1. When Alex first meets Katie, he senses that she is in trouble. How does he figure out what has happened to her?
2. What is the nature of Jo and Katie’s relationship? How does Jo help Katie adjust to her life in Southport?
3. Katie and Alex fall in love very quickly. What draws them together? Have you ever fallen in love so quickly? If not, do you think it’s possible?
4. On their first date, Alex says to Katie: “Everyone has a past, but that’s just it—t’s in the past. You can learn from it, but you can’t change it.” Do you agree with him? Is it possible to truly put the past behind you?
5. Alex is a widower who has had to raise two children on his own. How has he dealt with his grief in the years since his wife passed away? Have you experienced grief of this magnitude in your own life? How did you handle it?
6. When Katie tells Alex about Kevin she says: “I hate him, but I hate myself, too.” Why does she feel this way? How does Katie change as she spends more and more time in Southport? How is she different by the end of the book?
7. Despite his violent behavior and his incessant drinking, Kevin quotes the Bible constantly and takes the Ten Commandments seriously. How do you understand his behavior?
8. Katie’s past puts Alex and his family in potential danger. Do you think it was irresponsible of Alex to involve himself with a woman he knew could endanger him and his children?
9. Why do you think the author chose to write a portion of the book from Kevin’s perspective. Do you have any sympathy for Kevin? Why or why not?
10. Did reading this book give you a new or better understanding of domestic abuse?
11. At the end of the novel, Alex tells Katie he is sorry for her loss. What does he mean by this? How does Katie react?
12. What do you make of Katie’s discovery at the end of the novel? Do you find the book’s ending believable?
13. This novel is in large part about safety and trust and how we often take these two things for granted. Did this book make you think differently about your own life and the things you value?
(Questions from the author's website.)
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