Skip to main content

Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions

What Happened to the Bennetts

1. In the novel’s early chapters, Jason reflects a lot on his old life and lost home. What do you think this novel is trying to say about the suburbs and their importance to the American family?

2. Several characters in the novel cite their everyday “superpowers.” Jason’s lipreading, or Allison’s texting without looking at the keyboard, for example. How else do you think this novel explores the heroism of everyday people?

3. How do you think the events of the novel would have unfolded differently if Allison had survived the attack?

4. If the FBI advised your family to join a WITSEC program, would you go? Why?

5. If you were to join a WITSEC program, who would you most regret not being able to tell? Why?

6. If you had to leave your home suddenly, which objects would be the most poignant for you to leave behind, and why?

7. Discuss the different ways in which Jason, Lucinda and Ethan experience their grief. Do you think that these differences reflect the underlying cracks in Jason and Lucinda’s marriage?

8. What was your favorite quote or passage, and why?

9. The novel has many twists and turns. Did you guess any of them ahead of time? If so, at which point, and why?

10. The book features many different parent-child relationships. Jason and his father, Lucinda and her mother, Allison and Jason, Allison and Lucinda, Junior and Big George. Did one or several relationships strike you as healthier or happier than the others, and why?

11. Do you think Jason’s motivation to take action into his own hands went beyond the desire to protect his family from Milo? What else do you think might have affected his decisions?

12. What do you think this novel is trying to say about various forms of justice? Legal, emotional and interpersonal?

13. What do you imagine will happen to the Bennetts after the novel’s end? How do you see Jason, Lucinda and Ethan changing in the wake of these incidents?

14. Lisa Scottoline believes that novels build empathy, nurture the self and connect us by the truths they contain. Did this novel change the way you think about family, justice or the American dream?

What Happened to the Bennetts
by Lisa Scottoline

  • Publication Date: August 9, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons
  • ISBN-10: 0525539751
  • ISBN-13: 9780525539759