Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
St. Aubyn has spoken candidly with interviewers about the horrific incidents from his own life that inspired aspects of Patrick’s story, including being brutalized by his father and recovering from drug addiction. How does it affect your reading to know that the plot is partially autobiographical?
How does Patrick Melrose’s imagination as a child save him from the realities of his home life? What effect does this have on his perception of reality in subsequent books?
Edward St. Aubyn describes Patrick as being torn between the lure of consolation and the lure of disappointment. Why does he find those options alluring? What aspects of a powerful, albeit masochistic, bond are captured in the fact that he mourns not the loss of his mother but the loss of longing for closeness to her?