Discussion Questions for HERE WE LIE by Paula Treick DeBoard

  1. In the beginning of the book, Megan finds herself in an agonizing situation with her father, who is suffering with the advanced stages of mesothelioma. Why does she agree to do what she does? How do you feel about her decision? Is it understandable under the circumstances?

 

  1. At one point in the book, Lauren compares the way her mother talks about Mabreys to the Mafia family in The Godfather. What drives the Mabreys? Are they right in assuming that their wealth makes them a target? Does their behavior seem consistent with that of other powerful families?

 

  1. Megan tells Lauren a series of lies about her childhood and upbringing when they first meet. Why do you think she does this? What is she hoping to accomplish, and does she succeed? In what ways do Megan’s lies come back to haunt her? Is there such a thing as a harmless lie?

 

  1. After the incident on Megan’s last night on The Island, why doesn’t she immediately tell Lauren the truth about what happened to her? Do you agree with her decision not to come forward to authorities? Why does she leave The Island, and what prompts her decision not to return to Keale at the end of the summer?

 

  1. This book deals with a fictional situation that unfortunately is all too real for many women who experience sexual assault. Do we hold our famous figures (politicians, celebrities, etc.) to a different standard when it comes to these types of crimes? Are Megan’s feelings of powerlessness understandable?

 

  1. Megan observes that society prefers its victims a certain way—innocent, sympathetic, uncomplicated. Do you think these observations are true? If so, where are these beliefs learned? How can they be challenged? What might encourage more women to come forward in these types of situations?

 

  1. After everything that has happened between the two, do you think Megan and Lauren can ever resume a friendship, or move forward with a new, changed relationship? How difficult is it to forgive a friend who has lied or wronged you, and to trust that person again?

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