Topics for Discussion

1. It is not until late in the novel that Adam discovers his secret past. What earlier indications are there that his parents are hiding something?

2. Adam mentions a “Mr. Grey” and a “man in grey.” Are they the same or are they different people? What makes you think so?

3. Adam describes himself as a coward. What does he do to contradict this?

4. Some readers may conclude that Adam is mentally disturbed and is wrong about what is going on. Can you explain the story on this basis?

5. Adam’s father tells him, “You can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys anymore.” What is his basis for this view?

6. In the nursery rhyme “The Farmer in the Dell,” the characters include the farmer, the rat, the cat, and the cheese. Can you associate each with a character in the book?

7. Upon seeing the strange black dog for the first time, Adam feels that the animal has been waiting for him all his life. Symbolically, what does he mean?

8. In what ways does Adam’s behavior in his home reflect the actions of the other characters?

9. Arthur, the strange man who sees Adam’s bicycle get stolen, has something in common with Adam. What is it?

10. What is Brint’s motive in trying to restore Adam’s memory? Why has Adam lost it?

11. Why is Adam’s father so insecure about the government’s ability to protect him? What, according to Adam’s father, is the worst aspect of living in the Witness Relocation Program?

12. Adam comments that in his past “somehow fear had forged love.” What does he mean?