Reader's Group Guide for If I Am Missing or Dead by Janine Latus Introduction
In a memoir that is by turns harrowing and humorous, Janine Latus recounts both her own and her sister Amy's dealings with men, beginning with their father. From the traumatic childbirth experiences of their mother to the daily reminders from their father that their looks are what matter most, both Janine and Amy take away from their childhood's a sense that, as young women, they are unworthy, even sinful, by nature. In spite of their strength, intelligence, and strong bond with each other, both Janine and Amy find themselves trapped in relationships with abusive and controlling men. Fortunately, Janine is able to escape this cycle. Amy, however, does not. If I Am Missing or Dead
explores issues faced by all women in our society and particularly by those who have experienced physical or emotional abuse. Janine's story vividly illustrates the wide spectrum of abusive behavior and depicts the cycle of self-doubt that can lead smart, attractive women to remain in abusive relationships. If I Am Missing or Dead
is also the story of a woman finding her voice and making sense of her own story: for herself, for her sister, for women everywhere. Questions for Discussion:
1. Why do you think Janine chose to tell her own story alongside Amy's story?
2. Both Amy and Janine have troubled relationships with their bodies. While Amy