1. What did Louisa mean when she said “danger was Elliot’s addiction” (16)?
2. Why did Louisa side with Elliot over her father about creating the new emporium? At the beginning of the story, who do you think she trusts more?
3. Why do you think Louisa feels such a strong connection with Gwen?
4. How well did Louisa really know Elliot? Who knew him the best?
5. Would having a child have improved Louisa and Elliot’s relationship?
6. Did any of Elliot’s behavior signal what was going on in his life? Should Louisa have been more suspicious of him?
7. Why did Louisa insist on seeing Zinnia? Did seeing her help Louisa accept what had happened?
8. Are Margo and Elliot equally guilty for their relationships outside of marriage? Do you think they behave similarly in any other ways?
9. Do you believe that Elliot really loved both Louisa and Zinnia simultaneously?
10. Do you think William really loves Margo? Do you agree with her decision to restart her relationship with him?
11. Why is Louisa so motivated to help Zinnia? Do you think Louisa owes her anything?
12. Is Irene to blame for her son’s entitlement? How did her parenting affect him?
13. On page 200 Louisa describes herself as being “scarred by life.” What do you think she means by this? Do you agree?
14. At the end of the book, Louisa says she’d like to think about Elliott “fondly, uncontaminated by anger” (354). Do you think this is possible? By the end of the story how do the other characters feel about him?