Questions and Topics for Discussion
1. If put in Helena’s position, would you have accepted Jee-woon’s offer, especially without knowing who you’d be working for?
2. Who would benefit/suffer most from the creation of the chair?
3. What are the pros and cons of the chair?
4. When Helena laments her lack of personal relationships and work-life imbalance, Slade says, “I think balance is for people who don’t know why they’re here.” (p. 39). Do you agree?
5. Do you think Helena’s tunnel vision about building the chair blinds her to its potential for evil? Or is she aware of all of its capabilities – both good and bad?
6. Is there anything to be learned from the characters in the book about reconciling with the past?
7. Which of the two protagonists do you find more relatable – Barry or Helena? In what ways, if any, can you relate to Slade? Explain.
8. Does the view of time presented in the book make you think differently about déjà vu or memories in general? How so?
9. What do you think of Marcus Slade’s obsession with (re)creating the chair? Can you empathize with him? If you were in his situation, would you be tempted to do the same?
10. Would you use the chair for self-gain or for humanitarian purposes, if put in Slade’s position?
11. If you could relive a treasured moment of your past without consequences, would you? What moment would you choose?
12. Is there some moment in your past you would go back to and do differently, even if it meant your loved ones experiencing dead memories?
13. Helena feels solely responsible for the fate of the world due to her creation of the chair. Is she right for feeling this way?
14. What lesson, if any, does Barry learn throughout the course of the book and how does it contrast with the view of the past that Slade endorses?
15. The author leaves the book somewhat open-ended. Do you believe Barry and Helena will eventually be together again?