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The Woman Inside by E.G. Scott is a domestic thriller with plenty of twists. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my preview and review first.
The Woman Inside follows Paul and Rebecca, a couple married for nearly twenty years. Both share dark pasts, which we slowly learn about throughout the novel, and that pain drew them together. But now, they’re both keeping secrets from each other.
Paul began an affair when his professional life took a hit. However, he didn’t have any clue of how much his mistress would fall for him. And then, Rebecca, a seemingly successful pharmaceutical sales rep, gets fired due to her growing dependency on the opiates she sells.
Then suddenly, she finds her joint life-savings with Paul has been completely wiped out along with Paul’s plan to build a life without her. As her pill addiction takes hold, she creates her own plan. Lots to discuss with this one.
Let’s get into the book club questions
- Now that we all have finished the novel, let’s go back to the prologue. This is from Shelia’s perspective after she bought Paul and Rebecca’s dream home. Why did she buy the home? And why do you think the authors chose to start the book this way?
- The story is mainly told in Rebecca and Paul’s perspectives moving from past to present. What did you think about the story structure? Do you believe it helped build tension?
- Paul says he had the affair with Shelia because he felt like a failure. Do you buy that? Why or why not?
- After Rebecca is let go from her job, she goes to take money from their joint account, only to find out Paul emptied it. She immediately suspects he’s building a life without her. Why do you think she couldn’t just ask him what happened to it? Was her opioid addiction was impacting her thought process or did she not trust Paul anymore?
- Why would Paul think it was a good idea to keep the fact he’s building their dream house a secret to Rebecca, especially after his affair caused so many issues between the two of them? Did you think there was more to his secret than just the house?
- So we have Shelia, the woman Paul had an affair with but there’s also Sasha, the wife of Rebecca’s boss and Paul’s high school sweetheart who also goes missing. Why do you think there was such a focus on Sasha? Was she a red herring to lead us to believe Paul was having an affair with her, too?
- Why did Shelia kill Sasha and put her body where Paul had left her? What message was she sending?
- How did Rebecca and Paul’s dark pasts impact their behavior in present time? What did you think about the reveal of their pasts?
- Why wouldn’t Paul just tell Rebecca he was seeing his childhood therapist Dana again? What was he scared of her finding out?
- When Shelia breaks into Paul and Rebecca’s house, was her goal to kill Rebecca? Why do you think Rebecca and Paul didn’t call the police even though Rebecca killed her (at least we thought at the time) in self-defense?
- What did you think about the detectives, was it interesting reading their perspectives or did you feel like it bogged down the story?
- So at the end when Rebecca realizes her big mistake in applying the wrap full of Euphellis onto Paul, why didn’t she call the police to help him? Was he too far gone? Do you think she just simply succumb to her opioid addiction in the end?
- What happens next to Shelia?
- This book will be adapted as a major television series by Blumhouse, producers of “Sharp Objects.” Will you watch the series? Who would be the ideal cast for it?
More thriller recommendations
If you’re looking for more thrillers, here’s some recommendations along with discussion questions! (Click the titles or photos to purchase from Amazon.)
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn is a thriller with a familiar premise: an unreliable narrator with a drinking problem. Still, there is plenty of intrigue and a bit more humor than you find normally in thrillers (but it’s definitely not a comedy). The movie version is set to come out this October so your book club definitely should read it before then! And then, you all can go see the movie together. A win-win! Here’s my discussion questions (keep in mind there are spoilers in it).
The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy is part social commentary about first-time moms and part thriller. I think moms, especially new moms, will read it with interest and it might also freak them out a bit, too. Just remember it’s fiction! Here’s my discussion questions.
Watching You by Lisa Jewell is a suspenseful page-turner about a shocking murder with plenty of twists and turns. This one is very creepy. It was almost too creepy for me but I did read the entire book and did not see that ending coming. Here’s my discussion questions.