1. The narrator is never named. Did you notice while you were reading? How did that add or detract from the story?
  2. For the most part, the races of the characters are not mentioned. Did you picture them (Bud, the neighbors, the cops, the hardware store owner, people at church) as any race in particular?
  3. Does your hometown have a Troost – which could be a street or a river or a freeway? If you know its history, is it similar to what happened in Kansas City?
  4. How has your own childhood neighborhood changed? Do you ever go back there? What emotions does it evoke when you go there or picture it?
  5. What role does the house itself play in this book? Do you consider it a character of sorts?
  6. When the narrator had to leave California for a cheaper place to live, she chooses her childhood home. Did that seem like a good plan to you at the beginning? What about at the end?
  7. She’s never sure about staying in the house, although she never talks about any other options. Do you think she will stay there?
  8. How important is Boris to the narrative? Josie? Who or what gives the narrator the most support?
  9. What advice would you give the narrator at the end of Chapter 1? At the end of the book?