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The Glass House is a compelling, addictive novel told with heart, humour and insight by Anne Buist and The Rosie Project's Graeme Simsion.

There's so much to discuss, and we hope the questions below can guide your group's conversation. 

Discussion Questions

1. Which of the patient stories in The Glass House did you like or relate to most and why?

2. Sian undergoes electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Have you read or seen other stories in which ECT is used? How do those depictions compare with how it’s portrayed in The Glass House?

3. Hannah advised Alex not to phone Xavier at a time of crisis. Do you think Xavier received appropriate treatment?

4. On page 62, Hannah comments about Chloe’s multiple admissions for anorexia nervosa: ‘Would we say the same if it was sixteen admissions for asthma? . . . We do think differently about mental illness.’ Do you agree?

5. There is an argument that mental health stories should be told from the point of view of the patient(s) rather than ‘those in power’. Do you agree?

6. The episodic structure of The Glass House is unusual for a book but common in television series. Why do you think the authors chose it? Did it work for you?

7. The Glass House is set in an acute mental health ward. Did you have any previous knowledge or experience of this aspect of health care?

8. There are a number of controversial issues dealt with in The Glass House: medication vs ‘talking’ therapies; admission and treatment against the patient’s will; use of physical and pharmacological restraints. Did the book change your opinions on any of these?

9. Have you read any novels or memoirs written about mental health journeys? How did their portrayals of health workers compare with those in The Glass House?

10. On page 40, Carey says, ‘It’s called empathy . . . Too many psychiatrists never really try to understand the patient. They’re always on the outside looking in. Not in – at.’ Do you think the clinicians in The Glass House showed empathy for their patients?

11. If you had a mental health problem, who would you want to treat you: Hannah, Nash, Prof, Alex, Ndidi, Jon, Elena or Carey?

12. Hannah tells us that work got in the way of her relationship with Alex. Do you think that’s the real reason it foundered?

13. As the first book in a series, the conclusion of The Glass House is quite open-ended. What do you think is next for Hannah?


  • The Glass House - Anne Buist, Graeme Simsion

    With intelligence, frankness and humour, eminent psychiatrist Anne Buist tells it like it is, while co-writer Graeme Simsion brings the light touch that made The Rosie Project an international bestseller and a respected contribution to the autism conversation.

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