Book clubs with a taste for dark, psychological thrillers can’t miss Colleen Hoover’s Verity. Topping multiple bestseller charts, Verity follows a pair of female writers who use their powers of observation and creativity in a struggle to control the truth about the death of young twin girls. The stakes are high in this mystery; getting the story wrong could be the last thing either woman does.
In between steamy scenes and jump scares, the novel provokes deeper questions. How do mothers respond when their own children scare them? What dangers arise when we avoid getting to know the dark side of our loved ones? How can the stories we tell to comfort ourselves come back to haunt us? We’re here to help you unpack these themes and others with our list of Verity book club questions!
Our discussion guide for Verity will keep your book club’s discussion of the novel racing along. First, we’ve provided a synopsis of Verity, to refresh you on all those plot twists and suspicious characters. Next, we’ve provided 10 Verity book club questions. These questions should help you process the darker moments in the novel and explore its implications about human nature. Finally, we’ve pulled together a few quotes from book reviews of Verity: the good, the bad, and the ugly as seen by other readers.
If you enjoyed the book, then be sure to read to the end of this guide for ideas for three books like Verity!
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Verity, Colleen Hoover
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish.
Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, ready to sort through years of Verity’s notes and outlines, hoping to find enough material to get her started. What Lowen doesn’t expect to uncover in the chaotic office is an unfinished autobiography Verity never intended for anyone to read. Page after page of bone-chilling admissions, including Verity’s recollection of the night her family was forever altered.
Lowen decides to keep the manuscript hidden from Jeremy, knowing its contents could devastate the already grieving father. But as Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy begin to intensify, she recognizes all the ways she could benefit if he were to read his wife’s words. After all, no matter how devoted Jeremy is to his injured wife, a truth this horrifying would make it impossible for him to continue loving her.
10 Verity Book Club Questions
- Jeremy and Lowen meet when they witness a car accident that leaves Lowen splattered in blood, and Jeremy gives her his shirt. How do you feel this meeting compares to the typical “meet-cute” in a love story? How did their meeting shape your expectations for their relationship, going into the novel?
- After Jeremy reveals the loss of his daughter to Lowen, he asks her to speak about the loss of her mother. Lowen reflects, “It’s what you do when you’ve experienced the worst of the worst. You seek out people like you…people worse off than you…and you use them to make you feel better about the terrible things that have happened to you.”
Do you think Lowen’s statement is realistic or cynical? Is there a productive way for grieving people to work through their experiences together?
- Jeremy tells Lowen that he has never read any of Verity’s books, aside from her first manuscript, which he loved. He explains that he doesn’t like “being inside [Verity’s] head.”
How do you feel about Jeremy’s aversion to reading Verity’s novels? Do you think the end of the story would have been different if Jeremy was more familiar with his wife’s work and her abilities?
- Were you surprised when you learned that the reason Lowen’s mother was “terrified ” of her was because Lowen was a sleepwalker? Do you think the mother’s fear of Lowen, and Lowen’s consequent agoraphobia, was realistic? What other factors might have been at play in Lowen and her mother’s estrangement?
- Could you sympathize with Verity’s distress when she felt that Jeremy loved their children more than he loved her? What do you think a healthy approach to this feeling might have been?
- How do you think reading Verity’s manuscript affected Lowen’s feelings for Jeremy? Is it possible that she was more attracted to him because of the details she read about him in the manuscript? Can you think of a time when your feelings for a person changed because you saw them through another’s eyes?
- What role do you think Crew plays in this novel? How might the story be different if Crew were absent?
- In her manuscript, Verity states that despite Jeremy throwing the dinner she made for him at the wall, he “could never ruin a night for [her] when it ends with him loving [her].” Can you relate to this sentiment? Does an argument with a loved one ruin your day or night, even after you have reconciled? Why do you think Verity is so ready to overlook the argument?
- Verity moves about the house on multiple occasions when other people are sleeping or distracted. She also hides a knife near her bed. However, she never attempts to harm Crew, Lowen, or Jeremy. What do you think her inaction suggests about her innocence in the abuse of her children and the murder of Harper? If she did murder Harper, why do you think she restrains herself from attacking Lowen or Jeremy?
- After spending several months without leaving her apartment in New York City, Lowen notes, “Funny how one of the most populated cities in the world can double as a paradise for agoraphobics.”
Have you ever felt alone when you were in a crowded place? What do you think causes this feeling? What do you think it says about human nature?
Selected Reviews for Verity
“I like the way Hoover makes you feel Lowe’s deep-skin unease and confusion as if it’s your own. You can sense the danger pulsing all around, and while you can scarcely see the freshly hideous future taking shape ahead, you can feel it all the same. In short, if I were Lowe, I’d have gotten the hell out of there. I’d have been impressed by her courage if I weren’t too preoccupied repeating a litany of ‘GET OUT OF THERE, YOU IDIOT’ in my head.”
“Immediately I want to express just how much the heroine ruined this whole book for me. Reading from her POV was like taking a knife, exposing every nerve in my body, and pouring vinegar all over them.”
“Brilliant author. Brilliantly written. Brilliant idea. Except… I didn’t like it. I didn’t like the heroine. Couldn’t relate to her. I didn’t like the hero. I didn’t like the story. Implausible and kind of revolting.”
“The part that disturbed me most personally, as a new mom…completely disgusting and gut-wrenching sections of child abuse that were over the top and unnecessarily graphic. I mean, kudos to Hoover to be able to be that far removed from her care for her own children to even write those words…but as a mom to a 6 month old, I almost got physically ill and was in tears reading these sections.”
“I read most of this last night over the course of a few hours. It’s very readable, but I’m not sure why the writing kind of reminded me of fan-ficton or something on Wattpad. I think it’s mainly because of things like the transitions between chapters where Lowen would say something along the lines of I need to read more of the autobiography and then it would cut back to the autobiography..”
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3 Books Like Verity
If your group is on a roll with the Colleen Hoover books, then read and use our guide for It Ends with Us.
The Ones We Keep, Bobbie Jean Huff
If you’re looking for your next spooky Vermont lake house book, The Ones We Keep is a perfect fit. Like Verity, Bobbie Jean Huff’s The Ones We Keep follows a mother’s morally questionable response to the accidental death of her child. The book lifts heavy themes that may feel familiar to you after reading Verity; it explores family conflicts in the aftermath of tragedy and a mother’s struggle not to show favoritism among her children.
The Ghostwriter, Alessandra Torre
Like Verity, Alessandra Torre’s The Ghostwriter builds the ultimate unreliable narrator around a protagonist who has proven her talent for deception. Helena Ross is a bestselling author with a secret to confess before her life comes to an end. As she struggles with her past, Helena, like Verity, asks us to question the meaning of “truth” in a life–and a culture–where fiction is more often rewarded.
The Wife Between Us, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
For most of Verity, the competition between Verity and Lowen for Jeremy’s attention remained at a low boil. The Wife Between Us dedicates itself fully to exploring jealousy and obsession in a love triangle. If you enjoyed the plot twists and the challenging romance in Verity, the Wife Between Us while satisfy your craving for more!
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Authored by Mallory Miles
Mallory Miles is a biologist for the US Forest Service and an avid reader since childhood. When she’s not combing the woods for endangered salamanders and orchids, she can be found at home, reading novels or writing her own stories, which have been published in Ecotone and The Stringybark Anthology.