In Standing Still
, an intruder breaks into Claire Cooper's comfortable suburban home and attempts to abduct her daughter. Summoning a level of courage and self-sacrifice she wasn't aware that she possessed, Claire puts herself in the line of fire and utters the heartbreaking words that will undo her: "Take me instead."
For the next week, as her easy life unravels, Claire is tied to a bed in a strange motel room, the intruder her only companion. It is an experience that would be torture for anyone. For Claire, who suffers from acute panic disorder, it is a nightmare that threatens to shred her to pieces, a trauma from which she may never fully recover.
Forced to lie still, alone with her thoughts, Claire must confront her shadowy past and the dark corners of a life previously left unconsidered. Day after day, she goes deeper into herself, reevaluating her marriage, her role as a mother, and the buried source of her crippling anxiety. In seven days, she will step out to the very brink of her soul -- perhaps never to return. DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
1. "In all things, I blame the husband." How does Claire's sentiment relate specifically to her relationship with her husband, Sam? How is Sam implicated in Claire's abduction, and to what extent is he ultimately responsible? How does the nature of their relationship complicate Sam's negotiations for Claire's release?
2. How does Claire's acute panic disorder govern the deci