Given the long weekend, I’d nearly forgotten that this was a Tuesday! I still mean to chime in about Penelope, but it’s well past time to move on to our patiently waiting Charlotte, who is, after all, the heroine.
To start us off, here’s my favorite question from the Readers Guide:
At the beginning of the book, Robert encounters Charlotte as she’s reading the Frances Burney novel Evelina; she and Robert refer to this book periodically throughout The Temptation of the Night Jasmine. From Wikipedia: “Evelina, the title character, is the unacknowledged daughter of a dissipated English aristocrat. Her dubious birth has seen her raised in rural seclusion until her eighteenth year. Through a series of humorous events that take place in London and the resort town of Bristol-Hotwells, Evelina learns how to navigate the complex layers of eighteenth-century society and earn the love of a distinguished nobleman.” How does Charlotte’s story mirror that of Evelina’s? Why do you think the author chose to reference this work in her novel?
And some related questions:
How does Charlotte’s tendency to view her life through the lens of a novel impact her actions and the trajectory of the plot throughout the course of the novel?
Have you ever used a fictional character/work as a model for your life?