THE LIES WE TOLD
BY CAMILLA WAY
1.The novel alternates primarily between Clara’s and Beth’s perspec-tives. Why do you think the author chose these two perspectives to focus on? How did the alternating points of view affect your reading of the book?
2. Rose and Oliver withhold information from their children on mul-tiple occasions out of self- preservation, but by doing so they directly endanger them. How do you think they reconciled keeping their se-crets while knowing what Hannah was capable of? Do you under-stand their decisions, and do you have any sympathy for them?
3.As Beth notes, mental illness can be a result of both biological and environmental factors. Do you think that either of these elements had a stronger impact on Hannah than the other? How does the nature- versus- nurture question relate to the other characters in the book as well?
4.How much do you think Luke’s actions and the secrets he kept from Clara were responsible for the events in the book? Do you think the abduction could’ve been avoided if he had been more open about his stalker?
5.Over the course of the novel, Clara learns more and more details about Luke that don’t line up with the person she knows him to be, and she is forced to question what will happen with their relationship if he’s ever found. Were you satisfied with her final decision?
6.How are themes of trust and belonging explored in the novel?What do they mean for Clara? For Hannah? Use specific examples from the book to illustrate your points.
7.A recurring element of the book is the public perception that the Lawsons are good, kind people, and the exploration of people not be-ing what they seem. How would you characterize Rose, Oliver, Tom, Luke, and Emily by the end of the novel?
8.Discuss the character of Mac. Why do you think the author chose to give a brief glimpse into his perspective? Were you surprised by his actions over the course of the book?
9.Do you think rehabilitation is possible for Hannah? Do you think it’s possible for her to make peace with what was done to her and her mother? Why or why not?