I found some reading group questions for this novel and thought I'd post them here to give members something to think about while they are reading:
- There are multiple narrators in the novel – the Dog Woman, Jordan, the Princesses. How do the narrators compare with each other? Has the author used the multiple narrators to different effect? Which narrator do you like best and why?
- Are there any similarities between the seventeenth-century Jordan and the nineteenth-century naval cadet Nicholas Jordan we meet at the end of Sexing the Cherry? How does the author use the different narrators?
- Jordan undertakes voyages across foreign lands, discovering pineapples and to fantastical lands to find Fortunata. What does he discover in terms of his own ambitions for the voyage he is on?
- The Dog Woman provokes a multitude of reactions from those who lay eyes on her physical being. Is she accepted by society or considered an outcast?
- Do you pity her? Does she deserve pity?
- The Sunday Times claimed ‘The Dog Woman is one of the most appealing, alarming giants in literature since Gargantua.’ Would you agree?
- The Dog Woman has committed many murders including her own father. Is she evil? Can they be forgiven? Are they the only characters in both Where might that evil spring from? Could she be forgiven? Is she the only character in the book that could be considered evil?
- Sexing the Cherry is set at the beginning of the English Civil War. What relevance does the setting have to the story? Is it an integral part of the book?
- John Tradescant is something of a teacher and mentor for Jordan. What lessons does he teach to his pupil?
I hope these help a bit! Looking forward to the discussion next year....