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"I absolutely adored this book.  The characters, the setting, the time period- everything.  I was drawn in from the very beginning and had a hard time putting this book down."

"This is truly one of my favorite manuscripts I have ever read." 

Charlotte Darby's ship is sinking. Penniless and alone, she is struggling to care for herself and her young sister in the harsh seaport town of Hull. But when a solicitor from London brings news that she is the heir to a vast estate in Kent, it seems her days of rough seas are over. 

Courted by a charming man of the ton, threatened by those who want her money, and determined to keep her sister safe from the same fate that cost her the rest of her family, Charlotte must face some heart rendering decisions. For no matter the size of the fortune, life--and love--are never smooth sailing.

Discussion Questions for Willowkeep

 1. All Charlotte knows about her mother is her life in Hull. Did seeing Willowkeep change the way Charlotte felt about her mother? Why? In what ways? How would all children’s feelings change if they could see their parents at their own age?

2. Money plays a big role in many of the characters’ lives. How does income affect each of the characters? How does each characters’ upbringing affect their ideas and expectations about money?

3. In what ways are both Charlotte and Henry weighed down by the actions of their parents? How have their parents’ choices affected their outlook on life? In what ways are they similar to their parents? In what ways are they different? How much of your personality is a result of your parents and how much is innately you?

4. Did any of the characters turn out to be different than you expected when they were first introduced into the story? Did any of them surprise you?

5. This story deals with love in its many forms. Besides the romantic love between Henry and Charlotte, what other forms of love did you notice? Which relationships were your favorite?

6. How do you feel about Charlotte’s relationship with her younger sister, Susie? What is it about Charlotte that sets her apart from the common mindset of the time about children with mental handicaps?

7. How is Henry a good match for Charlotte? How is Charlotte a good match for Henry? What needs do they meet for each other?

8. Henry walks a thin line between servant and gentry. How well do you think he manages his position in the middle? How different would his life be without his father’s debts?

9. What do you think about Charlotte's letters to Anne Boleyn? Does Charlotte's view of Anne Boleyn reflect historical accuracy?