1. Why does Deci feel so out of place at the Victorian dinner? What does she do to cope with her insecurity?
2. Have you ever felt out of place at a social event? How did you handle it?
3. Is it ever okay to lie? What kinds of lies, if any, are acceptable to tell?
4. What are some of the books Deci read as a child that inspired her love for England? (see chapter 4) Who is the author of the essay Gus reads during the course of the book?
5. Is there a particular book or author who has had a major influence or impact on your life, either as a child or as an adult (or both)?
6. What is Gus’ policy regarding gifts? (see chapter 13) Why does he have this policy? Do you agree with it?
7. Have you ever received a gift with strings attached? Did you know it at the time?
8. How would you describe the relationship between Deci and her sister May Belle? How would you describe May Belle as a character? Have you ever known anyone like her?
9. During the course of the book, Deci and Gus attend three different Christmas parties. Which one of these three parties would you most enjoy attending – the Victorian dinner at Wintergarden, the holiday do at The Spires, or the Christmas Eve ball at Richmond Tower?
10. What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?
11. If you could live anywhere in the world (other than where you live now), where would you choose?
12. What is your default setting?