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Reading Group Guide

Discussion Questions


1. YESTERNIGHT is a novel where the known and unknown collide and paranormal events are definitely a possibility. Have you ever experienced something in your life that can’t be explained away rationally?

2. At one point in the novel Alice maintains that “psychology explains everything.” Is it possible that psychology can explain Alice’s increasing conviction that Janie is indeed Violet reincarnated?

3. Alice’s life at first seems like an open book. However, as the novel progresses we discover that her family represses not only their acknowledgment of her sister Bea’s sexuality, but also any acknowledgment of Alice’s sexuality. And Alice herself has repressed her memories of her unwanted pregnancy. Did the Linds’ tendency to avoid such subjects strike you as normal behavior for the time period? Or did you find the family’s repression to be extreme?

4. Is it possible Janie is a child prodigy with high mathematical ability? Is it possible Alice was just a child with behavioral difficulties? Or do you feel that the only way they could know what they do is to truly be the products of reincarnation?

5. Bea insists to Alice, “Don’t insert yourself into other people’s lives.” How do you think that Alice’s tendency to do this has affected her life so far?

6. Hotels play a large role in YESTERNIGHT. Alice stays in Michael’s hotel at the opening of the book, as well as in the Hotel Yesternight and others. What do you think hotels symbolize with regard to the story?

7. Is Rebecca right to be suspicious of Michael’s motives with regard to their daughter? Is he a man who only wants to discover the truth, or does he want to exploit his child for profit?

8. What do you think the police think happened to Michael that would make him run off into the blizzard?

9. What do you think of the ending? What do you believe is really going on with John?

10. What do you think will happen to Alice in the future?

by Cat Winters