Lying In Wait
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  1. At the beginning, we know Judge Andrew Fitzsimons and his wife, Lydia, have murdered Annie Doyle. How does this narration style, starting with such a shocking event, affect your understanding of the story?
  2. Would things have turned out differently for Annie if she had been the pretty sister?
  3. Lydia often says that everything she does is for Laurence, for his protection and his benefit. What are Lydia’s true motivations?
  4. Consider each of the parent-child relationships in the book. In your opinion, which parents are the good parents?
  5. Are any of the marriages in this novel happy? Which marriages are affected by divorce being illegal in 1980s Ireland?
  6. Compare the two sister dynamics: how are Lydia and Diana similar to Annie and Karen? What does being a sister mean to Karen? What does it mean to Lydia?
  7. Lydia assumes all children are closest to their mothers. How does the novel prove or disprove her assumption?
  8. What role does class play in Laurence's relationships? How much of that influence is inherited versus learned?
  9. Does Lydia get what she wants? Does she get what she deserves? Does anyone else? Why or why not?
  10. Liz Nugent is a radio and TV scriptwriter – do you think that affects the way that she writes her novels?