Book Club Discussion Guide

  1. Karen’s story begins in 2018 when she tells the reader she lives in Carefree, Arizona.  She also tells the reader that although the name of the town sounds heavenly, she had a difficult time getting there.  How does this introduction set the story for the reader?
  2. Karen receives an email from Glenda Mezarobba inviting Karen to testify at the Brazilian National Truth Commission, but she is reluctant to think about her past. What does Karen’s relationship with Glenda tell you and how do you feel about Karen’s decision to go to New York?
  3. How does Karen’s youth in Brazil shape her? Discuss how you would feel about growing up in a male dominated society. How would you react?
  4. Karen and Rick experience the worst kind of trauma. Discuss the probability of anything like this ever happening to you. Karen manages to survive by going inwards and becoming numb.  How would you survive something similar?
  5. Following their release, Karen is told to “move on” with her life. Discuss how this type of trauma would affect you and what kind of support you might expect.
  6. Karen makes a difficult decision to leave her family and life and to move to the US, something she is unprepared to do. Discuss her decision and whether you agree or disagree with what she did.  She is also reluctant to dwell on or discuss her fairytale life. What does this mean to you?  Does this decision have a negative or positive impact?
  7. Karen feels betrayed by her entire family and has no contact with them for several years.Discuss your feelings about this. How would this affect her family?
  8. How did Karen adapt to becoming a single mother? How would you adapt?
  9. Karen and Rick attempt a reconciliation and it fails. Should she have done anything differently?  Discuss what you might have done.
  10. How did Karen move from surviving to thriving?What kind of impact would these events have on your life?  Is this something you can ever “get over”?
  11. After testifying in New York, Karen continues researching how her life fell apart.  Would you do the same, would you want to find out more?  Discuss how this could affect her life.
  12. After researching everything she can get her hands on, Karen concludes that her father must have been CIA and that everything she thought she knew about her life was probably not real. Discuss how this could impact her life today.  Discuss how such a discovery might impact your life.
The Parrot's Perch book cover
Karen Keilt
Invite Karen to Your Book Club