Reading Guide Home Before Dark
April 12, 2016
Home Before Dark
MIRA (September 2011)
Originally Published in 2003
- When you first met Jessie, what did you think about her decision to come home from abroad after
fifteen years? Was her motivation valid? Self-serving? Understandable?
- What do you think the real story is behind the break-up of Simon and Jessie?
- What’s your opinion of the “situation” between Jessie, Ian and Luz? Each of Luz’s kids is at a
different stage of development. Did you recognize the stages? Did they remind you of anyone you know?
- Was it fair and/or wise for Jessie to take matters into her own hands and keep her secret from
the man who fathered her child? Why do you suppose she made the decision she made? What would have
happened if she’d come clean right from the start?
- What would you have done in her situation? Would you have a problem raising a niece or nephew as
your own child? Why or why not?
- Luz and Ian kept a big secret, too. Do you agree or disagree with the way they handled it? Why or
- When Lila found out the truth, did she react as you would have expected, or did her reaction
surprise you? Did it seem realistic, contrived or understandable?
- Dusty’s initial reaction to Jessie is instant attraction. Do you believe, if not in love at
first sight, at least the sense some people have of destiny? Why or why not? Have you ever experienced
- Rather than leveling with her sister, Jessie takes off without explanation. As Part 2 opens,
several weeks have elapsed. What do you imagine her life was like during those weeks?
- How does the novel’s conclusion echo its beginning? How do you think the future will unfold
for each of the principle characters? Jessie and Dusty, Luz and Ian, and finally, Lila.