Reading Group Discussion Questions

Reading Group Discussion Questions

  1. Who was your favorite character? Why?

  2. What do you think motivated Alex to begin to trust Dr. Frank?

  3. Alex was a terribly troubled young woman who was unable to differentiate between reality and her vivid imagination. She was self-destructive both physically and in her choices. But she was able to hide the worst of her character deficits and to develop and sustain meaningful friendships.

    Do you think it’s possible for someone to appear to be reasonably “normal” while secretly sustaining such abnormal and destructive thoughts and actions?

  4. Alex’s mother, Jacqueline Moser, is incapable of feeling or expressing any genuine concern for the well-being of her children.

    Was there any part of the story that led you to surmise why?

    Do you agree with Alex’s decision to stop interacting with her mother?

  5. Do you think Alex’s greatest fear is being abandoned (and alone) or being attacked by someone who wishes to kill her?

    Where do you think these fears came from?

    How does Alex learn to control her fears?

  6. Did you feel Alex made a good decision when she had sex with Aidan?

    Do you think that her intimacy with Aidan contributed to her feeling of loss and abandonment when he decided to move out of the area?

    Would Alex have been better off if she had waited to become intimate until she knew more about Aidan?

    Does Alex show any indication that she tries to learn important and personal things about her friends?

  7. Do you think the friendship between Eileen and Alex was truly a meaningful relationship? Why?

  8. How important a role does Dr. Frank play in Alex’s life?

    Given that she had reached a point of despair and desperation, do you think Alex would have found some other mechanism for becoming healthy if she had not met Dr. Frank?

    Why does Alex believe she would not have survived without Dr. Frank?

  9. Do you think Alex would have become mentally ill if she had not been molested?

    What if she had been molested, but had not been raised by such a destructive mother?

    Do you think Alex could have grown into a mentally healthy young adult if she had been believed when she told her mother about being molested by Drake Winston?

  10. In telling her story, did Alex seem to minimize some of her unacceptable behavior?

    If so, where do you think she could have been more forthcoming?

  11. Do you think the health care system in the United States is expansive enough to offer quality health care (and mental health care) to all citizens who need care? If so, why? If not, what do you think could be done to maximize services?

  12. It seems hard to understand how a mother could treat her children as Jacqueline treated Alex and Shelby. Why do you think Alex reconciled with her mother only after Jacqueline developed Alzheimer’s?

  13. Does The Existence Game offer any insights as to why child abuse hurts individuals and society? Why?