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Book club questions for The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner explore the themes of murder, social class, and motherhood in an exclusive London community.
This book mesmerized me. Although it had aspects that reminded me of other fiction I had read, the characters and the plot twists very enthralling. An interesting group of women—snobby, self-centered, intelligent and cold. And the men—so smooth and smart and accomplished.
I highly recommend this book!
The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner
In this blog post you will find the discussion questions for The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner.
The questions prompt book club discussions on the authenticity of relationships, the contrast between different social classes, and the dark secrets concealed beneath the veneer of an upscale neighborhood.
Have a wonderful book club discussion! ✨
About the Story
The Other Mothers follows Tash, a new mother and aspiring freelance journalist, who becomes fascinated by the mysterious death of a young nanny. In her quest for a compelling story and new friends to navigate motherhood, Tash befriends a group of sophisticated mothers from her son’s playgroup.
As Tash delves deeper into this exclusive world of tree-lined avenues and elegant townhouses, she discovers a lifestyle she has always dreamed of. However, when another young woman is found dead, Tash realizes that there is more to the community than meets the eye.
The story raises questions about the authenticity of the friendships Tash forms and the true nature of the community she has entered.
About the Author
Katherine Faulkner is a London-based author and journalist. She studied History at Cambridge University, graduating with a First, then completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Newspaper Journalism. Since then she has been working as an investigative reporter and latterly an editor. Her work has been published in many national papers, and she most recently worked at The Times, where she was the joint Head of News.
Katherine felt inspired to write her debut novel, Greenwich Park, which is about the complexity of female friendships, after attending NCT classes when pregnant and her experience of sudden intimacy with complete strangers.
She lives in Hackney, East London, where she grew up, with her husband and two daughters.
Book Club Questions for The Other Mothers
Disclaimer: the following discussion questions contain spoilers, so proceed with caution if you haven’t finished the book yet.
- How did the themes of murder, social class, and motherhood contribute to the overall atmosphere of the novel?
- In what ways did the author use the exclusive London community setting to enhance the storytelling?
- Discuss Tash’s motivations for investigating the nanny’s death. How do her journalistic aspirations and the desire for new friendships intertwine?
- How do you believe Sophie’s relationship with her mom influences her choices and actions throughout the story, if at all?
- In your opinion, is Sophie portrayed as a good person? How did your perception of her character evolve as you progressed through the book?
- Explore the parallels between Sophie’s and Tash’s lives. How do their shared traits impact Tash’s investigation, and how might the narrative have differed if these similarities didn’t exist?
- What are your thoughts on the relationships between Tash and the other mothers? Did you find these dynamics believable?
- How did the use of dual timelines and multiple narrators affect your reading experience?
- Were there any moments in the story where the pacing stood out to you as particularly effective or surprising?
- Delve into the significance of Jude’s Stick Man bedtime story. Why do you think it emerges in the narrative when it does, and what are your speculations about its conclusion?
- Regarding the accusations against Ed at his job, do you think they are valid? Discuss evidence supporting both sides of the argument.
- Nicole goes to great lengths to protect her friends despite not being directly involved. Why do you think she takes such extreme measures, and what personal risks would you be willing to take for your friends?
- None of the characters in the story are portrayed as particularly likable. How did this impact your engagement with the plot, and did you find it refreshing or challenging?
- Did the suspenseful elements keep you guessing until the end? Were there any surprises that stood out to you?
- Explore the theme of friendship in the novel. How do the relationships among the characters evolve throughout the story?
- Who, in your opinion, serves as the villain in the story? Is there a character you would consider a hero?
- Tash associates beauty with power throughout the narrative. How true do you find this association, and how is its relevance depicted at different points in the book?
- Reflect on Tash’s realization on page 370 about her own identity. Do you agree with the notion that everyone considers themselves a good person? Can every character in the book justify seeing themselves as morally upright?
- Do you believe the other mothers genuinely befriended Tash, or do you think there were ulterior motives?
- How does Katherine Faulkner’s writing style contribute to the overall enjoyment of the novel?
- Compare this book to the author’s previous work, if you’re familiar with it. In what ways did “The Other Mothers” stand out?
- If you listened to the audiobook, as some readers did, how did the narrators enhance or detract from the storytelling?
- Were there specific moments or scenes that stood out to you as particularly memorable?
- How does “The Other Mothers” fit into the domestic thriller genre? Did it meet your expectations for this type of story?
- Predict what Tash might reveal to Christina in the end. How would you handle a similar situation?
- Consider the closing line’s assertion that truth is subjective. Do you agree with this sentiment, and how does it resonate with the events in the book?
- Explore the theme of an exclusive group incorporating an outsider. How does Tash’s transformation in an attempt to be accepted by the other mothers compare to similar situations portrayed in media? Discuss examples from movies, TV, books, or any other relevant sources.
- Were you taken aback by the conclusion? Did it leave you satisfied or wanting more? Share your thoughts on the resolution and its impact.
Hope you enjoyed the book club discussion questions and reading guide for The Other Mothers by Katherine Faulkner.
Here are some more of my book club recommendations with themes related to this book, along with their synopses:
The Storm We Made by Vanessa Chan
A sweeping epic about an unlikely spy, a secret love affair, and the uncontrollable forces that will test even the most unbreakable ties. Set in Malay (now Malaysia) during World War II, this spellbinding “most anticipated” (Oprah Daily) novel chronicles a mother and her children as they grapple with the consequences of colonial power and the shocking repercussions that follow for their family and their country.
Malaya, 1945. Cecily Alcantara’s family is in terrible danger: her fifteen-year-old son, Abel, has disappeared, and her youngest daughter, Jasmin, is confined in a basement to prevent being pressed into service at the comfort stations. Her eldest daughter Jujube, who works at a tea house frequented by drunk Japanese soldiers, becomes angrier by the day.
Cecily knows two things: that this is all her fault; and that her family must never learn the truth.
A decade prior, Cecily had been desperate to be more than a housewife to a low-level bureaucrat in British-colonized Malaya. A chance meeting with the charismatic General Fujiwara lured her into a life of espionage, pursuing dreams of an “Asia for Asians.” Instead, Cecily helped usher in an even more brutal occupation by the Japanese. Ten years later as the war reaches its apex, her actions have caught up with her. Now her family is on the brink of destruction—and she will do anything to save them.
Spanning years of pain and triumph, told from the perspectives of four unforgettable characters, The Storm We Made is a dazzling saga about the horrors of war; the fraught relationships between the colonized and their oppressors, and the ambiguity of right and wrong when survival is at stake.
For my book club questions for this book, click here!
Northwoods by Amy Pease
The dark underbelly of an idyllic Midwestern resort town is revealed in the aftermath of a murder with ties to America’s opioid epidemic in this unputdownable and thrilling debut that is perfect for fans of James Lee Burke, William Kent Krueger, and Mindy Mejia.
Eli North is not okay.
His drinking is getting worse by the day, his emotional wounds after a deployment to Afghanistan are as raw as ever, his marriage and career are over, and the only job he can hold down is with the local sheriff’s department. And that’s only because the sheriff is his mother—and she’s overwhelmed with small town Shaky Lake’s dwindling budget and the fallout from the opioid epidemic. The Northwoods of Wisconsin may be a vacationer’s paradise, but amidst the fishing trips and campfires and Paul Bunyan festivals, something sinister is taking shape.
When the body of a teenage boy is found in the lake, it sets in motion an investigation that leads Eli to a wealthy enclave with a violent past, a pharmaceutical salesman, and a missing teenage girl. Soon, Eli and his mother, along with a young FBI agent, are on the hunt for more than just a killer.
If Eli solves the case, could he finally get the shot at redemption he so desperately needs? Or will answers to this dark case elude him and continue to bring destruction to the Northwoods?
All the Dangerous Things by Stacy Willingham
Following up her instant New York Times bestseller, A Flicker in the Dark, Stacy Willingham delivers a totally gripping thriller about a desperate mother with a troubled past in All the Dangerous Things.
One year ago, Isabelle Drake’s life changed forever: her toddler son, Mason, was taken out of his crib in the middle of the night while she and her husband were asleep in the next room. With little evidence and few leads for the police to chase, the case quickly went cold. However, Isabelle cannot rest until Mason is returned to her—literally.
Except for the occasional catnap or small blackout where she loses track of time, she hasn’t slept in a year.
Isabelle’s entire existence now revolves around finding him, but she knows she can’t go on this way forever. In hopes of jarring loose a new witness or buried clue, she agrees to be interviewed by a true-crime podcaster—but his interest in Isabelle’s past makes her nervous. His incessant questioning paired with her severe insomnia has brought up uncomfortable memories from her own childhood, making Isabelle start to doubt her recollection of the night of Mason’s disappearance, as well as second-guess who she can trust… including herself. But she is determined to figure out the truth no matter where it leads.
Happy reading! ❤️