Reading Guide, The Bay at Midnight

Discussion Questions
1. Julie carries the responsibility for Isabel’s death throughout her life. How does that impact her and her relationships over the years?

2. Julie refers to her family’s inability to discuss Isabel as “the elephant in the room.” Do you have experience with “the elephant in the room” in your family or circle of friends? How does that impact your relationships?

3. Were you more like the adventurous Julie as a child or the fearful Lucy? How did that affect you growing up? How and why did those qualities change in you-if they did?

4. In part, The Bay At Midnight is about sisters. Discuss Julie and Lucy’s relationship. How do you think Isabel would have fit in had she lived?

5. Why do you think Shannon turned to Lucy with her problems instead of to Julie? Is there anything Julie could have done differently to be her daughter’s confidante? Does this situation resonate for you as you think about your own teenage years or your relationships with your own children?

6. What parallels did you see between the generations: Maria and her parents, Julie, Lucy and Isabel and their parents, Shannon and Julie?

7. Julie is caught between the teachings of her religion and her own nature. How does this impact her and the choices she makes? Can you relate to her conflict?

8. Why do you think Ross wanted to reconnect with Maria?

9. What do you think motivated Julie to maintain a friendship with Wanda and George in spite of her parents’ objections?

10. Which character garnered the most sympathy from you and why?

11. How did your feelings about Julie, Lucy and Maria change throughout the story?

12. The Bay At Midnight is written in first person from three points of view-Julie’s, Lucy’s and Maria’s. How might the story have been different if it had been written entirely from Julie’s point of view?