Synopses & Reviews
Set in North London during the Winter of Discontent, A Partisans Daughter
features the relationship between Chris, an unhappily married, middle-aged Englishman and Roza, a young Serbian woman who has recently moved to London.
While driving through Archway in the course of his job as a medical rep, Chris is captivated by a young woman on a street corner. Clumsily, he engages her in conversation, and he secures an invitation to return one day for a coffee.
His visits become more frequent and Roza starts to tell him the story of her life, drawing him increasingly into her world - from her childhood as a daughter of one of Titos Partisans through her journey to England and on to her more recent colourful and dangerous past in London.
A Partisans Daughter is about the power of storytelling. It is also a beautifully wrought and unlikely love story which is both compelling and moving to read. Here is another wonderful novel from the author of the bestselling Birds Without Wings and Captain Corellis Mandolin.
About the Author
Louis de Bernières is the bestselling author of Captain Corellis Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers Prize Best Book in 1995. His most recent novel is Birds Without Wings.
Reading Group Guide
1. What is the tone of A Partisans Daughter
Are there any books you can compare it to?
2. Why did Louis de Bernières choose to tell the story the way he did, with the principal characters alternating-almost-as narrators? What effects does this have on the reader?
3. What do Chris and Roza say about youth and age in the novel?
4. What is the funniest part of the book? Which is your favourite anecdote of Rozas?
5. Discuss the importance of confession and pretence in A Partisans Daughter.
6. What does Chris learn from his relationship with Roza?
7. To what extent is A Partisans Daughter a story about the power of stories?
8. What is the importance of Rozas relationship with her father?
9. A Partisans Daughter is wry and endearing, but Rozas life is full of pain and trauma, both personal and national; how do the characters in this book deal with suffering? In what ways is A Partisans Daughter a political book?
10. Who is your favourite secondary character? The Bob Dylan Upstairs? Alex? Francis? Rozas Father?
11. “Everyones escaping from themselves. Everybodys on the run, and then one day youve stopped running, and thats when youre dead, and nobody ever gets to be where they wanted. Dont you think so?” (p. 145) How does A Partisans Daughter bear out Rozas comment? Or does it not?
12. How does A Partisans Daughter compare to other works by Louis de Bernières?
13. What kind of people are Chris and Roza? What does each of them get from their relationship?
14. What do you think of the ending of A Partisans Daughter?
15. Would you recommend A Partisans Daughter to your friends? Why or why not?