For Book Clubs

Book Club Questions

1. What does the title “Masque of Honor” convey about this novel?

2. So many of the main characters lost their fathers. Discuss the impact of this early loss on the lives of Armistead, Jack and Lucinda.

3. Power and position were clear drivers of Armistead’s ambition. What was important to Jack and how did his motivation and perspective put him at odds with his cousin?

4. Who bears the greater responsibility for the feud, Jack or Armistead? Why could they not let the conflict go? What was at stake?

5. What symbolism do the jackets worn by the characters represent in the book? William’s coat with the McCarty family crest? The jacket of Armistead’s uniform? Armistead’s overcoat with the heavy skirts?

6. How would you contrast the influences that Sally and Polly
had on the lives of their children? How did those influences play out on Armistead and Jack in particular? 

7. What impact did Jack’s trip to Natchez have on his outlook on life?

8. How important was Emily’s role in Jack and Lucinda’s relationship and within the family dynamic overall?

9. When Jack observes the orphans playing in New York, he asks himself two questions: “Was I ever that happy,” and “Why not?” What do you think was the answer to his second question?

10. Forgiveness is an important theme in the book. What impact does the act of forgiveness have on the characters and the story?

Book Club Recipes

Here's what book clubs are saying!

“My book club read Masque of Honor this past month. We couldn’t stop talking about how each chapter is fast-paced which left us wanting more. We all agreed that we felt fully immersed in life during this time period.”

– Andrea, Book Club from Pennsylvania


“I belong to a book club with members surfacing across multiple states. We loved reading about this coming-of-age story about two young men, the heirs of Virginia aristocracy and political legacy from the colonial south. The writing of Sharon Virts is completely engaging, immersive and quite readable. We had fun learning about this time frame and the delivery of the family backgrounds in a well-researched story based on true events, giving a fascinating read that is quite unputdownable.”

– Theresa, Book Club from North Carolina


“To get to the bottom of a book, you really need to throw around some ideas with friends. Someone may like one of the characters for a reason no one else has thought of, or someone else might have a whole different take on the turn of events, prompting the group to think beyond their initial views. With Masque of Honor, we all agreed that the characters in this novel were one-of-a-kind. We spent many nights discussing Armistead and Jack and the relationships between the two. I loved the different perspectives that came about during our discussion and would recommend Masque of Honor to any book club.”

– Jena, Book Club from Texas


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