1. The first chapter reveals a glimpse of how Polly views her mother and their relationship. What was your first impression of her feelings toward her mother? How has your relationship with your mother changed your life?
2. In the first two chapters, we learn that Polly finds it necessary to use her camera as a crutch by taking photographs as a sort of therapy. She thinks it’s easier to handle life in smaller pieces, and she confronts both the small challenges and the larger-than-life circumstances in the same way. Think about how you handle the obstacles of life. Is prayer and meditation on scripture enough? What else do you find therapeutic during stressful moments—gardening, painting, running?
3. When Polly sees Alec Gordon again for the first time in years, her thoughts return to the pain he caused her. When she finds Alec dead, the guilt of wishing that same fate upon him at one point in her life weighs on her. God knows her heart, and she considers that He might have given her an opportunity to forgive Alec, which she missed. Have you ever been so angry or hurt by someone that you wished ill-fate on them, even if only for a moment—whether physical or not? If so, when and how have you dealt with it? If not, can you relate to her feelings on some level and how?
4. Polly worries about how her long-time friend Rene will react to the news of the murder, knowing the information could devastate her and impede her plans to wed at the lodge that weekend. Have you ever withheld information from a friend because you knew it would affect them negatively? If so, did your friend ever find out, and what was her reaction to your decision? If not, have you wanted to protect your friend, but instead chose to be honest? Why or why not?
5. When Spencer enters the story, Polly comes face to face with another man from her past whom she’s struggled to forgive. In a way, Spencer destroyed her life. She considered him the love of her life, but he was unable to commit to her, so she turned her back on him and married another. Consider the relationships in your life. Are there some people whom you more easily forgive than others and why?
6. As the story progresses, Polly is faced with an intolerable situation, considering those she loves could become murder suspects. Because of circumstantial evidence, Polly considers the question of their guilt even as she works to prove their innocence. Have you ever been in a situation where you had to trust someone despite what appeared to be the “facts”? How did you handle it, and what did you learn from the experience?
7. Polly finds herself helping a woman, Emily, to escape her husband. Do you agree with her actions? Why or why not?
8. When Polly learns who the real murderer is, she discovers she was on the wrong trail all along, believing someone else was guilty. Is there a time in your life when you discovered someone wasn’t who you thought they were? Why or why not? Did you ever believe something negative about someone only to discover it wasn’t true? How did you handle that?