Discussion Questions: The Life I Left Behind by Colette McBeth

The Life I Left Behind

Reading Group Discussion Guide

1.     Eve narrates her story from beyond the grave. What impact do you think this has?

2.     The Life I Left Behind has an unusual and complicated structure of voices, with which you piece together what has really happened. How do you think Colette McBeth manages to sustain the narrative drive, while keeping the suspense going?

3.     Melody manages to control her new life with order. Do you think this is a normal reaction to living through a traumatic event?

4.     One of the keys to clever suspense writing is keeping the reader hooked, while making the characters very credible. Which characters did you find you really believed in?

5.     Science is used as much as psychology in solving a crime or outlining a criminal profile. How do you think the blend of science and nature works in this novel?

6.     Melody gets to know Eve through the work she has left behind. How does this ‘friendship’ help Melody reawaken her old self?

 7.     Each of the women in this novel feels guilty about something, which influences ensuing actions in their lives. Do you think that a sense of guilt is a particularly female trait?

8.     The Life I Left Behind has a very real sense of place and period. Do you feel location is important in contemporary novels of this sort?

9.     Which is more important to you as a reader: hook, plot, character or twist?

10.     If you left something behind to denote your character, what would it be?

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  1. Nick

    Melody manages to control her new life with order. Do you think this is a normal reaction to living through a traumatic event?

  2. Shannon Williams

    A clever thriller, keeps the reader interested and wondering who’s guilty. Good solid characters wound round a good solid story.

  3. Jack_Smith

    This book kept my attention. I like chapters being told in different voices. Mystery isn’t usually my genre, but I enjoyed this author’s style.

  4. D. Cantwell

    Excellent story! Chilling, mysterious, an all-around good way to spend a few hours on a rainy day. Try it – I know you will enjoy it as much as I did!

  5. Daniel Brown

    I have some difficult science questions, I need the help of a specialist. Can you advise any educational websites or blogs where I can find answers?
    “Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers – poets, actors, journalists – they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don’t fight science and they don’t fight technology.” Neil deGrasse Tyson

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