Welcome to Week 2 of the Online Book Club discussion of And Then There Were None. Are you reading a physical book with us this month, or are you reading a copy on Hoopla?
The first couple of chapters in this section were all about introductions and setting up the scene and mystery. Did you find it overwhelming to try to keep up with every character? I found it incredibly helpful to write out the name of each of the main characters when I read the first chapter, just so I could keep everyone straight. And, then, after we heard the accusations of the crimes, I wrote that down, too. It was too hard for me to keep all the details together otherwise!
Did any of the characters stand out for you in this first section? I think the characters that stood out to me the most were Vera Claythorne and Philip Lombard. Lombard stood out to me because of the nasty, racist things he said about his crime, and Vera stood out because she seems so quiet and unassuming, but there has to be more to her story than she is letting on. She mentions Hugo at the end of chapter 5, and from her memory, we can see that he was related to the boy she watched. And, we know that she and Hugo were in love. What else is she covering up? Lombard is the only one who has openly admitted that he did something wrong--do you think that makes him a better person than the rest because he's open about his past mistakes?
What did you think of the fact that they all came to the island under different circumstances? Did you suspect that it was all a trick before we saw that the initials for all of the letters spelled out "Unknown?" I thought it was weird that they weren't all invited by the same person, but I never would have been able to see "Unknown," if the characters hadn't figured it out first.
Do you believe all of the stories the characters say about the crimes that were on the recording? Each crime seems to be able to be explained easily, so it seems silly that they are being publicly humiliated with the recording. Dr. Armstrong keeps having memories of being drunk--do you think he'll come clean about his incident?
Marston dies at the end of chapter 4 after remembering the incident he was accused of in the recording. He ran over two people, and when he remembered the incident, he said how inconvenient the whole thing had been because it caused him to lose his license. Were you sad to see him go? The characters believe that he committed suicide, but Rogers realizes when cleaning up, that there are only nine soldier figures on the table instead of the original ten. Who would have removed one of the figures? Do you think Marston's death was an accident? It seems like Marston's death fulfilled the first segment in the nursery rhyme that is displayed all over the house. The next segment says that someone went to sleep and never woke up. Do you think that will show up in the next section? Who do you think it could be?
Aren't you curious how Agatha Christie could come up with these types of stories? I know I don't have the creativity required to make a story like hers. If you want to learn more about her writing process, check out this article on Agatha Christie's website.
Also, check out the video below if you want to hear what the actors for the And Then There Were None television version thought of being in the adaptation.
I hope you enjoyed this first section and are excited to keep reading. I felt like I couldn't stop reading once I got all of the characters and the crimes straight in my head! Make sure to read through chapter 10 before joining us next week. I can't wait to hear from you in the comments section.