On Thursday we publish Never Mind Miss Fox in paperback; it’s an incredibly gripping and suspenseful novel about secrets, vengeance, and what ‘making amends’ really means.
Image Magazine say it is
A beautifully composed story about seemingly casual cruelties which turn out to have unforgettable consequences
Whilst Stylist called it
An evocative and unsettling read, elegantly written
To decide for yourself, read the first chapter at www.littlebrown.co.uk/books/detail.page?isbn=9781844089413.
The themes and enigmatic character portraits of Never Mind Miss Fox make it a perfect novel for book club discussion, so we’ve come up with a few conversation starters below. We’d love to hear from you – if you have chosen it for your reading group, or if you’ve read it yourself and are desperate to discuss, let us know what you think here or at @ViragoBooks.
- ‘It was Danny, an old boyfriend of Martha’s whose existence haunted Clive.’ Is Clive justified in his discomfort? Is it ever possible to completely move on, or are lingering effects of past events inevitable?
- What should Clive have done when Eliot Fox reappeared in his life? Was it already too late to redeem his betrayal?
- ‘Her reply – quiet; half-smiling – mystified him: “Tell Martha? I won’t have to.”’ In what different ways can this remark of Eliot’s be interpreted?
- ‘A trip like this is wasted on you: you’re married with a baby’ How does parenthood change Clive and Martha’s lives? How does it affect their relationship?
- What does music mean to Eliot? Does it mean the same things to Eliza?
- What would have been different in Eliza’s life if she had a brother or sister? Clive believes that you can’t miss what you never had. Is he right? In what ways is Clive’s attitude towards siblings coloured by growing up with Tom?
- ‘You look too nice for a real teacher.’ What does Eliza’s comment tell us about her nature? How often is the reader challenged to reassess their opinion of a character?
- ‘The sneaking tread of loneliness in her veins. They don’t want me.’ How many different kinds of abandonment are there in the novel?
- How do the events of the novel appear to Eliza? Do Clive and Martha succeed in protecting her from their own problems? Could they have handled the situation better?
- Which character did you identify with the most? How did your feelings towards characters change with the revelations of what they had done in the past?