The Nature of a Lady
the Secrets of the Isles, 1
Lady Elizabeth “Libby” Sinclair, with her love of microscopes and nature, isn’t favored in society. She flees to the beautiful Isles of Scilly for the summer and stumbles into the dangerous secrets left behind by her holiday cottage’s former occupant, also named Elizabeth, who mysteriously vanished.
Oliver Tremayne–gentleman and clergyman–is determined to discover what happened to his sister, and he’s happy to accept the help of the girl now living in what should have been Beth’s summer cottage . . . especially when he realizes it’s the curious young lady he met briefly two years ago, who shares his love of botany and biology. But the hunt for his sister involves far more than nature walks, and he can’t quite believe all the secrets Beth had been keeping from him.
As Libby and Oliver work together, they find ancient legends, pirate wrecks, betrayal, and the most mysterious phenomenon of all: love.
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(These can also be found in the back of the book.)
- Libby feels out of place in her own family and society. Have you ever felt this way, or do you know someone who does? What have you done to find true community? Could you find it while still remaining with those who don’t fully understand? How have you helped others find their place?
- Oliver’s life was greatly shaped by his brother’s illness. How have you seen physical afflictions shape a family? Make it stronger? Break it apart? How can we ensure that they strengthen us and not break us?
- Mabena came home again solely because of her fears for her best friend and cousin. Has there ever been a place or situation or person you avoid because of a past hurt? What would convince you to face them again?
- Libby struggles to reconcile science and faith. Do you think there’s a battle between the two? Must there be, or is it created by the opponents of each? How can we reconcile it in our minds by knowing which questions belong to which side?
- Who is your favorite character? Your least favorite? Why?
- What did you think of Oliver’s rivalry with Casek Wearne? How do you think they’ll get along now? Would you have been quicker or slower to move toward a truce?
- Do you think Mamm-wynn could really see “beyond the veil”? What did you think of her and her eccentricities?
- The power of names and naming is discussed several times. Do you think names are important? What does yours mean? Your kids’? If you could know the name God calls you, what do you think it would be?
- Mamm-wynn says to both Oliver and Libby, “The islands know your name.” Is there a place that knows you, that you love above all others, that speaks to your soul? Where is it? Do you live there, vacation there? If you haven’t discovered it yet, do you think such a place exists?
- What do you think is coming next for the characters during their treasure-hunting summer on the islands? Which characters are you most excited to learn more about?