The Child

by Fiona Barton
The Child by Fiona Barton

Discussion Questions

1. How would you describe Emma and Jude's relationship? Do you think Jude loves her daughter? Why or why not?

2. Do you think Kate plays a larger role in this book than she does in The Widow? How does her presence in the story affect how it unfolds? Why do you think this "cold case" investigation is so important to her initially, and does her motivation change over the course of the novel?

3. Several examples of victim blaming occur in the novel. For instance, in the initial kidnapping investigation, the police blame Angela for leaving her child alone in the hospital room. How does the book treat victim blaming? How might the story be different without it?

4. What is the role of journalism in the book? Like in The Widow, the media is inextricably linked with the police investigation. What do you think of Kate's methods and involvement? Do you think the media help or hinder the police during crime investigations?

5. Discuss the theme of motherhood in the novel. Would you describe the women in the book as good mothers? Why or why not? How has motherhood affected each of the characters? How does it affect their interactions with each other?

6. Discuss Will's character. Will is the only male character whose perspective is shown in the book. Do you think this is significant? Why do you think the author chose to include his perspective? How does it affect your feelings towards him?

7. Angela's devastation over the loss of her child seeps into every aspect of her life, including her marriage and her relationship with her other children. Discuss the role of trauma and recovery, and how trauma can be passed down through generations.

8. Discuss the relationship between secrets and truth in this story. Almost all of the characters keep secrets. Whose actions are justified and whose are not? Use examples from the book to illustrate your points.
Discussion questions by the publisher
Book Club Talking Points:
This story examines the loss of a child - a newborn stolen from the hospital. There is also much to talk about concerning relationships, especially mother-daughter relationships.It also deals with some uncomfortable issues such as mental illness, the consequences of holding secrets and abuse.

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