These questions contain SPOILERS – intended to be read only after reading the book.

What themes can you find in the story? Which themes speak to you the most?

One of the main themes of the book is romantic relationships, especially centering on the question, “Are relationships transactional?” Do you believe that healthy romantic relationships are essentially transactional (involving conditions and what we each personally lose and gain) or tend towards being based on unconditional love?

Luke engineers the relationship between Phoebe and himself, but then finds that she can’t meet his idealised version of her. Phoebe appears to fall into the relationship and then just floats along, confused about where the journey has taken her. What do you think about their characters and what could each of them have done differently in order to have a happier life?

There is a motif of homeless, constantly roaming people in the book. Why do you think the author used this motif?

The only homeless woman depicted in the story is found in an abandoned house, rather than in a public place. Why did the author choose to place her here rather than in the streets?

One of the homeless men knew about the true nature of Tommy’s abductor, but his knowledge didn’t come to light. What was the author trying to highlight?

What do you think of Bernice Wick’s character? Do you think she is changed by the events of the story, or will she remain the same?

In the story, a lot of different views of women are presented through the eyes of the characters (Phoebe and her group of friends, Phoebe’s grandmother, Luke, Luke’s business partner, Rob, Dash & his group). And indirectly, Phoebe’s ex-boyfriend Flynn and also the media (via advertising depicting women). There is constant conflict between what individual women want and traditional concepts of women, and what individual men want from women. How do you think these conflicts affected Luke and Phoebe?

The number 9 has significance in the book. The abandoned house is number 29. Most of the characters are aged 29. One of the characters is 9. What does the number 9 suggest to you?

In the story, a moth, an eye and a knife have particular significance to Phoebe. Do you have memories that are tied to certain objects?

What do you think might happen in the year after the end of the book?