The Light Within Us – Book Club Questions

Here are some ideas to open up your Book Club discussion on The Light Within Us but do make up your own questions, too.

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Talented artist Edith Fairchild is looking forward to a life of newlywed bliss with her charismatic husband Benedict. He has recently inherited Spindrift House near Port Isaac and Edith is inspired by the glorious Cornish light and the wonderful setting overlooking the sea. But then happiness turns to heartbreak. In great distress, Edith turns to an artist friend for comfort. After a bitterly-regretted moment of madness she discovers she is expecting his Club Ques

Too ashamed to reveal her secret, Edith devotes herself to her art. Joined at Spindrift House by her friends, Clarissa, Dora and Pascal, together they turn the house into a thriving artists’ community. But despite their dreams of an idyllic way of life by the sea, it becomes clear that all is not perfect within their tight-knit community. The weight of their secrets could threaten to tear apart their paradise forever . . .



How were women’s lives different in the 1890s from today? What are the advantages and disadvantages of then and now?

How did the author achieve a sense of time and place in the novel? Were there passages you particularly liked that demonstrate this?

What aspect of the novel did you enjoy most? And what didn’t you like?

What themes did the author explore?

How had Edith’s past shaped her personality?

Why did Benedict behave in the way he did? Was he happy?

Who was your favourite and your least favourite character and why?

What did the main characters learn about themselves by the end of the story? How did they change?

Did the Spindrift artists’ artists’community deserve its reputation for scandalous behaviour?

Were there passages that you found insightful, amusing, poignant or sad?

How did the book make you feel while you were reading it? Angry, sad, amused or curious? Explain why the story aroused these emotions in you.

Did you find the ending of the book satisfying and did it tie up all the loose ends?


I hope you find these questions stimulate an interesting discussion on The Light within Us.

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