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I LOVE BOOK CLUBS!

Are you a member of a book club? Below are some questions you might consider discussing.

 

More importantly, I'd love to meet up with you, either in person or virtually! Contact me at Lisa@LisaMalice.com to plan our meet-up. 

WARNING: THE BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS OFFERED BELOW CONTAIN SPOILERS!

  1. ​ Lest She Forget is told through the narratives of two characters, though their Points of View (POV) differ. Kay, a woman who has no memory of   her life before waking up in a rehab facility, tells her story using 1st person POV present tense. The narrative of Felix Jager, a ruthless assassin   with his sights set on Kay, is told via 3rd person past tense.

 

       What do you think the author was trying to achieve with this storytelling strategy? Was it effective? Why or why not?  

   2.  I don’t remember . . . I can’t recall anything!” These words have been blurted out by a vast cast of characters over the years in books, TV and 

       movies. Some consider amnesia a trope, an overused fictional plot device, but that doesn’t stop writers from going down that rabbit hole with 

       their heroes and heroines, nor does it keep readers and viewers from loving every minute of a book or film incorporating memory loss in its 

       tale.

 

       As a fan of such thrillers, why do you think amnesia stories are so appealing?

   3.  As Lest She Forget opens, Amy is driving into a dangerous blizzard, an effort to escape—at least physically—her brother-in-law and the awful

       news that he accidentally killed his wife Angela, Amy’s identical twin sister, during a heated argument over his role in the murder of a young

       pregnant campaign intern. The last words Angela said to Amy were angry, accusatory—It’s your fault—words that strike at Amy’s heart, fueling         a sense of guilt that her failure to disclose important information led to the deaths of both women. 

 

       Do you think Angela has a point, or is Amy being too hard on herself? Why or why not? What, if anything, would you have done differently if     

       you were in Amy’s shoes?

   4.  Kay awakes with dissociative fugue, a form of retrograde amnesia, leaving her without any memory about her past life from which to draw on

       going forward. As she searches for clues to her identity, Kay observes her own body, skills and abilities, leading her to draw conclusions about

       who she might be as a person. For example, her hands are not callused, her nails beautifully manicured. She speaks fluent French and is     

       familiar with French cuisine. Kay is also adept at using the computer, using a keyboard, pulling up information from the web, and setting up     

       and using social media. Even running on a treadmill seems familiar to her. The retention of such knowledge, skills and abilities is not unusual

       with retrograde amnesia, regardless of its cause, as these memories are centered in an area of the brain apart from where our most personal

       memories are stored.

 

       If you lost your memory, didn’t know who you were, what could you observe about yourself that could reveal enough about your own interests,

       abilities, and knowledge to help you define who you are as a person? 

   5.  After watching "Field of Dreams," a movie in which a young man is given second chance to connect with his father from beyond the grave,

       Angela is startled awake in the middle of the night by Nick’s snoring. As she retrieves Nick’s laptop from the floor, she can’t resist looking over

       the computer file detailing the FBI’s investigation of Amy’s disappearance. Sitting in the bathroom, staring at the words on the screen, sparks

       Angela’s memory of that night her sister went missing, flashbacks suggesting that either Angela was either complicit in her own sister’s

       abduction and murder, or as suggested by Field of Dreams, being given a glimpse into Amy’s own memory, a message sent from the heavens

       beyond.

 

       Have you, or someone you know, experienced a connection to someone who has passed on, perhaps a loved one trying to communicate or     

       send a message? If so, tell us about this experience.

  6.   As the character of Kay/Angela/Amy develops throughout the book, she manages to draw on an inner strength when crises arise and danger

       stares her down. Even after their ordeal draws to an end, leaving Amy questioning whether Nick can love and forgive her for the heart-ending

       betrayal she heaped upon him, she is prepared to face the consequences of her own actions, something she likely would not have had the

       courage to do at the beginning of the story. Her relationship with William similarly evolves by the close of the story, with Amy calling the shots

       going forward, rather than the next leader of the free world.  

 

       Do you think Amy had in it her all along to stand up for herself, to do what is right and just, or did losing her memory, going through the

       process of self-discovery, and almost dying in an effort to uncover the truth behind a series of murders, facilitate her growth psychologically as

       a woman of strength and purpose in her own right? Please elaborate on your answer.  

  7.   Villains are complex characters, often seeing themselves as heroes, or at the very least, justified in their actions in some way.

 

       Is there any quality or behavior in Felix Jager, revealed either in his past reflections or in his actions as the story progressed, that surprised you,

       or perhaps, gave you pause in seeing him as evil through and through? If so, please elaborate.

  8.   Amnesia can manifest itself in two different ways, either forgetting your past while being able to make new memories (retrograde amnesia) or

       being unable to remember what happened to you a minute ago, while being able to recall your past (anterograde amnesia).

 

       If you had to suffer, irreversibly from amnesia, which form of memory loss would you prefer and why?

  9.   Although Lest She Forget maybe categorized as a political thriller, the author offers no clue to William’s political leanings, nor that any of

       characters. No political parties are mentioned, no policy issues or legislative stances are discussed.

 

       Are politics, as characterized above, needed for a thriller to be political? Why or why not? If not, what drives Andrew Novak to kill in Lest She

       Forget? Is there another setting or context that would work just as well for this story to play out as it did?

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