Haven Books Fiction
Mara Purl's Novels & Stories
Child Secrets - Topics for Discussion
Book Club and Reading Group Guide
Topics for Discussion "Child Secrets"
- Do children respond more to nature or to nurture? Will Zack, Susan,
or Miranda be able to overcome the secrets of their childhoods, or
will they always be limited to some degree?
- What is the nature of personal rebellion? Is it Susan's principal
motivating factor? Is rebellion at the heart of Miranda's desire to
be with Zack? Is it Zack's attraction to Miranda or to Cynthia?
- Can abuse in childhood be overcome? Can it be healed? What does
Miranda have to heal about her childhood? What does Susan have to
- What are the key issues a young Native American woman must deal
with? How does racial prejudice and genocide in one's ancestry affect
one's sense of place and identity?
- What makes a person a true individual? What choices is Miranda making
that fall into an expected pattern? What might she do to establish
her own identity without being trapped in reacting to her parents?
- Sometimes a parent is unwittingly abusive to his or her child. Can
this be healed when the child is grown? What can Samantha do to help
her son, if she finds him? Would it be appropriate for Susan's father
to reappear in her life?
- Are secrets an important and necessary part of life? When are secrets
good? When are they bad? Which characters have destructive secrets?
- What is the basic nature of the relationship between women and their
mothers? Is it essentially competitive or supportive? How does Glenda
support her daughter Sally? How does Very interfere with her daughter
- In addition to her work as an author, Mara Purl co-produced the
audio book "The Hidden Legacy" about child abuse, and serves on the
advisory board for Haven House, a shelter for victims of domestic
violence. How does her awareness of these issues come into play in
- Why is this book called Child Secrets? Is this a reference to Sally's
pregnancy? What secrets do we learn about Samantha's missing child?
Which do we learn about Miranda's childhood and how do they affect
her now? How did you react to secrets as a child? Have you discovered
things as an adult which surprised you about your own childhood?
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Secrets: Topics for Discussion