Reading Group Questions
(April 30, 2013)
A SPEAR OF SUMMER GRASS
- Delilah Drummond is a unique and not always likeable heroine. What do you think drives her?
- Ryder White is a larger than life character. What traits make him appealing?
- Describe Delilah’s relationship with Gideon. What does this relationship seem to fulfill for both of them?
- How does Dodo display attitudes typical of the colonial English?
- The Farradays are representative of a particular type of scandalous settler notorious in Kenya between the 1920s and 1950s. What makes Africa appealing to them?
- Delilah makes a tremendous sacrifice for Gideon. Why? Was she right to do it?
- Sexual relationships drive much of the action of the book. Discuss the difference between Delilah’s sexual relationships with Kit and Ryder. How does Dodo’s experience with sex change her plans?
- Gates is threatened by Delilah, both as a woman and as an impediment to his illicit activities. Describe their conflict.
- Like his elder brother, Moses touches something within Delilah. What is the foundation of their relationship?
- Inspector Gilchrist proves to be more complicated and sympathetic than Delilah first anticipates. How does his compassion play out in the book?
- Africa is as much a character in the book as any of the people. How does Africa itself play a role in the story?
- How does Delilah change over the course of the book?
- Ryder makes tremendous sacrifices to keep Delilah in Africa. Was he right to do so?
- What is Delilah and Ryder’s potential for a happy ending?