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Book Club Discussion Questions  

These questions avoid spoilers but give hints to the narrative, so you might want to wait to read them until you’ve finished the novel.                    


  1. Each of the main characters made significant life decisions during the novel. Consider what choices you might have made in place of the protagonists. 

    • If you were Raina, would you have been tempted to join the phantom ship? If so, when and why? Would you have chosen to leave PEI or stay?

    • If you were Celeste, would you have considered taking the bank notes? If yes, where would you have spent them? If no, what might you have done instead?

    • If you were Madeleine, what decision would you have made when faced with the choice of leaving Île Saint-Jean and then again Belle-Île-en-Mer? 

  2. In the novel, there are several intergenerational relationships. Which was your favourite and why?

  3. What did you think would become of the necklace each time it changed hands? Did you ever guess where it might be?

  4. What do you think the mystery behind the phantom ship is? Have you ever seen it? 

  5. Of the different forms of premonition in the novel, which type most interested you? Would you ever want powers of premonition? If you could create your own type, what would it be?

  6. What do you think of the following statements in relation to Raina’s storyline?

    • Simone’s claim: “‘The law isn’t always right.’”

    • Celeste’s thought: “Her family had a damnable history when it came to uniformed men.”

    • Kate’s explanation: “‘Even after getting shipped to France and stealing their way back, our ancestors didn’t abandon the ocean. And they had good reason to hate it.’”

  7. Did you guess who the spectres might be? 

  8. Have you considered writing about your life, a key experience, or your family’s story? If so, what would you write about?

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