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Book Club Questions for The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

Book Club Questions for The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes

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Book club questions for The House in the Pines by Ana Reyes examines all the key plot points in this engaging thriller. There will be spoilers so for more context about the book, check out my spoiler-free review first.

I liked this one overall and I was generally surprised at the reveals! I stayed up way too late reading it to find out what happened. It’s been a while since I’ve done that with a thriller.

Be sure to let me know your thoughts about the book in the comments section below.

The Synopsis

Maya was a high school senior when her best friend, Aubrey, mysteriously dropped dead in front of the enigmatic man named Frank whom they’d been spending time with all summer.

Seven years later, Maya lives in Boston with a loving boyfriend and is kicking the secret addiction that has allowed her to cope with what happened years ago, the gaps in her memories, and the lost time that she can’t account for. But her past comes rushing back when she comes across a recent YouTube video in which a young woman suddenly keels over and dies in a diner while sitting across from none other than Frank. Plunged into the trauma that has defined her life, Maya heads to her Berkshires hometown to relive that fateful summer—the influence Frank once had on her and the obsessive jealousy that nearly destroyed her friendship with Aubrey. 

At her mother’s house, she excavates fragments of her past and notices hidden messages in her deceased Guatemalan father’s book that didn’t stand out to her earlier. To save herself, she must understand a story written before she was born, but time keeps running out, and soon, all roads are leading back to Frank’s cabin…. 

Utterly unique and captivating, The House in the Pines keeps you guessing about whether we can ever fully confront the past and return home.

Book Club Questions for The House in the Pines

  1. When you read thrillers, do you try to solve the mystery or do you just along for the ride?
  2. What was your impression of Maya, overall, as a protagonist?
  3. The story is told from the present timeline of Maya returning to her hometown and to the past, right before Aubrey’s death. Did you like the alternating timeline chapters? Why or why not?
  4. After experiencing the tragic loss of Aubrey, Maya turns to alcohol and drugs to numb the pain. This is used as a plot device in many thrillers—why do you think these kind of thrillers have their main characters struggling with addiction?
  5. Why didn’t Maya tell her boyfriend Dan the truth about her past and addiction?
  6. What was behind the distance between Maya and her mother?
  7. Why was it important for Maya to return to her hometown and find out the truth?
  8. There’s much going on in this story and it takes a bit of a side path to talk about Maya’s deceased father, his unfinished novel and her Guatemalan roots. Why do you think the author decided to include these aspects? How did it help shape the story?
  9. Maya has big gaps in her memory from that summer with Frank. It turns out that Frank actually uses hypnosis on unsuspecting women and he even incorporated it to murder Aubrey. What were your thoughts as you read this reveal? Did you see it coming or were you surprised?
  10. What was the significance of Frank’s “cabin” in the woods and the key?
  11. What was Frank’s motivation for using hypnosis?
  12. Do you feel it’s plausible for sometime to use hypnosis in that matter?
  13. Were you sasified by the ending? Will Frank be held accountable? What happens next for Maya?

Additional Recommendations

Hope you enjoyed book club questions for The House in the Pines! Here are some more recommendations along with links to book club questions.

Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

Another engaging thriller is Just the Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica.

Jake Hayes is missing. This much is certain. At first, his wife, Nina, thinks he is blowing off steam at a friend’s house after their heated fight the night before. But then a day goes by. Two days. Five. And Jake is still nowhere to be found.

Lily Scott, Nina’s friend and coworker, thinks she may have been the last to see Jake before he went missing. After Lily confesses everything to her husband, Christian, the two decide that nobody can find out what happened leading up to Jake’s disappearance, especially not Nina. But Nina is out there looking for her husband, and she won’t stop until the truth is discovered.

Check out my book club questions here.

The It Girl by Ruth Ware

If you haven’t read a novel by Ruth Ware yet, I highly recommend starting with The It Girl!

April Clarke-Cliveden was the first person Hannah Jones met at Oxford.

Vivacious, bright, occasionally vicious, and the ultimate It girl, she quickly pulled Hannah into her dazzling orbit. Together, they developed a group of devoted and inseparable friends—Will, Hugh, Ryan, and Emily—during their first term. By the end of the year, April was dead.

Now, a decade later, Hannah and Will are expecting their first child, and the man convicted of killing April, former Oxford porter John Neville, has died in prison. Relieved to have finally put the past behind her, Hannah’s world is rocked when a young journalist comes knocking and presents new evidence that Neville may have been innocent. As Hannah reconnects with old friends and delves deeper into the mystery of April’s death, she realizes that the friends she thought she knew all have something to hide…including a murder.

Check out my book club questions here.

Happy reading!