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Our Little Secret
By Roz Nay
Reading Group Guide This reading group guide for Our Little Secret includes an introduction, discussion questions, and ideas for enhancing your book club. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book. Introduction
Angela is being held in a police interrogation room. Her ex’s wife has gone missing and Detective Novak is sure Angela knows something, despite her claim that she’s not involved.
At Novak’s prodding, Angela tells a story going back ten years, explaining how she met and fell in love with her high school friend HP. But as her past unfolds, she reveals a disconcerting love triangle and a dark, tangled web of betrayals. Is Angela a scorned ex-lover with criminal intent? Or a pawn in someone else’s revenge scheme? Who is she protecting? And why?
Twisty and suspenseful, Our Little Secret
is an intense cat-and-mouse game and a riveting thriller about the lies we tell others—and ourselves. Topics & Questions for Discussion
1. When Angela first meets Detective Novak, he asks that she fill in the blanks about Saskia. In order to answer Novak’s questions, Angela goes back ten years, despite the fact that she doesn’t meet Saskia until after high school. Why does Angela choose to begin her story from this point?
2. In the interrogation room, Angela notices a small line of graffiti on the wall that reads: “the urge to destroy is creative.” When reading the novel, did these lines affect your interpretation of Angela or the stories she was telling?
3. During the course of the book, both Angela’s and HP’s names change according to who is addressing them. She is Angela, Little John, or LJ; he is HP or Hamish. What do these nicknames indicate about the characters and how they relate to themselves and others?
4. Discuss Angela’s relationship with HP. They started out as best friends, and then they started dating. How did you feel when they got together? Why do you think they broke up?
5. In high school, HP says that Angela is his soul mate, but Saskia believes she and HP are soul mates. Do you think that HP and Angela were meant to be? Can you have more than one soul mate?
6. When HP first befriends Angela, he tells her, “Some secrets you have to earn.” Does Angela earn HP’s secrets? If yes, how? How does Detective Novak earn Angela’s secrets?
7. What were your initial impressions of Freddy? As Angela’s friend, do you think he had good intentions? Was he a good or bad influence in Angela’s life?
8. Angela’s dad was determined to get her into an Ivy League school, and her mom was obsessed with Angela dating HP. Why do you think her parents were fixated on these life goals? Did these pressures affect Angela even after she finished high school? How so?
9. Angela’s mom suggests that Angela make a Manifestation Jar in hopes that she can forgive and forget after her miserable summer watching HP and Saskia together. But when the jar resurfaces, Detective Novak uses it as evidence against Angela. Do you think Angela believed her manifestations would come true? Did the jar have a positive or negative affect on her life?
10. People often have a time in their life that they think of as golden, or as the best time of their life—for Angela, that time is high school and her relationship with HP. How does this idolization of her past affect her present and future?
11. Saskia is obsessed with elephants because they mate for life and mourn their dead. Why is the elephant such an important symbol? And what is the significance of the necklace that Detective Novak presents to Angela?
12. Later in the novel, Saskia tells Angela, “Sometimes I think we met on the same night because of fate.” Do you think Angela believes in fate? Does fate direct Angela’s actions? How?
13. Is Angela a trustworthy narrator? Why or why not?
14. Discuss the structure of the book. What effect does alternating between Angela’s present interrogation and her memory of the past have on the story? Did learning about Angela’s past help you better understand her future actions?
15. Is Angela a sympathetic protagonist? Did your feelings about Angela change as you read the book? If so, how?
16. Discuss the power of love in the novel. Discuss the power of obsession.
17. How does the author foreshadow the final events of the novel? Did you see the twist coming or were you surprised by the novel’s outcome?
18. Could Saskia’s death have been prevented? Why or why not?
19. Discuss Angela’s final revelation to Detective Novak. Is she manipulating him or does she truly believe in her own version of the events?
20. What do you think happens to the characters after the novel is over? How do you think the events will impact each of their lives and relationships going forward? Enhance Your Book Club
1. Angela idolizes her time in high school and with HP, and is therefore unable to move on from that time in her life. Is there a time in your life that you have idolized? When was it? Tell your book club about it.
2. Make a manifestation jar with the members of your book club. According to Angela’s mom, “You take little pieces of paper, write down your hopes and dreams and pop them into the jar.” Sounds easy enough!
3. To learn more about Roz Nay, you can visit her website www.roznay.com
or follow her on twitter at @roznay1
for regular updates on her writing.