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Discussion Guides

Discussion Guide on Breaking Point

Women’s Issues

Eleanor was brought up to believe that her primary purpose in life was to find a good husband and to bear his children. All else was secondary, including her brilliant intellectual and academic accomplishments.

How have women’s views on their purpose in life evolved since Eleanor’s time? Have men’s views of women matched that evolution?

Eleanor’s first two relationships, to Rawley Fletcher and George Rand, were unsuccessful.

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Discussion Guide on Infinite Stakes

The Structure of the Novel

This novel has a complex structure. It is designed as a transcript of a TV interview taking place 70 years after the Battle of Britain, with Eleanor looking back through the years and remembering the events. But suddenly, as the interviewer’s questions trigger her memories, we are transported back into those events, inside Eleanor’s Point Of View. Moreover, we also see these events through Johnnie’s POV, which alternates with Eleanor’s.

Thus we have three POV’s looking at the same events:

  • Eleanor’s TV comments about the significance of these events
  • Eleanor’s 1940 POV from a strategic point of view
  • Johnnie’s 1940 POV inside a Spitfire cockpit

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Discussion Guide on the Importance of History

Why bother with history, or World War II, or the Battle of Britain?

In this study guide John Rhodes discusses the nature of history, and why he writes about World War II and the Battle of Britain.

Why history?

Let me begin by saying that history is complicated!

A simple definition of history is that it is the record of everything that happened in the past. The world today is therefore the cumulative sum of every event in our collective past—every good decision and good idea, every bad decision and bad idea, every intention and accident, every action and inaction, all melded together to form the world we live in today.

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