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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

Under a Dark Sky

1. Eden finds solace in photography. She sees her life as if through the lens of a camera, coming in and out of focus, and in snapshots. Why do you think this helps her make sense of her world?

2. When Eden first arrives at the park, she’s hoping the trip will help her reconcile with the death of her husband. How do you think her anguish affects her initial judgments of the characters she meets?

3. The residents of the guest house are burdened by the histories of their college relationships, and the kinds of people they used to be. Have you ever felt the pressure of continuing a friendship with someone you’ve grown apart from?

4. Eden says that the murder victim “died perfect.” How does a person’s death change our perspectives of their lives and legacies? Do you think recognizing a loved one’s flaws makes it easier or harder to move on?

5. Throughout the story, Eden sees the group react in different ways to the loss of their companion. How does experiencing the grief of the group change Eden’s understanding of her own grief for Bix? How does this change Eden?

6. What do you think of the question Eden’s sister asks her: “There’s a slim line between believing in fate and letting your life be decided for you?”

7. Before speaking to Cooley, Eden had never told anyone the full truth about what really happened the night Bix died. Do you think Eden was trying to protect Bix’s reputation, or herself? How might things have been different for Eden if she’d revealed the truth earlier?

8. We see many different versions of Bix through Eden’s memories of their relationship. How does your impression of him change throughout the story? Do you feel any sympathy for him?

9. Did the identity of the culprit surprise you? Whom did you most suspect throughout the novel, and why? Who do you think is the most at fault?

10. Do you have any irrational fears? Do you have any suspicions about where they might stem from?

Under a Dark Sky
by Lori Rader-Day