Rage Against the Dying
Reading Group Discussion Guide
1. When you started reading the Prologue, what sort of story did you expect? How did the rest of the book surprise you and/or fulfill your expectations?
2. “I’ve sometimes regretted the women I’ve been” are Brigid’s first words in her own voice. What does she mean? How do you react to that voice and to her assessments of herself and others?
3. “Never trust a woman who tells you her age,” Brigid says. “I'm fifty-nine.” Do you trust her? Why or why not? How do you feel about the age you are now?
4. Brigid often tries to hide what she thinks are her flaws out of fear they will make her unlovable. What do you think of this strategy? Have you ever done anything similar in your own life?
5. What do you like most and least about Brigid? How important is it for you to like a protagonist?
6. How are Brigid and Carlo alike, and how are they different? What do you think the chances are that they will stay married?
7. Why do you think Becky Masterman includes Carlo’s story about a wicked man who dons a saintly mask? What do you think of Brigid’s interpretation of that story?
8. Approaching sixty, sexually potent, smart, sarcastic, vulnerable, physically strong, angry, brutally self-aware. From the perspective of your current age, how believable do you find Brigid? Are there ways in which you wish you were more—or less—like her?
9. How does Brigid remind you of other heroes in crime fiction—male or female, from Miss Marple to Jack Reacher? How is she different?
10. “Do not go gentle into that good night….Rage, rage against the dying of the light.” How do these lines from Dylan Thomas’s poem express the themes of this book? How does reducing the title to Rage Against the Dying change its meaning to reflect Brigid’s life?