Discover Susi Fox’s themes of maternal instinct, mental health and trust with your book club.
Mine is a chilling psychological thriller that grips from the start when Sasha Moloney wakes up alone after an emergency caesarean, desperate to see her child. When Sasha is shown the baby, a terrible thought takes root: this is not her baby. Explore Sasha’s battle with anxiety, her strained relationship with her husband Mark, and the eerie setting of the hospital’s maternity ward with your book club.
Discussion points and questions:
- Consider the title, ‘Mine’. What are the different ways in which the novel explores themes of ownership and belonging?
- The novel is dedicated to ‘those who understand’. How do you interpret this in relation to the events of the novel?
- Consider the pressure that Sasha puts on herself to be a perfect mother (and the guilt she feels about her miscarriages), and discuss where this comes from. Why do you think it is so important for Sasha that she is a ‘success’ in this role?
- Sasha believes that Mark has betrayed her by not being on her side. Is it fair for Sasha to have expected Mark to support her unconditionally? To what extent can you ever really trust your partner?
- Sasha repeatedly proves herself to be an unreliable narrator. Can you recall moments where you couldn’t trust her? What effect did these moments have on your relationship with her character?
- Mental health issues are front and centre of the novel; there are repeated references to depression, psychosis and suicide. Did the insights about mental health make Mine harder to read, or more relatable, or otherwise?
- Throughout the novel, the descriptions of the hospital and the various wards are very vivid and claustrophobic. To what extent does the setting contribute to the events of the novel? Do you believe the hospital should be blamed for what happened?
- The author, Susi Fox, is a doctor, and her descriptions of medical procedures are informed by her professional experience. How did the visceral narration of childbirth, wounds, pain and trauma affect your reading?
- Think about the use of flashbacks for Sasha and Mark’s backstories, particularly in relation to Damien, Simon and Sasha’s mother, Rose. How are these memories drip-fed throughout the novel, and why do you think these memories emerge in this way?
- What was your response to the ‘reveal’ about what happened at the hospital? How did you judge each character? (Consider also the novel’s epigraph, from Rumi: ‘Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there.’ Why do you think this opens the novel?)