Throughout the course of the novel, Roddy Parr is presented with a series of moral and emotional challenges and choices. How well does he cope? Roddy - handsome, intelligent, well-educated, good-natured though he is - has a long history of disappointing or hurting his partners after a year or so. What do you think of Roddy? Cilla and Roddy are clearly very much in love, but they are also surrounded by powerful and opinionated and manipulative individuals, with vested interests. How long would you give Roddy and Parr? Peter Rose depicts the literary world as a rather stylish and exotic milieu, full of suspicion and intrigue. How accurate do you think this is? Julia Collis - David Anthem's publisher and Roddy's mentor - is a glamorous but utterly ruthless publisher. What do you think is motivating her? David Anthem - famous, thrice-married, with his tragic past - is the commanding figure in this novel. How do you read this enigmatic figure? Peter Rose has written a family memoir (Rose Boys) in which he explored some of the difficulties and sensitivities surrounding the art of biography. In this novel a young man sets out to write a biography of a famous man with an unhappy past. How responsible or feasible is this ambition. Roddy asks himself to whom he is most obligated - the reader, the subject, his publisher? Where do you think a biographer's true responsibility lies? In the novel we meet all of David Anthem's wives. Which of them do you prefer?
About Peter Rose