Every Single Secret

Every Single Secret

EVERY SINGLE SECRET Readers’ Guide Questions
(As with all Readers’ Guide Questions, it is strongly suggested you not read these until you’ve read the story.)
Warning! Contains spoilers about EVERY SINGLE SECRET.

1. When Rowan was fourteen, she was ripped from her normal American teen life by violent events that deprived her of her mother and sister and made it necessary for her and her stepfather to go on the run. In your teen years, did you suffer a loss or trauma that changed you? A move, the loss of a grandparent, your parents’ divorce? Do the echoes of those events affect you today?

2. If you hired someone from The Fixer company, what would you have them fix for you?

3. Bandara has discovered he faces a painful and lonely death. What do you think of his decision to end his life? This is, as far as we know, the only person Rowan feels close to; what do you think of her decision to assist him? If you had the ability to assist in these circumstances, would you?

4. Bandara was obviously a kind, observant teacher who worked to help his pupils when he could. Although Rowan is not his student, he comments on what he sees in her and that understanding gives her the courage to tell him her real name. Have you ever had a teacher notice you or your child going through a hard time? How did they try to help?

5. Humans are social creatures, yet after Rowan loses her stepfather, she is always alone, forced into that decision by the knowledge that any relationship leaves her vulnerable as well as the person with whom she would share a closeness. What do you see in her personality that’s the result of such an unnatural existence? The first time you lived alone was probably when you moved out of your parents’ house. How did you handle that?

6. Rowan lives in a lighthouse. That seems very dramatic and romantic, and she does it for security reasons. At the same time that increases her isolation. Could you live in a lighthouse? Would you like to? Why or why not?

7. Rowan’s experience with Lorenze as her stepfather was positive. Clearly he loves her enough to teach her the tough experience she needs to survive and, in the end, to sacrifice himself to ensure she has a future. Do you have a step-parent? What was your experience with them?

8. Although for good reason, Rowan is essentially internet-stalking her sister. Have you ever stalked someone? Have you been stalked?

9. Lorenze Winterbourne has become an urban legend, someone no one ever really sees but who is talked about as a kind of superhero who helps the downtrodden and saves those threatened by criminals. How do you think legends like that spring up? Who are the real heroes of the streets today?

10. Rowan makes a terrible mistake when she misidentifies Joe Grantham and sleeps with him. Why did she make such an error of judgement? Does she deserve the consequences?

11. Have you ever clicked with someone the way Rowan and BeBée do? Did it become a long-term friendship?

12. While on Raptor Island, Rowan discovers a relationship that abhorrent to her. Were you surprised by this revelation? Many people are having DNA testing done. Have you? Do you know anyone who was surprised by DNA results that introduced them to an unexpected relative? Were the results positive or negative?

13. Based on the trials, the deceptions, the intrigues Rowan faces at Gregory Torval’s home, do you believe you would be a good spy? Why or why not?

14. At the end of the story, it appears that Rowan is now able to escape her enforced isolation and live a life assimilated into both her sister’s family and Joe’s. How do you think she will react to the reality of family relationships? How will she deal with the holidays? Will she occasionally long for a return to her isolation? If she has children, how will her experiences influence her as a mother? In other words, what do you see for Rowan beyond the story as told within EVERY SINGLE SECRET?