The Usual Questions:
1. How did the novel unfold for you? Were you immediately drawn in, or did it take a while for you to become fully engaged?
2. Discuss the novel’s structure. Did the differing character viewpoints enhance or detract from the story? Did you find yourself dreading some character viewpoints, yet enthralled by others? Which character’s viewpoint did you most enjoy?
3. What major themes does the author explore? Does the novel’s title and/or cover art imply a theme? Does the author use symbols to reinforce major themes?
4. What passages in the novel struck you as insightful? Worrisome? Profound? Possessed troubling implcations?
5. What was your favorite moment in the novel? Why?
The Unusual Questions:
1. Before reading this novel, were you aware that Muslims consider Jesus a prophet? Did you know that Moses and the Virgin Mother Mary figure prominently in the Qur’an? Did you know that Christians, Jews, and Muslims share a common foundation for their beliefs? Did reading this novel make you curious to learn more about these clashing faiths?
2. Did anything in this novel make your rethink your own beliefs concerning other cultures, or your role in the world?
3. Did the novel make you ponder truth? Is there such a thing as a good lie? Or does the good lie often merely provide a short-term solution, and an exponentially worse final outcome? Is there such a thing as too much truth? What is it that we fear about truth?
The Exotic Questions:
Spoiler alert! Please read the novel before reading these questions as they give away plot twists.
1. It’s been said that Angie is the most polarizing of the novel’s characters, her actions dividing readers into “love her” or “hate her” camps. Where do you fall and why?
2. Many readers start out liking Angie, but learn to dislike her later. If this was true for you, what Angie action inspired your flip from like to dislike?
3. Some readers come full circle with the Angie character, first liking, then disliking, and then finally embracing her again at the end of the novel. If this was true for you, which Angie action inspired you to like her again?
4. If Angie were instead Alex, an obsessed man risking everything and everyone in his life to capture and punish a murdering rapist, would you feel better about him? Would you find yourself excusing his behavior? Would you dislike him less? Would you like him? Bottom line, if Angie were a man, would she get a pass?
5. Where do you see Stu and Angie five years from now? Will their marriage survive?
6. If you were Stu, would you want to know the whole truth of Angie? Would you want to know that she planned on committing adultery? Or, since adultery never occurred, is that too much truth? Would you rather not know?
7. Did you find yourself rooting for the terrorist Kashif? Did you hope that he would find a way to rise above his circumstance? When did your rooting for Kashif first occur in the novel? How do you feel about Kashif now? What if Darryann recovers to lead a rich, full life? What if she dies?
8. In the hospital scene, did you want Stu to kill Uday? If Stu had killed Uday, how do you think this would have affected him over the rest of his life?
9. Did you want Kashif to kill Hosaam? How would killing Hosaam have affected Kashif over the remainder of his life?
10. Is murder ever justifiable?