Book Discussion Questions
What was your initial reaction to the book?
Without summarizing the book, what would you say it’s about?
Over all, what feelings did this book evoke for you?
What do you think about the book’s cover? How well does it convey the story?
What do you think of the book’s title? How does it relate to the book’s contents?
This book is set in 1996. How do you think setting the novel in that time period impacted the story?
Why do you think the author compressed the story into four months, specifically the months between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day?
Did the characters and their experiences seem believable to you?
Nora struggles with a mental health trauma—an invisible illness. She can’t really talk about her illness, because she’s not sure what’s happening to her. What did you feel about her as she struggled to understand what was happening? Has anything like this every happened to you or someone you know?
What do think created the dynamic between Nora and her mother?
Maeve carried the shame of a teen pregnancy out of marriage in 1950’s Ireland. How did that impact her life going forward?
Share a passage that moved you. Why did this passage stand out for you?
Sexual abuse, mental illness and suicide are always difficult subjects to read about — especially when a child is involved. How do you feel about how the author handled it?
Do you think Nora should have done more to help Elizabeth?
Several reviewers mentioned The Night Child should come with trigger warnings. What do you think?
How much of an impact do you think Paul, James, David, and John had on Nora’s mental health?
What did you already know about dissociation and PTSD before you read this book?
Dissociation is on the Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) continuum. It is not unique to child sexual abuse. Survivors of any trauma—war, a car accident, etc.—will often distance themselves from feelings of pain or danger. Have you ever experienced dissociation or known someone who has?
Did the book’s pace seem too fast/too slow/just right?
What aspects of the author’s story could you most relate to?
What gaps do you wish the author had filled in?
Nora feels tremendous guilt that she isn’t parenting well. She feels she is failing Fiona, which makes her depression and anxiety worse. Her therapist tells her that her healing will be a great gift to Fiona. Do you agree? Do you think Nora should have talked to Fiona about what she was going through? How do you feel Nora’s illness impacted Fiona?
Have you ever had to keep things together when you were going through a crisis? How did you handle it?
Did the book change your opinion or perspective about anything?
How do you feel about the ending?
If there was a sequel, what do you think would happen to Nora?
What questions do you still have?
If you got the chance to ask the author of this book one question, what would it be?
If you’d like to ask the author, Anna Quinn, in person, she would love to come visit with your book club!
Simply email her: firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna’s Goodreads page : https://www.goodreads.com/annaquinn