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Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. If you were given the chance to go anywhere in the world to write a novel, where would you go? Why? 

2. Nell spends a lot of time trying to control the distractions in her life. Have you ever been able to rid your life of distractions? If so, how?

3. At one point in the book, Nell writes “It seems clear, now, that I have been alone in my relationships . . . It is hard to love someone, if you are in the habit of taking every experience you have as material for your work.” How does this idea play out in the book? Do you think other writers feel the same way?

4. If you had to describe Bleaker House to a friend in one sentence, what would you say?

5. Have you ever written fiction before? If so, how does your process mirror Nell’s? How does it deviate?

6. How does Bleaker House compare to other memoirs you have read? How does it compare to other books you’ve read about writers?

7. The fiction pieces in the book seem to mirror details of Nell’s real life. What did they add to your experience as a reader?

8. Did reading Bleaker House increase or decrease your desire to visit the Falkland Islands?

9. Why do you think Nell choose to share her experiences in Bleaker House? What did you gain by reading this book?

10. What aspect of Nell’s life did you relate to the most?

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