The Trick to Time, by Kit de Waal
In The Trick To Time, we meet a young Irish woman, Mona, who moves to England to escape a tragic childhood and falls in love. But she soon experiences more heartache, which leads her back to her roots in Ireland.
Reading Group Questions
1. In The Trick to Time, it is Mona’s father who first introduces her to the idea she can bend and shape the way she experiences time, making events feels quicker or last longer. How does this skill have an impact on her life?
2. Mona experiences a lot of loss early in her life. Does the resulting grief set her life on a different path?
3. When she arrives in Birmingham as a young woman in the 1970s, Mona finds a very different environment than the Irish village in which she grew up. How does Mona’s role as an outsider affect her marriage?
4. What does the book tell us about how society dealt with poor mental health in the 1970s?
5. Several characters in The Trick to Time experience loneliness and isolation. What can we learn from the way they handle this?
6. As she prepares to turn 60, Mona meets Karl and they form a tentative relationship, despite their different backgrounds. How does this relationship differ from the other connections in Mona’s life?
7. Family and duty are a formative part of Mona’s childhood. How is this reflected in the relationships she has in later years?
8. What does Mona’s time in Birmingham tell us about the way Irish people were treated in 1970s England?
9. Mona is compelled to help women who have experienced the loss of a child. How do you think her methods help the women she supports?
10. What does The Trick to Time tell us about getting older?
11. How do the choices Mona makes as a young woman shape her life in later years? Did she make the right choices?
12. What message does the book offer about our approach to life as we get older?