AFTER ANNA

Lisa Scottoline

Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy.  Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong,

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Nobody cuts deeper than family…

Dr. Noah Alderman, a widower and single father, has remarried a wonderful woman, Maggie Ippolitti, and for the first time in a long time, he and his young son are happy.  Despite her longing for the daughter she hasn’t seen since she was a baby, Maggie is happy too, and she’s even more overjoyed when she unexpectedly gets another chance to be a mother to the child she thought she’d lost forever, her only daughter Anna.

Maggie and Noah know that having Anna around will change their lives, but they would never have guessed that everything would go wrong, and so quickly. Anna turns out to be a gorgeous seventeen-year-old who balks at living under their rules, though Maggie, ecstatic to have her daughter back, ignores the red flags that hint at the trouble brewing in a once-perfect marriage and home.

Events take a heartbreaking turn when Anna is murdered and Noah is accused and tried for the heinous crime. Maggie must face not only the devastation of losing her daughter, but the realization that Anna’s murder may have been at the hands of a husband she loves. In the wake of this tragedy, new information drives Maggie to search for the truth, leading her to discover something darker than she could have ever imagined.

Riveting and disquieting, After Anna is a groundbreaking domestic thriller, as well as a novel of emotional justice and legal intrigue. And New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline will keep readers on their toes until the final shocking page.

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  • St. Martin's Press
  • Hardcover
  • April 2018
  • 400 Pages
  • 9781250099655

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$27.99

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About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of the Rosato & DiNunzio series, as well as One Perfect Lie, Most Wanted, and many others. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those critically acclaimed stories have been adapted into a series of memoirs, the first of which is entitled Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. She lives in the Philadelphia area.

Author Website

Praise

“Filled with plenty of twists and complex characters, this entertaining story builds to a satisfying conclusion.”Publishers Weekly

“A nail-biting thriller.”Kirkus

“Scottoline, a master at crafting intense family dramas, expertly twists Maggie’s reality with a page-turning mix of guilt, self-delusion, and manipulation.”Booklist

Discussion Questions

1. After Anna is told in alternating perspectives and several different timelines. What did you think of this unique structure and what did it add to your reading experience?

2. Maggie was separated from Anna after suffering a severe bout of postpartum psychosis, an extreme form of postpartum depression. In the real world, as in After Anna, postpartum depression often goes untreated or is considered shameful. Why do you think there is so much stigma surrounding these illnesses? What can we do to help better support new mothers?

3. Anna was used as a pawn by her father, and he wielded his power and money, and even lied to Anna to keep her away from Maggie. What do you think motivated him to do it? What do you think his motivation was for doing it? What was your initial reaction when Maggie learned the truth about Anna’s father? Were you instantly suspicious, or did you believe Anna’s explanation? How did that affect your opinion of Anna throughout the rest of the novel?

4. Throughout the trial sections of the novel, damning evidence against Noah begins to build, from texts on his phone to official government documents. Were you convinced by the evidence? Why or why not? Did you think he was guilty – of murder or anything else?

5. When Anna enters their home, Maggie and Noah have to renegotiate their parental boundaries and the household rules. How do you manage this in your own household? How does Anna having a large amount of money complicate this, and how do you think you would navigate a similar situation? Is there a right or wrong way to go about it?

6. On page 81, Anna’s lawyer says, “Every girl needs a mother, doesn’t she?” Who do you turn to when you need mothering, whether your biological mother or someone else? Do you think we ever grow out of needing our mother?

7. When did you begin to get suspicious of Anna’s erratic behavior? What struck you as particularly odd? How do you think your understanding of the novel would change if you read it again, knowing the outcome?

8. What do you think about the ethics of Kathy and Maggie looking through Anna’s books for notes – are teenagers entitled to a certain level of privacy? Was it right, wrong, or more complicated than that? Why do you think this?

9. Near the end of the novel, Maggie thinks that she must push through, “Because she was a mother, and she had a job to do.” Where can you see this theme of what mothers would do for their daughters throughout the book? What kind of power do you think there is in a mother/daughter bond?

10. What did you think of the ending of the novel? Did you see it coming or were you completely blindsided? Did it change your understanding of the rest of the novel?