You love someone and is happily married to that person. You wake up one day and he is gone. That person has left a letter that baffles you but at the same time, you know to whom it is addressed.
Soon enough, things go haywire. First, its the arrest of the man’s boss followed by FBI agents showing up at your doorstep. This eventually culminates into the realization that the man you once loved is actually a million miles adrift from what he actually is.
As enigmatic as the book is, this list of book club questions for The Last Thing He Told Me will make you think and wonder as to how a person whom you once loved more than anything is actually not the one you once knew.
The truth is that – he is far more dangerous than you can imagine.
And in case you want to read what the book is about and know my opinion, I have a detailed blog post here – The Last Thing He Told Me Book Review.
The post might contain affiliate links. For more information, read our disclosure. Also, these questions contain spoilers.
The Last Thing He Told Me Book Club Questions
- The setting of Sausalito and Austin is crucial to the story. Sausalito is a small, tight-knit community where everyone knows everyone else, which heightens the tension and suspicion surrounding Owen’s disappearance. Austin, on the other hand, represents a possible clue to Owen’s past and provides a potential avenue for Hannah to uncover the truth about her husband.
Do you think the contrast between the two locations highlights the difficulty of piecing together a coherent narrative from the scattered clues?
- The structure of the novel, with its alternating timelines, allows us to gain insight into both the present and past situations of the characters. Both are essential to understanding the story. It also builds suspense as the reader follows Hannah’s investigation into Owen’s past and her attempts to uncover the truth about his disappearance.
However, can you accept the fact that it also highlights the contrast between Hannah’s current life and the life she once led? Do you think it adds to the suspense of the story?
- The novel deals with the issue of the disappearance of a loved one. It explores how this sudden absence affects a woman emotionally and mentally, as she has to take on the full responsibility of parenting her step-daughter.
As a woman, what are the steps one should take while dealing with such issues?
- Owen’s absence throughout the novel shapes its narrative arc in that it provides a sense of mystery and intrigue as Hannah tries to uncover the truth about his disappearance. It forces her to not only search for him but also to confront her own feelings and lack of knowledge about his past. Furthermore, Owen’s absence is a source of strength and resilience for both Hannah and Bailey, as they use it as an opportunity to start fresh and rebuild their relationship.
- Did it ever cross your mind as to what happened to Bailey’s real mom during the initial stages of reading the novel? I mean, we later found out what happened to her, but did it ever occur to you that Owen might be responsible for her death?
- Hannah was able to trace Owen’s whereabouts through Austin, Texas, due to a visit from US Marshal Grady Bradford. Bradford mentions that he is from the Austin office, which leads her to believe that Owen may be in hiding there. She then takes a trip to Austin with Bailey in order to search for clues about his whereabouts. Now imagine the character of Bradford is eliminated from the novel.
How would the pace of the novel be affected? Can you frame a story without him?
- After consulting Bradford, Hannah learns that Owen and Bailey were originally supposed to enter Witness Protection after Owen testified against the crime syndicate. However, their new identities were compromised, so Owen created new identities for himself and Bailey.
What’s your take on such a deed?
- Jake Anderson provided Hannah with legal advice and assistance in her investigation of Owen’s past. He offered his expertise as well as resources that she would not have had access to otherwise, such as class rosters from the college he attended. In addition, Jake also provided a source of guidance and moral support, as he was able to offer an objective perspective on the situation.
Do you think this kind of moral support is necessary for everyone during tough times? Have you ever had a similar situation where you needed moral support, and there was no one but that one person to help you out? Please share it with our club members.
- Laura Dave took the first 50 pages to quickly introduce the characters and build suspense. What did you think of this decision? Was it too quick?
Do you think it would have been better if the suspense was building slowly?
- Hannah discovers that Owen is really Ethan Young, a former state’s witness against a crime syndicate. She also finds out that he was married to Kate Smith, Bailey’s mother, and they had changed their names to evade the syndicate.
Did you expect something like this to be coming?
- At the end, Owen chooses to keep his distance from Hannah and Bailey because he wants them to remain safe and continue living the life they have created without him. He also knows that if he re-enters their lives, there could be a potential danger for all of them due to his past ties with the crime syndicate.
Was it the right thing to do?
- One interesting thing that I noticed when at the end is that Bailey is finally reconciling with Hannah. The moment when she calls Hannah “Mom” is a sign that she has finally accepted her for who she is.
Did you cry at this very moment? Was it moment too emotional for you? For me, personally, there cannot be a better ending than this one.
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