Five questions to ask your book club about the novel, The Couple Next Door. These questions were adapted from Kate Newton’s interview with the author, Shari Lapena. You can read Kate’s full interview with Shari here.
- The theme of leaving a child alone is a hot-button topic in the media. These incidents have inspired outrage in some, and understanding in others who can relate to being a parent and making decisions that, in hindsight, were the worst possible decisions. How do you think the author was able to make Anne and Marco sympathetic enough that readers would empathize with them?
- The author really delves into Anne’s psyche in this book. One of the most telling passages that really demonstrates her mental state is when the women from her new mothers’ group come to visit after Cora goes missing, bringing containers of prepared food. Anne sees it as, “Such kindness, and such thoughtless cruelty.” How do you think Anne processed information?
- The characters in the book are not cardboard cut-outs but three-dimensional people. Readers can easily relate to the character whose point of view the story is told from, and the author does a great job of alternating back and forth. Do you find yourself flip-flopping back and forth between Anne and Marco, siding with one, then the other? Who do you find yourself siding with?
- This story was written from multiple points of view, but the author also wrote it in present tense, which is a hard trick to pull off. Do you think the story being told in present tense helped with the suspense?
- The suspense genre is often considered the hardest to write in. It’s challenging to keep readers at the edge of their seat, but not drag out the twist so long that they get antsy or feel manipulated. Do you think the author did a good job of setting the right pace for the plot to move along?
© 2017 Kate Newton, Book Club Babble