7. Anna has carried the weight of her past for many years. In what ways does the tragedy she was partly responsible for in her youth impact her personality and emotions and actions now, as an adult?
8. Anna is employed as a skip tracer, one who works to track down missing people for an insurance company. In what ways do these skills help in the investigation to find her brother? In what ways do they hinder her?
9. What did you think had happened to Bobby after the motorcycle accident that opened the story? Had you been in his position—severely injured with an unknown assailant in pursuit—what would you have done?
10. In your opinion, what is it about Reed that made Anna fall in love with him as a teenager? As you read this story, did you trust him now, as an adult, or find yourself suspicious of his actions and motivations? At what point in the story did you decide that he was good or bad? How many times, if at all, did you change your mind?
11. If you knew that you and your husband carried the genes for a fatal disorder but that there was a medical procedure which would ensure you could give birth to a healthy, disorder-free child, would you have that procedure? What if that procedure were illegal?
12. The letters and journal entries supposedly penned by Stephanie de Beauharnaise were fictional, though Stephanie herself was a true historical character who actually existed in the time period indicated. What other books have you read that placed real people in fictional situations? When this literary device is used, does the author’s poetic license make you uncomfortable, or do you find it to be rather fun? How would you feel if someday an author placed you or someone you know into a fictional story?
13. Before reading this book, had you ever heard of Kaspar Hauser? (Perhaps you were familiar with the song Wooden Horse, which was written about him by Suzanne Vega?) Have you been inspired to do any further reading on the subject?
14. Were you surprised by Grete’s “secret sin”? If you were Anna, how would you have responded to finding the camera and photographs? If you were Grete, what would you do next: confess to the Amish elders or trust Anna's discretion and continue keeping your secret? What do you think of the Amish prohibition against photographs?