Book group questions

The Disappeared

1.       One of the book’s main themes is obsession. In what ways does it affect the characters?


2.       ‘They wanted blood. Blood and scorched ink.’ Major Jackson burns Matthew Winter’s books as part of his interrogation. Why do you think he did this?


3.       After her husband’s arrest, Lucia marries Major Jackson. What made her do this?


4.       The Disappeared is set in a dystopian version of the UK. How does this depiction of the country relate to things that are happening in the real world today?


5.       Clara puts herself and Simon at risk when she decides to teach banned books to her students. Do you think she was selfish in doing this, or was she right to fight back against the government? Is she responsible for Simon’s arrest?


6.       Is Lucia a bad mother, or does she protect her children as best she can?


7.       Caleb and his group use violence to achieve their goal of removing the First General’s government. Were they right to do this, or should they have used non-violent means? Are they as bad as the government they want to destroy?  


8.       Why are books so important to Matthew and Clara Winter?


9.       Where does The Disappeared fit in the dystopian fiction genre? How does it relate to other books about broken or repressive societies?


10.   Major Jackson does some awful things, but he believes he does them for the right reasons. What do you think of his motivations? Is he a bad or evil man?

11.   Do you think there was ever any love between Major Jackson and Lucia?


12.   Who is the most heroic character in this story?