Reading guide for Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker

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Emma in the Night

by Wendy Walker

Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker X
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2017, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2018, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Sarah Tomp
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Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!

  1. Early in the novel, Cass says, "Our mother knew how to keep us hungry for her." How does this statement set the tone for the rest of the book? How does it affect what you think about Mrs. Martin for the rest of the story? Where can you see this coming into play in the novel?
  2. One of the first things we learn about Cass is the origin of her full name, Cassandra. Cassandra was a prophet who could see the future, but no one believed her. What are the parallels between Cass's namesake and her role in the events of the novel?
  3. What, if anything, did you know about narcissism before reading Emma in the Night? Was anything you thought completely wrong? What did you learn about this disorder throughout the course of the novel?
  4. One of the most interesting things about this novel is the complex web of characters and how they interact with each other, from Hunter to Cass to Emma and their parents. Do you think you ever got the full picture of the relationships between characters, or were there still holes? Is there a similarly complicated web of people like this in your own life?
  5. On page 60, Cass says, "I think there are two types of people. Ones who have a scream inside them and ones who don't." What do you think she means by this? Who do you think has a scream inside them in this story and what makes them different from those who don't?
  6. What did you make of Mrs. Martin's continuing insistence that Cass was ill? Did it make you suspicious of her motives, or anyone else's? Why or why not?
  7. How did the dual perspectives of Cass and Abby affect your experience of the story? Did you identify with one narrator more than the other, and if so, why do you think that was?
  8. At one point in the novel, Cass describes her theory that there are three different foundations for loyalty: debt, money, and keeping secrets. Do you agree with her? Why or why not? What kinds of loyalty can you see throughout Emma in the Night?
  9. When did you begin to think there was more to Cass's story than she was letting on? Was there anything in particular that made you think she may not be telling the whole truth?
  10. What do you think of the ending of the novel? Were you shocked? How do you think your reading experience would change if you went back and reread the book, already knowing how it will end?


Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of St. Martin's Griffin. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

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