eyed Boy
by Helen Dunmore

  • Publication Date: June 1, 1999
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Back Bay Books
  • ISBN-10: 0316197475
  • ISBN-13: 9780316197472