> Skip to content

Book clubs  •  30 October 2018

 

The Pearl Thief book club notes

A sweeping, epic story of love and betrayal from Fiona McIntosh; The Pearl Thief will leave a lasting impression on your book club.

Antique jewellery curator Severine Kassel uncovers some exquisite Byzantine pearls that reignite a deeply repressed family trauma from her youth. So begins a frenzied search for a Nazi war criminal, as the man who once hunted Severine now becomes her prey. 

From the snowy woodlands outside Prague to the Tuileries of Paris and the heather-covered moors of Yorkshire comes a confronting and heart-stopping novel that explores whether love and hope can ever overpower atrocity in a time of war and hate.


Discussion points and questions:

  • In the prologue, Samuel Kassowicz puts his son Petr on the Kindertransport against his wife’s strong wishes. Do you think he made the right decision at the time?
  • In what ways has Katerina’s work as a jewellery curator prepared her for the challenges she later faces in her personal life? 
  • What do you think Otto means when he tells Katerina, ‘There are rules to war’?
  • Daniel describes Ruda Mayek as, ‘the devil … a monster that walks this earth in plain sight’. Do you agree with this assessment? How else might we perceive him?
  • Katerina tells Daniel that, ‘perhaps life was preparing me for this hunt’. In what ways do you think this is true? And in what ways does she feel she needs to become a new version of herself to track down Mayek?
  • Katerina was determined that she had no susceptibility to being romanced, or to falling in love. Why did she feel this way? In what ways did Edward manage to prove her wrong?
  • Otto is described as displaying, ‘love of the most generous kind’. What does this mean, in your eyes?
  • Katerina was prepared to risk her own life in order to end Ruda Mayek’s. Do you see this as a weakness or a strength in her character?
  • Can you appreciate the attitudes of Petr Kassowicz’s adopted parents?
  • Did Katerina do the right thing in keeping her baby, despite how he was conceived?
  • Which character changes the most throughout the course of the story?
  • Do you think this book has a happy ending?

The Pearl Thief Fiona McIntosh

The thrilling new blockbuster by the bestselling author of The Tea Gardens.

Buy now
Buy now

More features

See all
Book clubs
The Champagne War book club notes

Sweep your book club off to the sun-kissed vineyards of rural France.

Book clubs
The Tea Gardens book club notes

Absorb the heroism, heartache and healing of The Tea Gardens with your book club.

Article
Researching The Pearl Thief

Fiona McIntosh on the jewels and journeys that sparked the idea for her latest novel.

Article
A Champagne sojourn

Fiona McIntosh shares five surprising facts she learned while researching The Champagne War.

Article
What you should read next based on your fave Netflix shows

Done binging the latest TV sensation? Pick up a book and keep the good times rolling. 

Article
Researching The Tea Gardens

Fiona McIntosh on studying 1930’s Britain and India in pursuit of the perfect setting for her latest novel.

Article
Free Fiona McIntosh eBook

Download McIntosh’s story behind her novel, The Perfumer’s Secret.

Book clubs
Fragile Monsters book club notes

Sweep your book club off to Malaysia with this spellbinding novel of war and family betrayal.

Book clubs
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot book club notes

A tale of extraordinary friendship and a lifetime of stories to share with your book club pals.

Book clubs
Thursday Murder Club book club notes

A classic whodunit for the most perceptive reading groups.

Book clubs
A Promised Land book club notes

Settle in for a memorable reading group discussion, with Barack Obama’s long-awaited memoirs: A Promised Land.

Book clubs
The Silence of Snow book club conversation starters

Eileen Merriman, author of The Silence of Snow, has provided some background information on her latest book along with some discussion points for your book club meeting! 

Looking for more book club notes?

See all book club notes