Book Club Questions

  • Is Rembrandt a sympathetic character or a self-centred genius?
  • The novel is narrated from two perspectives; first person narration from the point of view of Hendrickje Stoffels who works in Rembrandt’s house as a maid and third person narration. Who might the third person narrator be? What effect do the two different styles of narration have on the telling of the story?
  • Would you have rather lived as Rembrandt or Hendrickje?
  • How far should a historical novel stray from the facts (if at all)?
  • Why did Rembrandt paint and draw himself at least seventy-seven times throughout his life?
  • Part IV of the novel used to be called ‘Epilogue’. Would it have made any difference?
  • What would you have done if the man/woman you love had done something you find morally abhorrent?
  • How explicit or veiled should love scenes be in literary fiction?
  • Which part of the novel did you find the most difficult to read and why?
  • Which part of the novel did you find the most moving to read and why?

Rembrandt’s Studio