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Reader’s Den, Biblio File
August in the Reader's Den: Maisie Dobbs, Discussion Questions
Welcome to week three of the book discussion of Maisie Dobbs. I hope you are enjoying getting to know Maisie and her family, friends and colleagues. Perhaps you are nearly finished reading the novel. I promise not to spoil the ending.
Last week I posted a couple of discussion questions about how moving between the working class and the upper class affected Maisie’s personality and about how the treatment of war veterans has changed from World War I to the present day. Here are a few more questions to think about.
The nameplate on Maisie’s first office said “M. Dobbs. Trade and Personal Investigations.” In her new office in Fitzroy Square at the end of the novel, the nameplate reads “M. Dobbs, Psychologist and Investigator.”
- How does Maisie’s treatment of her clients involve using psychology? What techniques does she use? In what ways does this treatment carry over to her interactions with friends and family?
Enid, Maisie’s roommate at Lord Compton’s mansion, is a friend from the working class part of her life. Priscilla Evernden is an upper class friend that she meets at Cambridge.
- In what ways are Enid and Priscilla alike? In what ways are they different from Maisie? How does each of them influence Maisie’s life?
Many fictional detectives/investigators work with a partner, for example, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson; Nero Wolfe and Archie Goodwin; Hercule Poirot and Captain Hastings. Although Maisie’s mentor is Dr. Maurice Blanche, it is her associate Billy Beale who goes undercover to The Retreat in Part 3.
- What benefits does Billy bring to their investigation practice? How does he influence Maisie's decisions or actions?
Simon Lynch is Maisie’s first love. She is still dealing with what happened to him in World War I.
- How has she handled the situation so far? What other options does she have for dealing with the situation? What can she do to move on?
Please come back next week for closing thoughts and recommended reading. If you haven’t yet started reading, there are still a couple of beach reading weeks in your future. Get a copy of Maisie Dobbs and enjoy the trip back in time!