1. Many of Charlotte’s actions are the result of her fear of the baron. What would you have done differently if you’d been in her situation?
2. Charlotte is the oldest of three children, while Barrett is the youngest in his family. How do you think their birth order affected them? Have you seen similar traits in your own family or those of your friends?
3. Gwen falls in love with Warren, seemingly at first sight. Do you believe in love at first sight? Why or why not?
4. Do you believe that Warren is sincere in his feelings for Gwen? Why or why not?
5. Charlotte distrusts Warren from their first meeting. Do you think she should have acted on her instincts? How might the story have been different if she’d told Gwen of her concerns?
6. Barrett’s initial reaction to David’s blindness is very distressing to Charlotte. What could/should he have done differently?
7. Both Charlotte and Warren wear masks (or in Charlotte’s case, a veil) to disguise themselves. Do you know people who wear masks—real or figurative? Do you think there are valid reasons for disguises?
8. At certain points, Charlotte assumes Miriam is talking about Barrett, when she’s actually referring to Richard. She would have saved herself some heartache if she’d simply mentioned Barrett’s name. Why do you think she didn’t? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
9. Some people might argue that Barrett abandoned his plans for a career in politics and his cattle ranch too easily. If you think that’s true, why do you think he made those decisions?
10. Charlotte and Barrett discuss her desire to help others. Do you believe that’s a result of her being the oldest child, the daughter of a minister, or something else?
11. What do you think Charlotte and Barrett’s life will be five years after the book ends?