Book group questions for After I Left You

about to set off for the launch party
about to set off for the launch party

After I Left You is out there! The launch was held last week, on a beautiful moonlit evening in the garden at Mostly Books in Abingdon (you can read about it on the Mostly Books blog and the Abingdon blog). Now it’s on the shelves at independent bookshops, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, and is also available from Amazon. In a couple of weeks’ time I’m due to do my very first book group talk about the book, with the book group at work.

I’ve had a think about questions that might be helpful for book groups who want to discuss the novel, and here they are. I don’t think there are any spoilers here, but you might want to wait until you’ve read it before you look through them – they will definitely make more sense then!

If you have read the book, I’d really welcome your thoughts. Do let me know if there are any other questions that you think would be useful, and if there are any you would particularly like to discuss with other readers – and also, of course, I would be very interested to know your responses!

If you’re in the Oxford area and your book group is going to be discussing AILY and you’d like me to come along and talk about the book, post a comment to let me know and let’s see if we can sort something out. Also, plans are shaping up for an event in north London next month – details to follow.

After I Left You on the Book Buzz shelf in Mostly Books
After I Left You on the Book Buzz shelf in Mostly Books

Discussion questions for After I Left You

What was your reaction to what happened to Anna on the night of the ball?

What are the fairytale elements of Anna’s story? What, or who, makes the fairytale go wrong?

Do you think it is possible to stay with your first love? What would happen if you bumped into your first love in a bookshop one day?

How are the different friendships in the story represented?

One of the key friendships in the novel is Anna’s friendship with Keith. How would you describe this friendship?

What other novels spring to mind that include a portrayal of a friendship between a man and a woman?

Who leaves who in the book? Which characters make peace with each other, and what does it take for this to happen?

By the end of the novel, what change has Anna experienced? How is she different to the beginning of the novel?

lucky nail varnish ready for the launch - wore it for  my Thames swim too!
lucky nail varnish ready for the launch – wore it for my Thames swim too!


  1. Book bought! (As part of my Sainsbury’s shop – it was definitely the most exciting thing in my basket, even more so than the Taste the Difference carrot cake). Trying not to look too closely at the questions, yet…

  2. Hi Alison, Fe-line has just launched a book club ( and we’ve picked After I Left You as our first book – can’t wait to read it! Thank you so much for the Qs above, we will definitely use those when we discuss the book next month.

    We are planning to do some author events in Oxford at some point and would love for you to come and talk to us if you’re willing/able – we’ll let you know details when we’ve got a proper plan.

    Have a lovely weekend! Debs (Team Fe-line) xx

    1. Hello Debs and Team Fe-line! I’m so pleased that you’ve picked After I Left You for your book club and hope you have a really good discussion about it. I’d love to come and talk to you all, so stay in touch! Thank you all, with best wishes, Alison x

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