Book Groups

I’m happy to visit book groups at any time—either by phone or, if in the San Francisco/South Bay area, in person. To inquire, please contact me at witchstrinity {at} yahoo(.)com.

Check back here later for an excerpt from the novel.

Reading Group Questions for The Witch’s Trinity
Please be aware that these questions may constitute plot spoilers!

1. Do you think Irmeltrud truly believed her mother-in-law was a witch, or was Güde correct that she wanted fewer mouths at the table?

2. The Christian faith reveres the Holy Trinity. What does the title The Witch’s Trinity refer to? Does the concept of trinity appear more than once?

3. The Malleus Maleficarum is an actual book written by two Dominican friars in the 1480s. Discuss how it figures in this book. How do the quotes that begin each chapter relate to the specific content of that chapter?

4. This novel pits Paganism against Christianity, yet both faiths lead the village to violence. What might’ve happened if the friar never visited Tierkinddorf?

5. Describe Jost’s behavior. Does he adequately protect his mother, and the old family friend Künne?

6. If you were Güde, imprisoned with Irmeltrud, would you share the Pillen with her?

7. Güde makes the decision to confess to witchcraft, and even fingers Herr Kueper. Why does she do this? If you were she, would you ever confess, knowing that torture awaits those who refuse to do so?

8. Güde achieves an uneasy civility with the villagers of Tierkinddorf, yet there are certain places she won’t visit. What are those places, and why? Was the stained glass window enough to purge the village’s guilt and heal the rift? What does the window mean to Güde?

9. Why does Alke choose to live with Güde, and why does Matern stay with his parents?

10. Like The Turn of the Screw, this novel balances seemingly supernatural events with a narrator who questions her sanity regarding those occurrences. In the end, what do you think truly happened? Did the witches give Güde meat in the forest? Did she fly to visit her son? Was the cat a supernatural being? What conclusion does Güde herself reach?

11. Do you think the friar truly misogynistic, or simply blindly adherent to his faith? Did he deserve his fate?

12. The western world abandoned witchcraft trials thanks to the rise of the Enlightenment and other factors, but witchcraft persecutions continue in certain parts of the world today. Why do you think the belief persists?