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Book Club Discussion

1.  Why is the novel called Sardinian Silver?

2.  Arthur, the central character, is a young man searching for sex and love. Do you think some of the descriptions are overdone

3. Later, I was uneasy about the heartfelt mutual confessions that followed that drunken night. I was afraid of a Gavino within me too, timid and often awkward, whom I’d longed to get rid of.What are the similarities between Arthur and Gavino? What are the differences?

4.  How does Anna offend Sard morality?

5. “There’s still a lot to be said for our simple lives. I think we’re happier, even if one sometimes wants the freedom they have on the continent. Don’t human beings, after all, need restrictions on their desires? So many of our desires just lead us into trouble.”

“But life is trouble.”

Discuss.

6.  Compare Anna and Margaret.

7. Arthur says (of Jenny’s indulging in sex only on holiday): The lot, no doubt, of much of humanity, tied to a particular brand of convention—a thought that repels and terrifies me, the more so since I, too, would later become tied to a convention that I loathe. Rather the beer-swilling debauchees every time (even if, alas, I’m too fastidious to be one myself) than the coercive, terrible respectability of ordinary people, who assure you that maturity and conformity are identical and confuse religion with being “nice, good people like us.” What part does convention play in the novel? How do you view its ending?

8. “A Christian who doesn’t understand! It’s your business to understand! If Christians can’t understand the suicides, the murders, the violence, the sex crimes, all the ugliness, all the vice, then how can they ever show charity? That’s the trouble with most Christians—all they do is condemn what they don’t like, without trying to understand.”

What is Arthur’s attitude towards Christianity and a belief in God?

9. What do you make of Isabelle? Or of some of the minor characters such as Teresa, Claudia, Jim, Enrico, Caterina?

10. What descriptions of Sardinia did you enjoy? Could you see Sardinian Silver as a movie? Why?