Reading Group Guide for ‘Hidden in Dreams’

If you would like to discuss Hidden in Dreams with your book group, my publisher, Simon & Schuster/Howard Books, has graciously provided a reading group guide on their website.

I am reprinting the questions here; feel free to print them for your group’s use:

1. Would you help a woman like Rachel when she first comes to Elena for help with her test subject? What questions would you ask her before proceeding? Do you trust her?

2. What kind of role did the Florida landscape play in the novel? How does the weather reflect the turmoil the characters are experiencing?

3. How would you react if you experienced one of these terrible dreams? How would you react when you found out that others had the exact same dream?

4. How does Reed serve as a spiritual guide for Elena? Do you think she needs his guidance?

5. Elena is drawn into the public eye in Davis Bunn’s novel, Book of Dreams, and is forced back into the spotlight in this sequel, Hidden in Dreams. Have you ever been forced or called to do something against your own intuition or choice? What did you do?

6. While Jacob’s faith journey is just beginning, his skepticism starts to fade as even he can no longer deny the existence of a guiding force in the world. What do you think changes him?

7. Writing is said to be the “cheapest form of therapy.” Is Elena right to agree to write a second book about her experiences?

8. How do the fears of a global financial crisis resonate with current headlines and your own personal experiences? Did any of the scenes or descriptions in Hidden in Dreams particularly resonate with you?

9. Have you ever had a dream that significantly affected you? Do you typically remember your dreams?

10. Which character did you connect with most? Which character do you share the most similar behaviors or traits with?

11. Elena and Stacy form a pseudo mother-daughter relationship. How does their relationship evolve? Do you think Elena is a good role model for Stacy? Is Stacy a role model herself for Elena?

12. Elena says, “At its best, religion is a matter of creating an earthly structure in which to express the wonder of connecting with the divine. At its worst, religion seeks to fit God into a safe and comfortable little box” (p. 111). Do you agree with Elena’s statement? Why or why not? Do any other characters offer a different perspective on religion in the novel?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Experiment with keeping a dream journal. Keep your journal next to your bed and record your dreams as soon as you wake up each morning. Dreams fade quickly, so it is important to write them down soon after you awaken! Look for interesting patterns or themes as you record more dreams and share them with your book club members. For help with decoding your dreams, visit www.DreamMoods.com or www.TheCuriousDreamer.com.

2. If you haven’t already, go back to the start of Elena Burroughs’s journey in the public eye by reading Book of Dreams, the prequel to Hidden in Dreams. Discuss the differences between the two books and how Elena has grown as a character.

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