1. What role does witchcraft play in the story? Do Gilly and her friends believe that it truly worked to curse Hailey McCourt and heal Stuart Hollings? Or is it a fiction they play along with, like the rape allegation?
2. Jack, Gilly, and Addie are all victims of assault. How do their responses to being attacked differ?
3. Salem Falls is described as idyllic when first seen through the eyes of Jack St. Bride, but Charlie Saxton only sees the worst. Is this a reflection of their respective innocent and guilty consciences?
4. Think about the statue of Giles Courey in the middle of town. When Gilly’s accusations set off a modern-day “witch hunt” against Jack, how does history repeat itself? What lessons, if any, were learned from history?
5. Imagine that Addie had reported her rape. What do you think would have happened? Do you think her rapists would have been treated differently than Jack St. Bride?
6. In general, lawyers in rape cases cannot introduce evidence of a victim’s sexual history. One exception is to suggest that a specimen may have come from a man other than the accused rapist. Yet when Gilly tells Charlie Sexton that she was not a virgin before she was attacked, Charlie does not investigate who else she might have had sex with. Do you think he had a duty to do so, especially since she was a minor? Why do you think he didn’t?
7. Discuss Amos Duncan. A rapist in both the past and present, he is