Part of a book club? I’d love to call your group or “meet” you in person over Skype. To schedule an appointment, send an e-mail through my Contact page and put “BOOK CLUB REQUEST” in the subject line.
Make sure to include your location, a contact name and phone number. If I’m available at your requested time I will confirm via e-mail. If that time doesn’t work for me, we’ll come up with an alternate one.
I’m thrilled you’re considering The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir for your next book club pick. Below, I’ve come up with a list of questions and topics to help you get started. I hope it will give you lots of talk about. I can tell you I’ve never run out of conversation in therapy:
1. Between the ages of seven and ten, Laurie drew hundreds of cartoons about her father, which she presented to him as gifts. How much did she seem to know, back then?
2 How would you describe Laurie’s early relationship with her father? Was it a good one? What happened when she turned 12?
3. Laurie grew up in a home where she was encouraged to keep her family’s secrets. Do you think that was a reasonable request on the part of her parents? What kind of secrets were you asked to keep when you were growing up?
4. How much did Laurie’s mother seem to know about her husband’s actions? What is a person’s responsibility when it comes to the actions of his or her partner?
5. During her travels around the world, Laurie had some experiences that were out of character for her. What do you think motivated those actions?
6. In Part II of the book, Laurie gets a job interviewing celebrities at a top women’s magazine. Why is she so good at getting famous people to open up to her?
7 Why was Laurie so dazzled by the celebrities she met? On a larger level, why is our society so interested in them?
8. Laurie had a three-year relationship with a screenwriter who lived in L.A. What was at the root of Laurie’s issues with Ben? What could (or should) have she done differently in that relationship?
9. While writing a magazine piece about her father, Laurie started to abuse the sleep aid Ambien. What caused her addiction? What did she learn in rehab that allowed her to get sober?
10. Why did Laurie’s father attend “Family Week” at Shades of Hope if they weren’t on speaking terms? Did he secretly wish to support his daughter? Or did he have some other motivation?
11. In recovery, Laurie learned that “secrets keep you sick.” How did secrets keep Laurie sick? How did they keep her whole family sick?
12. Laurie’s mother told her, “Your first loyalty is to the family.” Do you agree with that statement? Are there any circumstances under which “The truth is more important than loyalty,” as Laurie insisted?
13. Was Laurie’s father mentally ill, sociopathic, brilliant, lonely, or something else entirely? What caused him to tell all those lies?
14. In many ways, this book is about the search for an identity. What caused Laurie to lose her identity in the first place? What are some of the different identities she tried on—and what had to take place before she could truly find her own?
15. By the end of the book, does Laurie overcome the challenges of her childhood? What are some new challenges she’ll likely face?
16. What do you imagine is going to happen to Laurie? Will she find love? Will she ever reconcile with her father? Should she?
17. What other books about truth-telling and identity have you read and liked? Did you find any themes similar to those in The Impostor’s Daughter?
Thanks again for your interest in The Impostor’s Daughter: A True Memoir. I’m honored to be a part of your club.
All the best,