The Number of Love
Three years into the Great War, England’s greatest asset is their intelligence network—field agents risking their lives to gather information, and codebreakers able to crack every German telegram. Margot De Wilde thrives in the environment of the secretive Room 40, where she spends her days deciphering intercepted messages. But when her world is turned upside down by an unexpected loss, for the first time in her life numbers aren’t enough.
Drake Elton returns wounded from the field, followed by an enemy that just won’t give up. He’s smitten quickly by the too-intelligent Margot, but how to convince a girl who lives entirely in her mind that sometimes life’s answers lie in the heart?
Amidst biological warfare, encrypted letters, and a German spy who wants to destroy not just them, but others they love, Margot and Drake will have to work together to save them all from the very secrets that brought them together.
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(These can also be found in the back of the book.)
- Margot has a unique way of seeing the world through numbers. What did you think of how she viewed and interpreted everything around her? How she interacted with people? Do you have a way of seeing the world through a unique lens that differs from those closest to you?
- Drake always knows the right questions to ask. Where there any that struck you as being insightful? Odd? Do you ever had a hard time asking the right questions to either open conversation or lead you to the answers you seek?
- Margot had dreams and goals that went against cultural norms and were sure to create challenges for her in the future. What did you think of her aspirations and hesitations to succumb to love and romance? Were her concerns justified? What did you think of Drake’s response?
- What did you think of our “ghost” characters, Das Gespenst and Yūrei? Though Das Gespenst was the villain, did you understand him and his decisions? Did you anticipate the twist about Jaeger?
- One of Margot’s greatest struggles in the book is what to do when God goes silent. Have you ever been in a place of grief or pain when you couldn’t sense the Lord? What did you do and how did you move beyond that?
- Margot and Drake have a unique bond, in that God asked her to pray for him anonymously. Have you ever been asked to pray either for a stranger or someone you don’t know well? Did you discover why at a later time?
- Before reading this book, were you aware of the goings-on of Room 40 during World War I? What do you think of the world of cryptography, the decisions they had to make, and the secrecy that was so important to them? Would you have flourished or floundered there?
- Many of the secondary characters—Abuelo, Dot, Camden, Red—have “issues.” Did you find these compelling or off-putting? Did any one of these characters interest you more than another? Of all characters, main and secondary, who was your favorite and why? Your least favorite?
- There are two ways to think about the question of “Why did this happen?” when tragedy enters our lives: “Why did God let it happen?” versus “What will God do with it?” What did you think of Margot’s epiphany about these two interpretations? Have you ever struggled with shifting your focus between the two?
- Looking ahead, what do you expect to see and want to see in the next book, about Phillip Camden? Historically, we know that the war ends a year after The Number of Love. What do you think life will look like then for Margot and Drake and their friends and family?