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Her Daughter’s Mother by Daniela Petrova is an original psychological suspense tale. The following book club questions for Her Daughter’s Mother will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my spoiler-free review first.
Lana Stone has never considered herself a stalker–until the night she impulsively follows a familiar face through the streets of New York’s Upper West Side. Her target? The “anonymous” egg donor she’d selected through an agency, the one who’s making motherhood possible for her. Hungry to learn more about her, Lana plans only to watch her from a distance. But when circumstances bring them face-to-face, an unexpected friendship is born.
Katya, a student at Columbia, is the yin to Lana’s yang, an impulsive free spirit who lives life at the edge. And for pragmatic Lana, she’s a breath of fresh air and a welcome distraction from her painful breakup with her baby’s father. Then, just as suddenly as Katya entered Lana’s life, she disappears–and Lana might have been the last person to see her before she went missing. Determined to find out what became of the woman to whom she owes so much, Lana digs into Katya’s past, even as the police grow suspicious of her motives. But she’s unprepared for the secrets she unearths, and their power to change everything she thought she knew about those she loves best…
Book club questions for Her Daughter’s Mother
- The book starts off with a prologue of a woman watching another woman. Did you think this was Lana at first or did you know it was Katya?
- Lana’s journey to motherhood has been very difficult. And then her partner Tyler breaks up with her. But despite all of that, she’s determined to become a mom and goes through the process. She says to herself: “Tyler could walk away from me, but he shouldn’t be the one deciding if I’d ever feel the kick of a baby, if I’d ever experience the pain and elation of birth. It was my choice to make.” Let’s discuss Lana’s thought process here. What would you have done if you were her?
- What was you impressions of Katya at first? Did that change at all as the story went on?
- Why do you think it was so important for Lana’s egg donor to share her Bulgarian heritage?
- Lana is pregnant and she starts to really wonder about her egg donor. Do you think it was a healthy curiosity? What do you make of their first meeting?
- When Lana joins Katya at the club, people remark that they look like they’re sisters, which makes them both so happy. Let’s talk about how their heritage instantly bonded them.
- When Katya first went missing, what did you think happened to her? Why do you think Lana was so obsessed with finding out?
- Let’s talk about Tyler. Do you buy his reasons for why he broke up with Lana? Did you think he had the affair with Katya and/or had anything to do with what happened to her?
- Were you surprised when she was found dead?
- Now let’s discuss Katya’s guilt over her little brother’s drowning. How did that blame consume her and impact her decision making moving forward?
- Katya becomes obsessed with Tyler and Lana—hoping that they will provide for the child in ways that she didn’t experience. But then she started to become possessive and a stalker. If Katya would have lived, what do you think the dynamic would have been like? Would she have been like an aunt or do you think she would tried to be more mother-like to the child?
- Josh, the therapist, ends up playing a huge role in the novel. Let’s talk about their sessions; do you think he generally tried to help her in these sessions or was he just attracted to her? And then it turns out, he’s the one who pushes Katya to her death. Let’s talk about that. Did you see that coming?
- What do you think about Lana staying connected to Katya’s mother? Why was this important for her?
- Lana acknowledges that she let infertility take over her life and she lost some of herself in the process. When did she start to take the steps to regain who she was?
- Do you think her and Tyler are in it for the long haul?
What to read next
Here are some more thriller/mystery recommendations. If you liked Her Daughter’s Mother book club questions, there’s more questions featured below and on the site!
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides is an engrossing read with plenty of shocking reveals.
Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.
Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.
Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations―a search for the truth that threatens to consume him….
The Lost Night by Andrea Bartz is a thrilling mystery full of depth and suspense. In 2009, Edie had New York’s social world in her thrall. Mercurial and beguiling, she was the shining star of a group of recent graduates living in a Brooklyn loft and treating New York like their playground. When Edie’s body was found near a suicide note at the end of a long, drunken night, no one could believe it. Grief, shock, and resentment scattered the group and brought the era to an abrupt end.
A decade later, Lindsay has come a long way from the drug-addled world of Calhoun Lofts. She has devoted best friends, a cozy apartment, and a thriving career as a magazine’s head fact-checker. But when a chance reunion leads Lindsay to discover an unsettling video from that hazy night, she starts to wonder if Edie was actually murdered—and, worse, if she herself was involved. As she rifles through those months in 2009—combing through case files, old technology, and her fractured memories—Lindsay is forced to confront the demons of her own violent history to bring the truth to light.
Feel free to discuss Her Daughter’s Mother below!