Reading Group Discussion Guide
1. Judy and Mary are best friends, but they are very different. For instance, Judy is more able to take risks and roll with the punches than Mary, who likes to plan, process, and is generally more timid. Are you a Judy or Mary? Do you take risks easily or do you avoid it? As you get older, do you take more risks, or less?
2. In BETRAYED, Judy investigates a death she believes is a murder, and she does this because she cares about justice. Justice is at the heart of so many of Lisa’s books, because she believes that it is a powerful motivator for people, as it is for her. As a lawyer, Lisa learned that in the profession it is called the “justice bone.” It is a strong urge to see that the right thing happens, and even to make things right, when others are not acting. Do you have a “justice bone?” Have you ever spoken up, when others would not? What was the result?
3. Judy and her mother vary on their opinions of illegal immigrants, although through their experiences in the book, they both learn a lot about the issue. In writing the book, Lisa did extensive research on the topic, and learned a lot herself. Do you identify more with Judy or her mother? What did you learn about illegal immigration that you did not previously know? After reading the book did your opinion change at all? If so, how?
4. Judy and Mary would likely disagree on some of their views of illegal immigrations as well. How do you and your best friend handle situations in which you disagree? Do you avoid topics such as politics, religion, or other hot button issues, or do you enjoy discussing them with someone you are close with? What is the most significant thing that you and your best friend disagree about?
5. Harvesting mushrooms is not a pleasant or an easy job, and one that many would not be willing to do. What is the worst job you have ever had? What was your favorite job? What jobs would you never be willing to do? What job do you wish you had?
6. Many industries are supported by illegal workers, an “open secret” that is often ignored by the government and law enforcement. Why do you think this is true? If you were in political office, what changes would you suggest in dealing with this important issue?
7. Having spent so much time with Mary’s warm, loving, and emotional family, Judy has come to the realization that her family was connected through activities, more than a solid emotional foundation. What kind of connection does your family have? In what ways is Judy’s mother similar to your mother? In what ways is she different? What are your favorite family memories? What is one thing you would change about your family?
8. Lisa often explores, researches, and writes about issues that are relevant to women, and in BETRAYED, she tackles the extremely important topic of breast cancer. What are some other women’s issues that you would like to see Lisa write about? What do you think is the most important issue facing women today? In what ways can women be more supportive of other women?
9. The idea of the traditional family is blurred in BETRAYED. For a variety of reasons, sometimes we need to create family, and we find it through friendships, communities, or churches. Besides your blood family, who in your life do you consider family?
10. In BETRAYED Judy feels like she “blew her lead.” She is feeling left behind as her best friend makes partner and is getting married. Do you think it is possible to be happy for someone else, even though you might be jealous at the same time? If Mary wasn’t getting married, do you think Judy would still have felt discontent in their relationship? When you feel jealous, does it motivate you to work harder for what you want, or does it bring you down? In what ways do you think Judy and Mary’s relationship will change when Mary gets married?
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