The Paris Apartment
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1.   “It’s a beautiful building, but there’s something rotten at its heart. Now that he’s discovered it, he can smell the stench of it everywhere”. This descriptive quote from Ben comes early in the book. How did you find the descriptive writing? What did you like/dislike about it?

2.   “Benjamin Daniels, he destroyed everything”, says Sophie. The concierge also says that he “changed everything”. These early quotes foreshadow what is to come. What does this foreshadowing add suspense and narrative?

3.   Ben’s sister Jess is also treated as an intrusion into the building. As an outsider, they find her suspicious and in turn, she finds them a riddle. How does her outsider status help to drive the story?

4.   “You cannot do anything in this building without half-expecting the concierge to appear from some dark corner, as if formed from the shadows themselves”, says Sophie. What is the role of the concierge, and how does she add to the mood of the story?

5.   The concierge believes that because she and Sophie have lived in the building for so long, they’ve become invisible, part of the scenery. Is that true?

6.   Jacques is an elusive character and yet he has all of the power over the family? He controls his wife, infantilizes his sons and ignores his daughter. Discuss some of the ways that he controls them and how it affects what ultimately happens.

7.   Do a rundown on the characters. Which is your most/least favorite? What are they hiding? What did you find intriguing about those secrets? And how are they expressing emotions like shame, pride, disgust, deprivation, yearning, obsession, rage, loneliness and grief?

8.   Holy smokes, Nick’s not dead!?! What did you think of the twist? And also the even twistier twist regarding Jacques’ new resting place in the garden?

9.   From Sophie at the end of the book—“I didn’t free myself when I married my husband…as I’d thought. I didn’t elevate myself, I did the exact opposite. I married my pimp: I chained myself to him for life.” Was that a free choice or is she a victim?

10.     Have you read other books set in Paris? How did this compare in structure, setting and character development?



* Some questions from libromaniacs.com

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