1. What drives Eva to join the British secret services? Is she
motivated solely by a desire to avenge her brother Kolia's
2. How does Eva's background make her an excellent recruit for
the world of espionage?
3. In becoming a secret agent, what part of her humanity does
4. Lucas Romer instructs Eva that 'Rule Number One' of espionage
is to not trust anyone. If an agent can't trust anyone, can they
ultimately remain loyal to their nation?
5. Eva notes Romer's tendency to order oysters when dining with
her; considering the aphrodisiac a symbol of their relationship.
Romer also discourages Eva from receiving extensive arms training.
How is sex used as the ultimate weapon in the novel?
6. Romer's AAS Ltd. specializes in media distortion: creating
misleading stories that are planted with legitimate news agencies.
The goal is to influence the course of world events. Consider the
current war in Iraq and the role the media played in the build up
to the American invasion in 2003?
7. How does Eva's past prevent her from showing more affection
towards her daughter Ruth?
8. Timothy Thoms concludes that Lucas Romer was a Soviet agent
working at keeping the United States from joining Britain against
Nazi Germany, thus allowing the Soviet Union to defeat Germany on
her own terms and preventing an American post-war presence in
Western Europe. Yet, prior to the Soviet counterattack of Dec. 5,
1941, the Soviet Union would have been desperate for American aid
as the fall of Moscow was a real danger. Since Romer and his team
were present in the United States prior to Dec. 1941 (during the
Soviet Union's darkest hours), is it not more likely that Romer was
a German agent since Germany had more to gain at this stage than
Russia in keeping the United States out of the war?
9. At the end of the novel, Eva is seemingly caught off guard
when her daughter Ruth asks about Uncle Kolia. The author writes
that Eva repeats Uncle Kolia's name as if testing the phrase,
savouring its unfamiliarity. In carrying a number of identities
throughout her lifetime, has Eva lost her sense of identity and
10. The novel highlights extensive efforts by the BSC to
influence American foreign policy. Was the BSC justified in
attempting to draw an isolationist nation into the Second World
War? Consider the following scenario: Prior to the Iraq War, the
CIA uses similar tactics to the BSC in an attempt to draw Canada
into the war. Would the United States have been justified in
carrying out such actions?