These The Last Thing He Told Me book club questions will help you better discuss the #1 bestselling Reese’s Book Club pick that defies genres and has captivated readers worldwide. Plus, get a free printable PDF of the questions to take with you!
- #1 Instant New York Times bestseller
- Best Book of Summer selected by Vogue, USA Today, Entertainment Weekly, CNN, Town & Country, Parade, Bustle, and more
- Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick
The Last Thing He Told Me was my favorite book of the year in which it was published (out of 100+ books), and I read it in one day! The story follows a woman named Hannah, whose new husband mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only a request that she protect his teenage daughter. Book club members will love how quick and fast-paced it is, along with the surprising turns it takes, and the many discussion questions it poses, including why he left and what you would do in all the characters’ shoes.
The Last Thing He Told Me Book Club Questions
The Last Thing He Told Me is a unique book that could have had any number of titles. Why do you think author Laura Dave selected this one?
Do you find any significance to the family home being a boat?
What did you think Owen meant when he said, “Protect her,” both when you started reading The Last Thing He Told Me and when you finished it?
What do the two words “Protect her” reveal about Owen’s personality?
Where did you initially suspect Owen had gone and why?
What do you think Owen wanted to happen after he left?
Did Owen make the right decision in leaving as he did?
Did the flashbacks to “happier times” change your impressions of any of the characters or how they got to the present?
How would you have felt in Hannah’s shoes if Owen were your husband?
How would you have felt in Bailey’s shoes if Owen were your father?
What made Bailey dislike Hannah at first?
Discuss the questions Hannah had about her predicament and what questions you would have had.
Would you have attempted to uncover the truth as Hannah did?
Did any of the answers Hannah found surprise you?
What do these truths reveal about Owen’s character?
Hannah is a unique character in a unique predicament. How would you describe her and her motivations?
Would you have made the same decisions for the future as Hannah?
Discuss Hannah’s, Bailey’s, and Owen’s views on love.
Discuss the role of trust in The Last Thing He Told Me and the characters’ views on it.
How did Hannah change over the course of The Last Thing He Told Me?
How did Hannah’s and Bailey’s relationship change over the course of The Last Thing He Told Me?
Discuss the difficulties of stepparenting.
Discuss Hannah’s views on motherhood and parenting.
Discuss Hannah’s experience as a child of each of her parents (and step-parent).
What do you think will happen in the future for these characters?
What was your first reaction after turning the final page of The Last Thing He Told Me?
The Last Thing He Told Me is very thought-provoking. Did you find yourself thinking about it long after you read it?
What genre would you categorize The Last Thing He Told Me as — mystery, thriller, suspense, family drama, or something else?
Have you ever been surprised by discovering a secret or another side to someone you love?
Can we ever fully know someone?
The Last Thing He Told Me became an instant #1 New York Times bestseller. Why do you think it was so popular so fast?
Why do you think Reese Witherspoon selected The Last Thing He Told Me as a book club selection?
The Last Thing He Told Me has “unputdownable” qualities. How quickly did you read it?
If you know anything about the adaptation of The Last Thing He Told Me, discuss it.
What is the theme of The Last Thing He Told Me?
What does the ending of The Last Thing He Told Me mean?
Author Laura Dave created an AMAZING Spotify playlist of the songs that inspired The Last Thing He Told Me. Why do you think she selected these songs?
Of note, Dave told Variety that “[i]t took more than 13,000 plays of the Bruce Springsteen song “If I Should Fall Behind” — a live version recorded with the E Street Band at Madison Square Garden — to help [her] finish [the book].” Listen to the song and discuss how it related to the book.
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Quick Summary & Book Review
Five out of five stars.
The Last Thing He Told Me will blow you away. The premise seems simple: a loving husband named Owen disappears from their California houseboat after leaving a short note to his new wife Hannah: “Protect her” — his 16-year-old daughter Bailey.
Bailey is the typical rebellious stepdaughter so this won’t be easy for Hannah, but more importantly, where did Owen go? And why?
As Hannah begins to manage this unexpected predicament, Owen’s boss is very publicly arrested for fraud, and FBI agents arrive at her home. It is then that Hannah first questions whether her husband is who she thought he was.
She and Bailey travel to Texas to try to piece together what they don’t know about Owen’s past and, as the suspense builds, they face so many questions:
- Was Owen’s life a lie?
- Is Hannah’s entire marriage a sham?
- Will Owen ever return?
- What really happened to Bailey’s biological mother, who died?
- Will Owen be arrested too?
- How do they begin to live a “new normal?”
The Last Thing He Told Me moved at a super-fast pace that will keep your heart pounding. (I finished it in one day!) Yet, it wasn’t just about thrills and evil people — it really made me think about whether you can ever really know someone you love, and what I would do in Hannah’s shoes.
Flashbacks to Hannah’s happier days, together with Owen, made her confusion about her current situation feel so incredibly palpable. (It totally gave me a book hangover!)
The Last Thing He Told Me also kept me really interested in tracking the relationship between Hannah and Bailey, an unlikely duo, each of whom never in a million years expected to be living their current lives, without Owen and with so many questions about him.
This is a thriller that’s uniquely about family dynamics and the meaning of family in very unique circumstances, and it’s filled with twists and turns that you will not be able to figure out the mystery — trust me!
Buy The Last Thing He Told Me:
Frequently Asked Questions
The #1 bestselling Reese’s Book Club selection The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave is an excellent book club pick. The story follows a woman named Hannah, whose new husband mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only a request that she protect his teenage daughter. Book club members will love how quick and fast-paced it is, along with the surprising turns it takes, and the many discussion questions it poses, including why he left and what you would do in all the characters’ shoes.
The #1 bestselling Reese’s Book Club selection The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave follows a woman named Hannah, whose new husband mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only a request that she protect his teenage daughter. They become determined to uncover the truth about his past in an attempt to cope with their present and work toward a clearer future together.
Buy The Last Thing He Told Me:
Exploring these thought-provoking The Last Thing He Told Me book club questions with others will deepen your understanding of the mysterious characters and plot and also provide a platform for meaningful discussions about what we would do in such a life-altering turn of events. It’s an excellent book for discussion, and I highly recommend it for book clubs.
Keep the discussion going! Share your thoughts on The Last Thing He Told Me or any remaining questions you may have in the comments below.