- How does the prologue (or poem at the start of the book) frame the rest of the novel? How does it relate to the book’s themes?
- What would Elodie’s life have been like if she hadn’t been given up?
- What would Maggie’s life have been like if she hadn’t had Elodie?
- If you were presented with the same choice as Maggie, would you do the same?
- Are Maggie’s father’s actions justified? Do you forgive him?
- What draws Maggie to her first husband? What does her marriage to her first husband say about her relationship to her family and heritage?
- What does “The Home for Unwanted Girls” mean? What does it mean for a child to be “unwanted” in this context?
- How do Maggie’s and Elodie’s abusers justify their actions? How has this shaped both women?
- What do you think of Gabriel? Do you understand his perspective? Is he a healthy partner for Maggie?
- What are your thoughts on Maggie’s mother? Is she another abuser, or a devoted mother who has made mistakes?
- How does Maggie change from the start of the novel? From a teenager to an adult? Do you admire her at the end of the book?
- The book shifts between mother and daughter. How does this change your understanding of the book? Why do you think the author chose to tell the story in this way?
- How do you feel about the nun who kept Maggie and Elodie apart? How do Maggie, Elodie, and Gabriel cope with her cruelty?
- What do you think of the ending? Do you feel optimistic about their future?
- How do Elodie, Maggie, and Maggie’s mother approach motherhood? How does
motherhood change how they think of themselves?
Discussion questions are courtesy of Harper-Collins Canada. Click here for a PDF (print friendly) version of the reader’s guide.