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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

The Abortionist's Daughter

1. Diana and Frank are very different people—Diana was passionate and outspoken, while Frank was much more strict and restrained. Evaluate the strength of their marriage; do you think they balanced each other out well?

2. The last thing that Megan says to her mother is “have fun killing babies.” Why do you think Megan chose to attack her mother this way? Does Megan disagree with her mother’s decision to perform abortions?

3. Although Frank Thomson has been a prosecuting attorney for over twenty years and should know better, he cleans his house while it is a crime scene. What are his possible reasons for doing this? What did you think about his decision to clean up?

4. In the course of an investigation, Frank comes across pornographic pictures of Megan online.  Do you think Frank overreacted?  Do you think he does the right thing by waiting to confront Megan?

5. Why do you think Megan agreed to let Bill photograph her in the nude?

6. Megan “had had a lot of boyfriends in her life.”  Do you think she saw Huck as just another boyfriend, or do you think her feelings ran deeper?  What did Huck see in her?

7. At what point should the police intervene when someone is stalking an ex-girlfriend / boyfriend?   How do you decide when someone is a risk?    Should Megan or Diana have told someone about Bill’s increasingly desperate behavior?

8. Megan grows up a lot throughout the course of the novel. Discuss her reaction to her mother’s death and her emotional transformation.

9. Many characters in this novel end up making gross miscalculations.  Discuss.  Which ranks as the worst, in your view?

10. Were you able to figure out who the killer was? How did the different suspects’ motives compare throughout the book?

11. Discuss Huck’s relationship with Carolyn. Were you surprised when he cheated on her? Why or why not?

12. Rose experiences pressure about her pregnancy from nearly everyone she knows—parents, boyfriends, doctors, counselors and demonstrators. Discuss the impact that these characters had on her. Why do you think she makes the choices that she does?

13. After reading this book, do you feel any differently about the abortion issue? Do you think it is helpful to use fiction as a way to explore real-life issues?

The Abortionist's Daughter
by Elisabeth Hyde

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage
  • ISBN-10: 0307276414
  • ISBN-13: 9780307276414