Has your book club read The House Guest, my novel about a stranger turning up on the doorstep of a couple housesitting for friends? Would you like to suggest it to them?
I’ve pulled together a list of questions and possible discussion points that might help you. If you can think of any more great questions, please leave a comment – or let me know what your book group thought of my novel.
SPOILER ALERT: Do not read these questions if you haven’t already read The House Guest because they contain major spoilers regarding the plot and characters, including the ending.
- If a stranger turned up on your doorstep like Eden did, what would you do? How do you think you would feel about letting them in? What do you think Adam and Ruth should have done?
- Ruth’s career is taking off while Adam’s is failing. How would you feel if you were Adam in this situation? Would you be happy but also resentful/jealous/despondent? Adam is ashamed of his failings and jealous of Ruth’s success and worries about their future, do you think he was justified in his relationship fears?
- Eden shows signs of strange behaviour when she visits the pool with Adam and they encounter Mets and Muscles. How would you have reacted when she said ‘they’re dead’? What did you think when Adam found out from Mets (Jesse) that Muscles (Brandon) had been killed?
- Adam tells Eden Ruth is always seeking something to belong to. Why do you think she wanted to feel a part of something? What do you think it was that she was seeking? How do you think it could be related to her troubled upbringing?
- When Ruth has her phone stolen, she has some personal pictures on it she doesn’t want anyone else to see. Would you or have you got photos like this on your phone? How do you feel about technology and the ease at which information can be accessed?
- Adam wakes up after the night of drinking with no recollection of the night before and finds that Ruth has gone missing. How would you have reacted in this scenario? Would you have tackled it differently? How would you feel about getting the police involved?
- Adam watches as Callum shoots and then tortures Dennis Krugman, then is forced to bury his dead body. How do you think this affected Adam? What would you have done if you were in his situation?
- Throughout the book we see Callum as a hero, trying to win back his daughter and help Adam. How do you think Adam felt when he found out Callum was actually Eden’s father and later discovers what he did to his wife and daughter in the past? Do you think Eden really wanted her father dead?
- How do you think cults choose people to become members? Why do you think they chose Ruth? How do you think they manipulate people and recruit members?
- How did you feel finding out that Mona was involved in the cult especially when it was cult leader Gabriel that was friends with Jack? Why do you think Jack was unaware of the cult and Mona’s involvement? How do you think Mona managed to keep it from him?
- Many cult leaders use their power to control others and as a way to get sex from members. Why do you think that is? Why do you think Gabriel felt so powerful?
- What did you think about the character rock journalist/cult investigator Wanda? Why do you think she has gained a network of helpers?
- At the end, the cult members present during the police raid deny any knowledge of the group’s existence. The FBI couldn’t find any proof either. How do you think the cult members managed to just disappear? Do you think they would have started up a new cult? If so how?
- At the end it is clear that Adam is scared that members of the cult will find him and Ruth as ‘they’re everywhere’. Do you think they could find him? How would he try to cope in the future? And, when Ruth and Eden joke about starting up their own network, do you think they really planned to?