45 Book Club Questions For What Lies Between Us by John Marrs + PDF Guide

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Book club questions for What Lies Between Us include snack ideas and fun activity suggestions. 

What Lies Between Us is an enthralling psychological thriller that your book club is going to love. The book has many gripping plot twists and unpredictable revelations, that are going to keep your members on the edge of their seats. If you’re looking for engaging discussion questions for this epic thriller, I’ve got you covered.

This blog post features 45 What Lies Between Us discussion-worthy questions for the book club . I absolutely enjoyed John Marrs’ propulsive thriller that tells the story of Maggie and Nina and their complex relationship. I guarantee you that there are exciting topics to talk about in your reading group. This book club guide that I have created for you also includes food ideas and activity ideas for the book. 

Also, don’t forget to download the printable guide with all these questions. 

Also checkout my spoil-free review of What Lies Between Us

What Lies Between Us Synopsis

What Lies Between Us Synopsis

They say every house has its secrets, and the house that Maggie and Nina have shared for so long is no different. Except that these secrets are not buried in the past.

Every other night, Maggie and Nina have dinner together. When they are finished, Nina helps Maggie back to her room in the attic, and into the heavy chain that keeps her there. Because Maggie has done things to Nina that can’t ever be forgiven, and now she is paying the price.

But there are many things about the past that Nina doesn’t know, and Maggie is going to keep it that way—even if it kills her.

Because in this house, the truth is more dangerous than lies.


45 What Lies Between Us Book Club Questions

What initial thoughts did you have about the dynamic between Maggie and Nina? How did these impressions evolve throughout the story?

Discuss the role of the house in What Lies Between Us. How does it contribute to the atmosphere and the unfolding of the story?

Explore the significance of the dinner rituals between Maggie and Nina. What do they reveal about their relationship?

Discuss the motif of imprisonment, both literal and metaphorical, in the novel. How do the characters experience captivity?

How do Maggie’s actions towards Nina shape your understanding of her character? Do you feel any empathy for her?

In What Lies Between Us characters frequently shift between roles of victim and perpetrator. Discuss how this dynamic influences your perception of Maggie and Nina.

What Lies Between Us was an unpredictable and compelling book for me.What elements of the story kept you most engaged and eager to read on?

The extreme measure of chaining a mother in her room is a pivotal point in the story. Discuss the moral and emotional dilemmas this situation presents.

Considering the unexpected twists and the depth of family secrets, how does the author manage to surprise you as the narrative unfolds?

Many readers mention being torn in their feelings towards Maggie and Nina based on new revelations. Can you recall a moment in the book where your sympathy or loyalty shifted between the characters?

Bobby’s role as a secondary character is noteworthy. Discuss his role and impact on the main storyline and the dynamic between mother and daughter.

The party scene in the book is particularly memorable for its intensity. Explore how this scene and others like it serve to escalate the tension within the story.

Explore the role of secrets and their revelation in driving the narrative forward. How do the secrets compare in their impact on the characters and the reader?

The use of alternating perspectives between Maggie and Nina is a key storytelling device. Discuss how this technique enhances the depth and complexity of the plot.

The theme of mistrust and its effects on relationships is central to the story. Reflect on how mistrust is cultivated and portrayed between characters.

The novel suggests that the truth can be more dangerous than lies. Discuss examples of this and whether you agree or disagree.

Explore the concept of forgiveness in the novel. Is there anything unforgivable between Maggie and Nina?

Examine the role of manipulation in the novel. How do the characters manipulate each other, and what are the consequences?

The book digs  into dark themes. Discuss how the author balances these with moments of hope or redemption, if any.

How does the author build the mystery surrounding Maggie and Nina’s past? Were you satisfied with the revelations?

How do the characters evolve throughout the story? Discuss the character development of Nina and Maggie.

The novel explores complex family dynamics. Discuss how these dynamics affect the characters’ decisions and lives.

How does the author use foreshadowing to hint at future events? Share examples where you noticed this technique.

How does the story challenge the reader’s perceptions of right and wrong? Discuss instances where your moral compass was tested.

Discuss the role of memory in the novel. How do the characters’ memories shape their realities and relationships?

How does isolation affect the characters and their interactions? Discuss the impact of physical and emotional isolation.

The novel contains surprising twists. Discuss a twist that particularly shocked you and how it changed your perspective on the story.

Explore the concept of justice in the story. Do you believe justice is served by the end? Why or why not?

How does the author portray the complexity of mother-daughter relationships? Discuss the nuances of this relationship in the novel.

How does guilt play into the characters’ motivations and decisions? Discuss the role of guilt in the novel.

Explore the significance of the title “What Lies Between Us.” How does it reflect the themes and relationships in the book?

The novel explores the theme of sacrifice. Discuss instances where characters make sacrifices and the implications of these actions.

How does the narrative explore the concept of freedom? Discuss the characters’ quests for physical and emotional freedom.

The book explores the idea that everyone has a dark side. Discuss how this theme is developed through the characters.

How does the setting influence the characters’ psychological states? Discuss the interplay between setting and character development.

Should the novel have included additional points of view from Bobby? Share your thoughts on how this could have included the narrative?

How does the author successfully maintain reader engagement throughout the nearly 400 pages of the book, especially with only two main characters driving the narrative?

What are your impressions of Nina’s childhood experiences and her school life? How do these aspects of her past contribute to your understanding of her character in the present?

What should readers be aware of before starting “What Lies Between Us”? This book contains significant levels of violence, both physical and psychological, which may not be suitable for those who are easily disturbed.

How did you perceive the shifting sympathies between Maggie and Nina as you progressed through the story? In your view, were either of them consistently reliable in narrating their experiences and perspectives throughout the narrative?

What elements of the toxic and dysfunctional mother-daughter relationship portrayed in the novel resonated with you the most? How did the intensity of this dynamic contribute to your engagement with the story?

How does the confined setting of the house contribute to the tension and atmosphere of the domestic thriller genre in “What Lies Between Us”?

What emotions did you experience during the scene where Maggie is finally able to use the bathroom, leading to a poignant realization about the importance of appreciating life’s simplest joys and privileges? How did this moment contribute to your understanding of Maggie’s character and the broader themes of the novel?

How does the author handle the pacing of the story? Discuss how the pacing affects the buildup of suspense and the unfolding of the plot.

Finally, based on your reading experience and review, would you recommend What Lies Between Us to others? Are there any considerations or warnings you would include in your recommendation?

Free Downloadable Book Club Questions PDF

Here is the pdf version of engaging questions for John Marrs’ What Lies Between Us. Get it now

Snack Ideas For What Lies Between Us Book Club Meeting

  • Secret Ingredient Dishes: Prepare small dishes or snacks but add a secret ingredient to each. Don’t reveal the secret ingredients until the end of the meeting, letting members guess what they might be. This activity plays into the book’s theme of secrets.
  • Chained Melodies Platter: Create a cheese and charcuterie board but use small chains (clean and decorative) to loosely wrap around the serving trays or bowls. This represents the chain used on Maggie and symbolizes the characters’ constraints.
  • Attic Antiques: Serve aged wines or cheeses to represent the attic where much of the novel’s tension unfolds
  • Dinner Ritual Delights: Since the novel mentions that Maggie and Nina have dinner together every other night, recreate a mini version of their dinners with a simple, elegant dish that reflects their routine, but with a twist that adds an element of surprise.

What Lies Between Us Book Club Activity Ideas:

  • Secret Confessions Box: At the beginning of the meeting, have everyone write a secret (it can be funny, unknown talents, or harmless confessions) on a piece of paper and drop it into a box. At the end, read them aloud and guess who wrote each one, mirroring the book’s theme of revealing secrets.
  • Chain of Words: Have a storytelling game where each member adds a sentence to a story, but each new addition must include a secret about the character introduced or twist the plot dramatically, inspired by the book’s constant revelations.
  • Secrets and Lies Debate: Break the group into two and have a debate on whether it’s ever justified to hide the truth for the greater good or to protect someone, as the characters do in the novel. This activity encourages deeper reflection on the themes of the book.

Books To Read After What Lies Between Us

  • Verity by Colleen Hoover : This was a creepy and utterly disturbing book that will give you similar vibes as What Lies Between Us. It takes you into dark psychological territory, exploring the intricate dynamics between characters and the secrets they hold. It also features unreliable narrators and twisty plots. Check out 36 Verity Book Club Questions
  • The Perfect Child by Lucinda Berry : This book deals with dark and unsettling themes, including the complexities of motherhood and the consequences of past trauma. Check out 47 The Perfect Child Book Club Questions.
  • Ward D by Freida McFadden : This is similar to “What Lies Between Us” because it also looks into how people cope with emotional scars and the complexities of relationships, all happening within a restricted environment.


There you have the best list of discussion-worthy book discussion questions food suggestion and activity ideas for What Lies Between Us book club.

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Stephy George
Stephy George

Hi I am Stephy ! I became a bookworm in my late twenties. So I created this little corner of books online to share my love of reading with YOU! I want to help you find the best books to read so you won’t ever have to worry about your next read!

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