Discussion Questions: The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer
By Crime HQApril 9, 2021
The Perfect Daughter
Reading Group Discussion Guide
1. Family dynamics play an essential role in shaping the story. Did you empathize with Grace’s plight? Did you agree with her choices despite the impact on her family?
2. Grace pushed to adopt Penny over some objections/hesitation on the part of Arthur. What are your views on adoption and your thoughts on how Grace and Arthur resolved their differences? What would you have done if you were in Grace’s situation?
3. Eve is a caustic and abrasive personality. Did her nature add or detract from your reading experience? Did you find her character fitting for the story?
4. Adoption is a significant theme in this story. Did the novel raise questions for you about adoption? Do you have any personal experience with adoption? Did you have any reaction/feelings when one of Grace’s friends told her: “At least it wasn’t one of your biological children facing a lifetime in prison.”
5. Grief is another theme explored in the novel through Grace’s mourning of her husband, Arthur. People often say you have to move on with your life, but Grace knows grief isn’t something you can abandon. Instead, you have to carry it forward. What are your feelings on Grace’s philosophy on grief? Do you have a philosophy of your own you’d be willing to share?
6. Mitch crossed a line by sharing his personal story with Penny/Eve to help him break through Eve’s guard. What’s your opinion on what he did? Do you think psychotherapists should be more open with their struggles as a way to enhance patient trust through establishing a common ground?
7. The topic of dissociative identity disorder is integral to the novel’s plot. How did the story enhance your understanding of the condition? Did it make you interested in learning more about the controversial diagnosis?
8. The insanity defense states that a defendant is not responsible for their actions due to an episodic or persistent psychiatric disease at the time of the criminal act. Did THE PERFECT DAUGHTER raise questions for you about this defense in criminal cases?
9. Did your reading experience make you more or less sympathetic to the plight of those who have mental illness as well as their loved ones?
10. Did the ending of THE PERFECT DAUGHTER take you by surprise? In looking back on the story, how many clues foreshadowing the climax can you identify?
11. What were your theories about final outcome while reading the book? How did your predictions pan out in the end?
12. The epilogue focused on Mitch’s storyline. How do you feel it supported the narrative, character development, and the story’s conclusion?
Don’t have a copy of The Perfect Daughter yet? Start reading with our exclusive excerpt!