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Book clubs  •  5 August 2020


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! 

A note from the author

Learning that I had gained entry to medical school was one of the best days of my life, and, apart from writing, I can’t think of any other occupation that I would be in. I vividly remember my junior doctor years, and how exciting/exhausting/stressful that time was. There is a high risk of burnout in medicine, with higher than average rates of depression and suicide. When researching this book, I became fascinated in the subject of substance abuse in anaesthetists, who obviously have easy access to some very powerful and addictive medications – and the reasons as to why this may occur. All of this background provided the embryo of an idea for this novel, which I hope will provide an insight into the medical world, as written from a doctor’s perspective.


1. It quickly becomes apparent in this novel that Rory is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome, resulting from a patient dying while under his care. Do you think his guilt/sense of responsibility for this event is justified? Why/why not?

2. Would you classify this novel as a medical drama? Why/why not, and are there any other books that could fit into this classification that you have read/heard of?

3. What do you think is/are the overarching theme/themes of this novel?

4. Rory and Jodi quickly fall into a romantic relationship, having met at work (where Jodi is a first-year doctor, whilst Rory is very close to completing his training). Do you see any potential dangers/power imbalances in such a relationship? Do any of these come to the fore in this novel?

5. Do you think the ending is realistic? Why/why not? If you were the author, how would you have chosen to end this novel? Does this differ from your preference as a reader?

6. Who was your favourite character, and why? Are there any characters you found annoying or unconvincing, and why?

Also by Eileen Merriman: 

YA Titles: 

The Silence of Snow Eileen Merriman

When you can't block out the past . . .

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