Questions for discussion
1. How would you define the role of the saints in Lucy’s life?
2. In what ways did the time frame of the story — pre-9/11 to several months after the start of the war in Iraq — impact what was happening in Lucy’s life?
3. Should Harlan have confessed the depth of his feelings for Lucy before he died? How to you think Lucy would have reacted?
4. How would you have dealt with Yulia and her unconventional approach as an adoption agent?
5. What do you think of Harlan’s decision to discontinue his cancer treatment, even though he was getting better?
6. What do you think the wallpaper for Mat’s room symbolized?
7. How did you view Mat’s initial indifference to Lucy? What do you imagine he was thinking?
8. Do you sympathize with Vasily? Do you think it was right that Mat stayed with Lucy, or do you think he should have gone back to Russia with Vasily?
9. Do you believe Vasily’s explanation regarding the source of Mat’s scars? Why or why not?
10. Was Louis as innocent as he seemed regarding Lucy’s academic article?
11. Given the e-mails and the audiotape under the dining room table, do you think Lucy could receive more messages in other forms from Harlan?