Synopsis: It’s the beginning of the summer in a small town in Ireland. Emma O’Donovan is eighteen years old, beautiful, happy, confident. One night, there’s a party. Everyone is there. All eyes are on Emma.
The next morning, she wakes on the front porch of her house. She can’t remember what happened, she doesn’t know how she got there. She doesn’t know why she’s in pain. But everyone else does.
Photographs taken at the party show, in explicit detail, what happened to Emma that night. But sometimes people don’t want to believe what is right in front of them, especially when the truth concerns the town’s heroes…
Emma’s Beauty is very important to her. She thinks it makes her the most remarkable girl in Ballinatoom. In what way does it inform her identity? Hoe does it affect her relationships?
Emma observes the women around her extremely closely. How does she see other women? Do you think she is sexist?
What values has Emma learned from her mother? What do you think of them?
“They’re good boys really. This all just got out of hand.”
What does Nora mean by this? How does this statement impact on Emma?
What do you think of Emma’s father? How would you describe his relationship with Emma before the rape and afterwards?
Bryan plays a pivotal role in the novel. Would you agree that he is one of the few characters who treats Emma with respect while at the same time not putting up with her more selfish behaviour?
Do you think Bryan will forgive Emma for not going through with the trial, or is it important for him to see her as a victim?
Why did the boys put the images of their attack on Emma online? Why weren’t they afraid of the consequences of showing what they had done?
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