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Motherhood is tough. But then, so is daughterhood. When we first meet Claire, she’s living in Sedona, Arizona with her boyfriend Cal and ducking calls from her mother. Her mom is a world class psychic on the East Coast and Claire doesn’t want her to discover the truth. Claire works in the family business and calls herself a psychic, but she doesn’t really have “the gift” and hasn’t for a long time. She’s a fraud.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, Rena, a young mother, has family issues of her own. She’s divorced and her four-year-old daughter, Stephanie, suffers from mysterious, seemingly incurable stomach problems. No matter how many specialists Rena drags her to, no matter how many mommy-blog posts she makes about her child’s health issues, trying to get help and support from her online community, Stephanie only gets sicker.
When Claire and Rena meet by chance on an airplane, their carefully constructed lives begin to explode. Can these two women help each other and can they help Stephanie before it’s too late?
Book club questions for The Perfect Fraud
- We first meet Claire and learn that she thinks she’s a fraud since she works as a psychic but apparently doesn’t have the skills. Why do you think Claire couldn’t get away from the psychic world, no matter how much she tried?
- Rena is a mess. Before we get into her deceptions, let’s first talk about that mommy blog. What were your thoughts on that? Did you notice all her typos? Are you surprised that people even answered her on the blog?
- When did you first suspect that Rena was the cause of Stephanie’s illness—what were some of the key signs and actions she took? Have you heard of munchausen by proxy syndrome before? How was she able to keep it such a secret from everyone?
- We learn much more about Claire and her background—including how she felt pushed aside by her mother after her father got sick. The two began to repair their relationship throughout the novel. Why do you think it took so long for them to talk to each other about these issues? In what ways are they quite similar?
- Because of her visions very young, Claire felt she let down her father by not warning him know about his eventual illness. How did letting go of that guilt allow Claire to fully use her psychic abilities? Will Claire continue to use these abilities moving forward?
- Have you ever been to a psychic or would you ever go to one? Do you think people really can have those kind of abilities?
- What does the title, The Perfect Fraud, mean in relation to the two main characters?
- Rena is definitely a scammer and finds her way into a new relationship. What will happen when she gives birth? Will she treat her baby the same as she did to Stephanie? Do you think she’ll ever get caught?
- There’s lots of details about Sedona. Have you ever been?
- Say this book is made into a TV series or movie— let’s cast the main characters!
What to read next
After your finish with the book club questions for The Perfect Fraud, here are some more thriller recommendations. And yes, there’s already discussion questions ready for you!
The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine is a cat-and-mouse thriller with plenty of twists and turns.
Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.
But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.
That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.
Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .
The Night Before by Wendy Walker follows two sisters uncovering long-buried secrets when an internet date spirals out of control.
Laura Lochner has never been lucky in love. She falls too hard and too fast, always choosing the wrong men. Devastated by the end of her last relationship, she fled her Wall Street job and New York City apartment for her sister’s home in the Connecticut suburb where they both grew up. Though still haunted by the tragedy that’s defined her entire life, Laura is determined to take one more chance on love with a man she’s met on an Internet dating site.
Rosie Ferro has spent most of her life worrying about her troubled sister. Fearless but fragile, Laura has always walked an emotional tightrope, and Rosie has always been there to catch her. Laura’s return, under mysterious circumstances, has cast a shadow over Rosie’s peaceful life with her husband and young son – a shadow that grows darker as Laura leaves the house for her blind date.
When Laura does not return home the following morning, Rosie fears the worst. She’s not responding to calls or texts, and she’s left no information about the man she planned to meet. As Rosie begins a desperate search to find her sister, she is not just worried about what this man might have done to Laura. She’s worried about what Laura may have done to him…
Feel free to discuss The Perfect Fraud below!