Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Mary Higgins Clark is wonderfully adept at using imagery to help readers
create a detailed mental picture of a character. For example, Molly is described
as looking like "a beautiful bird perched at the end of a branch, poised
but ready at any second to take flight." (p. 15) Find and discuss another
example of imagery used to fine-tune a character's external and internal
Reread the scene in chapter eight where Fran is unpacking in her new
apartment, and compare it to Molly's "homecoming" to Greenwich. How
does each woman's different situation affect the way she handles the transition
into her new life: the way she acts, thinks, feels, and even eats.
Molly's conviction in Gary's murder was originally due in large part to a
rush to judge by the police, anxious to close their investigation. Do you think
that police are often so anxious to solve a case that they zero in too quickly
on one suspect? Do you think the police would have been able to spot the actual
killer had they not assumed so quickly that Molly was guilty?
Discuss Fran's role as a reporter versus her role as Molly's friend. Does
this "conflict of interest" compromise the integrity of Fran's
reporting -- or does it spur her on to investigate even harder? Does a reporter
who grows too close to her subject have an ethical responsibility to remove
herself from the story?
One of the major clues in the mystery surrounding Gary's murder is the
"clicking" noise that Molly recalls hearing the night he died -- a
noise she comes closer and closer to identifying as the story progresses. This
is just one example of how the author builds suspense throughout the novel.
Discuss other ways in which the story is revealed in bits and pieces as Molly
regains her memory, and how the author uses the device of amnesia to build
Many suspense novels are later adapted for television or the movies.
Compare these different mediums and how the advantages and limitations of each
one affects the way a story unfolds. For example, in what ways does the plot of We'll
Meet Again differ from the storyline for a television show like "Murder
She Wrote?" Which medium offers more ways to dramatize the story, add
layers to the narrative, and build suspense?
Mary Higgins Clark offers a frightening glimpse of today's health-care
system in crisis, underscoring the desire of some doctors to make important
medical discoveries -- often at the expense of their patients. Do you think that
illegal medical experimentation occurs in our hospitals on a widespread basis?
Overall, are today's doctors more interested in making money than providing good
Molly Lasch, after her release from prison, decides to see the "other
woman" in her husband's life, Annemarie Scalli. How do these two women
relate to each other and what does Molly learn from Annamarie about her husband,
as a man and as a doctor?
Did you find it puzzling that Fran is sympathetic to Molly even when she
thinks Molly is guilty of murder? Is Fran more likely to show compassion to a
person in trouble because of what happened to her father?
Mrs. Barry was deeply concerned that her son Wally might have killed Gary
Lasch, but she told no one. Was her failure to report her suspicions the
understandable reaction of a mother protecting her troubled son? Was it a
criminal act? If Mrs. Barry had come forward at the time of the murder, do you
think Wally would have been blamed for it? Or would her disclosure have forced
the police to expand their investigation, perhaps enough to expose the real
Discuss the unique dynamics of Cal and Jenna's marriage. Is there any
real love between them, or are they together only because each possesses
something that the other one needs? How does the constant play for power between
them affect their relationship? Was this marriage destined to fail from the very
At the end of the novel the real killer is disclosed. Did the author hint
throughout the narrative who the real killer was -- or did this plot twist come
as a surprise? Discuss ways in which the author plants real clues, as well as
"red herrings," to build a mystery that is solved only in the final
Both Molly and Fran came face-to-face with tragedy -- and survived. How
does each woman deal with the cards fate has dealt them? Who do you think is the
stronger woman, and why? In what ways have the tragedies they have faced made
them into the women they are today?
Discuss how the author uses secondary characters in pivotal roles that
propel the story forward. Which of these characters affected the outcome of the
story the most? Gladys the waitress? The busboy? Lou Knox?
Reproduced with the permission of Simon & Schuster.
Page numbers in reading guides usually refer to the paperback edition
Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Pocket Books.
Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.
A Man Called Intrepid author dies aged 89(Dec 03 2013) William Stevenson, a journalist and author who drew on his close ties with intelligence sources to write two best-selling books in the 1970s, A Man Called...