1. What did you enjoy most about the book and why?
2. The book is told from the points of view of Claudia, Zoe and Lorraine, and alternates between past and present tenses. How does this compare to other psychological thrillers you have read? What effect does this have on the pace and immediacy of the story?
3. In your opinion, how realistic were the characters? Who did you find to be the most genuine person in this story?
4. Adam and Lorraine work closely on two intense and upsetting murder cases. How do you think this affects their relationship, especially given what Adam has confessed to his wife?
5. Do you agree with Lorraine’s forgiveness of Adam? If it had been you, what would you do, and why?
6. Claudia works as a social worker in a busy department. Discuss how this job fits with what you know about her by the end of the book. Do you think her career drove her to act the way she did, or did she have an ulterior motive for choosing this job in the first place?
7. Bringing a stranger into your home to take care of your children is a big undertaking. Discuss Zoe’s motives for being in Claudia’s home. How did her relationship with Cecelia sway your judgment of her? Did you change your opinion of her by the end of the novel? Why or why not?
8. Motherhood is a major theme in the book. Discuss the different ways in which being a mother, or not, affects Claudia, Zoe, Cecelia and Lorraine’s lives
9. When you first read the prologue, who did you assume the narrator was? Why? How did the final reveal affect your thoughts of the first half of the book? Do you think Claudia married James as part of her ‘grand plan’ or did she really love him? In other words, was her love for him driven solely by the opportunities he represented, or was it genuine? Claudia’s suspicions about Zoe and her motives for taking the job intensify throughout the novel. Regardless of what we learn about Claudia in the end, do you think she was being overly paranoid? Would you have become suspicious of Zoe, given her actions? How would you have handled the situation? Was Claudia’s paranoia grounded more in her family’s safety, or in keeping her own secret hidden?
10. By the end of the book, you learn more about Claudia’s tragic history. Did this allow you to feel any sympathy for her whatsoever?
11. What did you think of the ending? Did you expect it? Why or why not?