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November 2020 Book Club Recommendation: The Illustrated Child by Polly Crosby

Liz Robinson

By Liz Robinson on 1st November 2020

We would like to announce with a klaxon alert, that The Illustrated Child is the most exquisitely beautiful read. It’s one of those books that the team is recommending with a: “you must read this!" to family, friends, and passing acquaintances. 

Just a gentle word of warning though, while magical and bewitching, this most certainly isn’t a light and fluffy book. The Illustrated Child has a different sort of magic, it is dark, very dark in places, and there may well be times when you flinch and reel in shock. As you read you might feel that Romilly is walking a tightrope, while carefully balancing your emotions in her arms. Rest assured though, that Polly Crosby handles the issues contained within this debut novel with great sensitivity, and we believe it is a stunning, unique, and thought-provoking read. We suspect that Book Clubs will find plenty to talk about within the pages, which is why The Illustrated Child sits as our November Book Club pick. 

Again, we have some questions that you might like to consider. We can’t wait until we can chat with people about this book, so once you’ve read it, do let us know what you think! 

  • How would you describe this novel to someone without including any spoilers?
  • Did you expect this novel to take the route it did, were there any surprises along the way?
  • How did you feel about the more difficult issues you discovered, do you think Romilly is a successful narrator?
  • What did you think about the adults in Romilly’s life, how did she herself view parenting?
  • How did your feelings towards Romilly’s friend Stacey change during the novel?
  • What is it about this novel that makes it feel so different?
  • The father and daughter relationship is a complicated one, did your own thoughts alter as you read?
  • What did you think about Braer House, and the connection between nature and the house.
  • Would you want to read Romilly and the Kitten and the other books? Did you find the books easy to picture in your mind? 
  • This is the author’s debut, would you be inclined to read her next novel no matter what the theme?

You can read more about some fantastic books in our Book Chat blogs. If you are part of a Book Club you can find an even wider selection of Book Club Recommendations here, and read more about other book clubs in our Book Club of the Month features. Get in touch if your club would like to appear in any of our features. 

If you missed them, you can catch up on our previous Book Club Recommendations for each month below:

July 2020: Something to Live For by Richard Roper

August 2020: A Room Made of Leaves by Kate Grenville

September 2020: Here is the Beehive by Sarah Crossan

October 2020: Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman.

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