This month’s recommended novel for book clubs is Rebecca Wait's The Followers, a gripping thriller set amongst a religious cult on the Yorkshire moors. It's a novel that asks timely questions about love, faith and responsibility. 

‘A great surging shout of a novel, which left me,
in the end, in tears. . . I’d urge you to buy it’


The Followers by Rebecca Wait

Judith has been visiting her mother, Stephanie, in prison once a month for the last eight years. Even now, they find it impossible to talk about what brought them here - Stephanie's slow transformation under the influence of a charismatic yet darkly manipulative man, and the horrifying act of violence that changed everything. Some say that Stephanie was a victim too, that she wasn't responsible for her actions. But Judith's own life is in pieces and she's not so easily convinced. 

Do you have to love a parent unconditionally? And can you forgive the things you will never forget...?

>>>Start reading The Followers


 The Followers by Rebecca Wait

Did you enjoy The Followers? What did it leave you thinking about?

The novel is written from several points of view. Did you have a favourite and, if so, why?

Why do you think it is so easy for Nathaniel to persuade people to follow him?

Can you understand how Stephanie is so manipulated by Nathaniel?

What changes in Stephanie throughout the novel? Why?

What is it about Judith that makes her capable of seeing through Nathaniel?

Moses believes wholeheartedly in what he is taught at the Ark, yet he becomes friends with the one person who does not believe a single word of it. Why do you think that is?

Do you feel that Stephanie is a victim or is she responsible for her own actions?

How much should we lay blame with each character? Where does responsibility for Ester’s death fall?

Putting yourself in Judith’s shoes, could you forgive your mother?

Do you think Judith will be able to accept what has happened and move on? Do you think she will have any further contact with her mother? How damaged is that relationship?

Do you think The Followers is a dark or a hopeful book? 

Read our top ten books about cults here.