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BOOK:          CATCHING A WITCH                  AUTHOR:     Heidi Eljarbo

TIME:                                                     PLACE:


Before starting the discussion, read the book blurb for a quick reminder. Who are the key characters? What is the storyline? Where and when does it take place?





What do you think the author means when she says this is a story about people?


How did faith, superstition, and folk tales have an impact on the daily life of the people in Rossby? Is it important to believe in something?


What do you think triggered the Rossby panic? Did they have prejudiced opinions about members of their community before Angus Hill arrived or was he to blame?


Has this novel changed your thinking in any way?


Do you have a favorite scene, sentence, or word from the book?


Were you surprised by any twists and turns in the story?


What do you think the author want the readers to ponder as they read the story?




How does Clara change? What makes her a heroine? What are her character traits, ambitions, and hope? Does she reach any of these goals?


What makes Clara a seventeenth century feminist? What does she accomplish?


Do you agree with how Clara makes decisions and acts, or would you behave differently?


How do you think Clara’s upbringing, background, and talents have shaped her personality?


What are Bess’s weaknesses and strengths? What do you think the witch-finder really thought about her?


Did you have sympathy for Toomber from the beginning of the book? Did your impression of him change throughout the story? If so, how and why? Did you want a different ending for him?


What is your opinion of the witch-finder Angus Hill? Product of environment? Pure evil? Or is he one who rescues those who cannot think for themselves?


The twins, Taran and Tilla, use their talents and gifts in a way to amuse themselves. Why do you think they do that? Can they change? Would they want to change?


How do you agree or disagree with how Herr Christopher handles the different situations and happenings in his parish?


Did you learn anything from the people you met in the story?


Can you identify with any of the characters in the book? Which one? What makes you relate to him or her?


Did the characters seem plausible? Would you like to meet, befriend, or scold any of them?


Do any of the characters remind you of people today?




Reading a story helps us catch a glimpse of the characters’ everyday life, behavior, and how they feel about social structure, politics, faith, family life, love etc. What was interesting to you and did you learn something new about this era? Did you learn anything new about other cultures?


Witch-hunting still happens today? Another social problem is bullying. How can you compare the two?


How does mass suggestion work and how can the it be compared to witch-hunts? How can we compare the Holocaust to a modern witch-hunt?


What is your lasting impression of the book or any of its characters?


Three words to summarize this novel.




Do you want to know what happens next in Clara’s life? Will she pursue her goal or choose something else?


Which of the other characters would you like to hear about in a sequel?


If you could ask the author a question, what would you ask?


Which actresses and actors would you cast in as the various characters in a movie version of this novel?

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