1. What were your initial theories about how Tess died? How would you have pursued the case if you had been one of the DIs?
2. How does Bee and Tess’s relationship compare to the way you and your siblings interact? What causes the most disagreement between you? What brings you together, no matter what?
3. What did the sisters’ mother teach them about motherhood and being a fulfilled woman? What did she teach them about love?
4. How did their father’s absence affect the way Bee and Tess felt about men?
5. Both sisters are involved in creative fields, even debating typefaces in their emails. What does Tess express in her paintings? Is there any room for self-expression in Bee’s commercial design work?
6. Do you think Bee discovers anything new about her sister in a deep way- for example when she meets her landlord Amias and friends Kasia and Simon? How much of what Beatrice discovers is about herself?
7. What does the novel say about resilience, both physical and emotional, and where it comes from?
8. How does the memory of Leo affect the Hemming family?
9. Though Bee acknowledges that she and her sister are not devout Catholics, how does their Catholicism affect their view of the world (in an Anglican nation, no less)?
10. Why was Tess drawn to Emilio, and Kasia to Mitch? Would you have been more attracted to Todd or to William?
11. Discuss the novel’s structure. How did it affect you as the narrator referred to Tess as “you”? What was your understanding of Mr. Wright and his role?
12. Dr. Nichols, Professor Rosen, and William all inhabit the world of diagnosis and treatment. How do their three different roles (and mindsets) reflect the realities of modern medicine?
13. Though Chrom-Med is a fictional company, what real-life questions about gene therapy are raised by the novel? What is the ethical way to apply humanity’s knowledge of the human genome?
14. Discuss the novel’s stunning closing scenes. What do you predict for the aftermath?
(Questions issued by publisher.)
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