How the story began

Ideas to discuss

Read chapter one




Macmillan have produced an excellent reading guide to The Witness. Click here to download it.


some ideas to discuss



There are a lot of different themes in The Witness -  loss, bullying, responsibility, disability, the environment, music, the land, politics. I didn't necessarily set out to write about them when I began the book, they just emerged as I told the story. Here are some of the questions The Witness invites you to ask:


- Is any cause worth killing for?

- What would it be like to lose a brother or sister?


- Would it ever be right to kill someone?


- How do you think you would feel if you'd killed someone?


- When would it be right to fight over land?


- Who do you think land should belong to?


- Why is it important that we look after the land?


- How do people make a living in the Highlands?


- Do you feel you belong to the place where you live?


- If so, how would you describe what belonging means?


- Can music help you to feel you belong somewhere?


- What would it be like if you could only live in the present, without any real idea of what has happened or what is going to happen?


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'A fiercely provocative vision of a possible Scotland'
 Keith Gray, author of The Ostrich Boys