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Island of Deceit
Discussion Questions

1.         What is your impression of Barbara’s grandmother, Dorothy?  Did weak men gravitate to Barbara because she was a strong woman?  Did she ignore her husband’s failures when she married him?  How did Barbara’s upbringing affect the way she regarded Harper?

2.         Island of Deceit took the approach that the plus-size heroine is fully capable and will let nothing stop her from her goals.  How do you feel about a story featuring a plus-size heroine, especially when the plot did not focus on the heroine embarking on a weight-loss program?  Often the focus is on the character trying to change her weight before she can attain her goals, as if weight is an excuse for not taking the steps to improve ones situation, whether it’s career, or relationships.

3.         How do you feel about direct action?  Do you think the victims should have found the Stones and brought charges?  How realistic was it for them to get the money back from people like the Stones?  Would you have expected the Stones to have already spent it?  Why is white collar crime punished less than other kinds?

4.         Does Harper want to remarry because of his attraction to Barbara or is it because he is 50 and at a stage in his life that makes him take the step?  Could it have easily been another woman totally different from Barbara?  What qualities in Barbara spoke to him?

5.         What kind of pressure does Harper experience when his job is to enforce the law in a town where everyone is semi-related?  Is it a good or bad thing that someone from outside holds that position?

6.         Part of Trent Seaton seems to be a rough character, especially when he thinks about his role as an enforcer.  How does that square with him working on hair and giving massages?  What he thinks of himself isn’t how he behaves to other people, especially islanders.  Is he on the edge of being a villain in another context?  On the other hand is he on the edge of redemption?  Can he go either way?

7.         What kind of role does loyalty play in the way the Stones conduct themselves?  They were willing to betray many people.  Why are they so blind to the fact that people around them can betray them?  If they were running a scam, why are they unaware of scams going on around them?  Are they just as easily taken in?

8.         If the Stones had put the kind of effort in a straight life that they put into their criminal activities, would they have gotten further?

9.         Living on an island, everyone thinks they know everyone else’s business.  Do you really think you can keep secrets and does the size of the community affect the kinds of secrets you can keep?

10.       Almost everything takes place on the island.  How much does Naomi Claxton’s attitude affect the characters in the book?

11.       What do you think happens to Andrew after this is over?  Is he capable of becoming an independent person?  If he decided to settle on the island would they accept him?  Socially, he’s totally inept.  He was mentally abused his entire life.  He seems incapable of doing anything, yet he has plans.  Why didn’t his parents consider that he would outlive them?

12.       Would Nadine Claxton take Andrew in hand?  Will he take Lisa’s place as the family failure?  Who else would want him?

13.       Do you think Harper made the right decision about the money?

14.       Would you marry someone who has held important secrets from you?  Do you think Harper can completely trust Barbara after her deception? 

15.       Do you think people determine a woman’s value by her weight?  Are her other good qualities/attributes such as a hard worker, good mother, wonderful wife, great friend usually overlooked?  In a competitive job market, colleagues often work on the premise of one-upmanship, and if they see something out of the norm, they hold it against you.  Is Barbara afraid others will focus on her weight and not her capabilities? 

16.       What kind of person would Barbara be without the pressure of avenging her grandmother?  She still has the drive that made her a success in the financial world and to be able to retire so young.  Would she be satisfied running a hair salon?  Would she want to give it up and just be Harper’s wife?  She’s very popular.  Do you think the islanders would let her give it up?

17.       Harper is close to his family.  What made him want to settle on the island when everyone seems to be related or closely connected?  He could be on the island for forty years and still looked upon as the “new sheriff.”

18.       Do you think the barrage of advertisement on diet measures has negative effects on larger woman?  Are men picking up on this propaganda, especially when they’re faced with movies and commercials acclaiming the thin woman as the “ideal woman”?  How often do we see commercials or movies of plus-size woman as the love interest?  Let’s face it.  Every woman won’t ever get to a size ten, much less a three.  Why is the emphasis so heavy on women losing weight?  What about the men?

19.       Do you think societal pressures leave many women feeling inadequate?

20.       Family history is the theme of the “Golden Bowl” series.  What has Barbara learned by returning to the island?  What measures have you taken to gather your family’s history?  Do you have in-depth talks with your grandparents, great-aunts or even parents about your family’s history?




Copyright 2014 Candice Poarch