Our reading guide for Reader for Hire with much food for thought.


1 Marie-Constance addresses the reader throughout the novel. What effect does this have?

2 Reader for Hire is the second book in Peirene’s ‘Chance Encounter: Meeting the Other’ series. What elements of the ‘Chance Encounter’ theme can you find in the novel?

3 Do you think the setting of the novel is important?

4 Are you surprised by Marie-Constance’s decision at the end of the novel?

5 The character Roland Sora often talks of ‘naturalist’ or ‘realist’ novels. How realistic do you think the events of this story are, and does it matter?

6 Reading is a very personal thing. With this in mind, can you see a reason why the warnings Marie-Constance receives about being ‘misinterpreted’ might actually have some bearing?

7 We never gain much insight into Marie-Constance’s relationships or her feelings, despite the first person narrative. Why do you think this is?

8 Meike Ziervogel calls Marie-Constance ‘the personification of reading itself’. To what extent would you agree with this description?

9 Do you think the ending corresponds with or contradicts the novel’s message about the power of literature?

10 She may be the protagonist, but do you feel this is actually a story about Marie-Constance? If no, who or what do you think it is about?

You can download the reading guide as a PDF here.