Every family has secrets. This is the story of the most interesting secret of all. A young girl finds out that her father's life was spent trying to find the most legendary vampire of them all. Dracula. Determined to finish what her father started, she begins her journey.
I'm a vampire addict. I've loved them for as long as I can remember. This book blew me away. Absolutely riveting!
Reading Group Guide (taken from here):
1. In the “Note to the Reader,” the narrator tells us, “There is a final resource to which I’ve resorted when necessary — the imagination.” How does she use this resource in telling her story? Is it a resource to which the other historians in the book resort as well?
2. The theme of mentors and disciples is an important one in The Historian. Who are the story’s mentors, and in what sense is each a mentor? Who are the book’s disciples?
3. Near the end of chapter 4, Rossi says, “Human history is full of evil deeds, and maybe we ought to think of them with tears, not fascination.” Does he follow his own advice? How does his attitude toward history evolve in the course of his own story?
4. In chapter 5, Paul’s friend Massimo asserts that in history there are no small questions. What does he mean by this and how does this idea inform the book? Do you agree with his statement?
5. Helen and Paul come from very different worlds, although they share a passion for history. How have their upbringings differed? What factors have shaped each of them?
6. Throughout the book, anyone who finds an antique book with a dragon in the middle is exposed to some kind of danger. What does this danger consist of ? Is it an external power or do the characters bring it upon themselves?
7. Each of the characters is aware of some of the history being made in his or her own time. What are some of these real historical events, and why are they important to the story?
8. At the beginning of chapter 1, Paul’s daughter notes, “I had been raised in a world so sheltered that it makes my adult life in academia look positively adventurous.”How does she change as a person in the course of her quest?
9. Helen’s history is deeply intertwined with that of Dracula. In what ways are the two characters connected? Does she triumph over his legacy, or not?
10. In chapter 73, Dracula states his credo: “History has taught us that the nature of man is evil, sublimely so.” Do the characters and events of the novel prove or disprove this belief ?
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
Back Bay Books
$15.99 US/$19.99 CAN
Valerie over at Hachette has given me permission to give away 5 copies of this book
Open to residents of the US and Canada
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The books will be mailed out by the publisher
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