Belladonna by Anbara Salam
1. During the novel, Bridget tells a series of lies; why do you think she does this? Have you ever told a lie on impulse that you regretted immediately?
2. How do you feel about the way that Isabella treats Bridget? Does she owe her anything?
3. When we leave the characters it’s approaching the end of the 1950s. How do you imagine their lives might change in the 1960s?
4. Do you agree with the expression, ‘All is fair in love and war’?
5. Both Rhona and Isabella struggle with illness during the novel. How does Bridget’s attitude towards their illness differ, and why?
6. In what ways are the different characters dealing with self-destruction? To what extent do you think that’s a result of being young?
7. At the end of the novel, Rhona says, ‘Sometimes love is not enough’. Do you agree?
8. How do the Academy girls treat Sister Teresa? Why do you think that is?
9. How does Bridget feel about her background? What privileges does she take for granted?
10. What different versions of sisterhood do we see in the book?
11. Do you think Isabella and Bridget are true friends? Have you ever had a ‘frenemy’?
12. Do you need to like someone to empathise with them?