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Readers guide for
Questions for Discussion

1) Who is the victim? Who is the perpetrator? What does it mean to be a victim in the context of this story?

2) Who did you most empathize with throughout the book? Did your sympathies change chapter to chapter? If so, how?

3) Patty’s actions are attributed to Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a mental health disorder. Should she have gone to prison if her behavior was caused by an illness beyond her control?

4) Do Patty and Rose Gold love each other? How did your view of their relationship change throughout the book?

5) Toward the end of the book, Rose Gold says, “Nobody wants to hear the truth from a liar.” Did you trust either of the narrators? At what points, if any, was that trust shaken?

6) What did you think of Rose Gold’s final decision not to fix her teeth? To shave her head? How do societal beauty standards affect Rose Gold throughout the book?

7) How much of our personalities are shaped by nature vs. nurture? Do you think Rose Gold and Patty would have committed their crimes had their childhoods been different?

8) “Some of us cannot forget and will never forgive.” Do you think Rose Gold will ever be free of her mother’s influence? Were Rose Gold’s actions justifiable? What do you imagine her future will hold?

9) What role did the residents of Deadwick play in the story? What characters had the biggest impact on Patty and/or Rose Gold? Why do you think Patty was able to keep her actions hidden for so long?

10) Does Patty know she’s lying or has she convinced herself she’s telling the truth? What makes you think so?
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