Welcome to our August 2023 book club questions for A Tidy Ending by Joanna Cannon


  1. “Mother calls them white lies.” Do you believe in white lies, or do you think the truth should be told in every situation?
  2. What was your take on Linda? Did her age (43) surprise you?
  3. ‘“She always was soft in the head’ or ‘Poor Linda, I often thought she was a little bit strange’, because we like to cast the heroes and the villains quite early on in a story, and then everyone knows where they are.” Who did you think were the heroes and villains in this story?
  4. “I wonder how Terry would describe me. He’d probably say, ‘She’s Welsh’ or ‘She’s five foot nine’ because Terry doesn’t really deal in anything other than facts. Dealing with facts only, describe yourself.
  5. “Neat, my mother is. Everything about her. Her clothes, her footsteps. Even her criticism has a certain tidiness about it.” What one word would your child/partner use to describe you?
  6. Linda’s mother clearly irritates Linda, yet she spends a lot of time with her. Why do you think this was?
  7. “Because a shopping centre isn’t like a high street. It’s all very open plan, like life really, and before you realise it, you’ve crossed over a thin silver line on the floor and off you’ve wandered, out of your own world and into theirs. It’s the smell that hits you first. Sweet and costly.” Have you ever been cajoled into buying something? What’s the most luxurious item you’ve bought for yourself?
  8. “Do you feel good about the way things are going?’ they say. Do you feel optimistic about the future?’ Which is a bit of a daft question really, because if the first half of a film is rubbish, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume the second half of it will be as well.”
  9. Do you think your childhood impacts your life as an adult, or do you think it’s an excuse people use for how their life turned out?
  10. Do you think this story had a tidy ending, or did it leave you with unanswered questions?


Photo by BOOM!

read the next blog article >>