We Begin at the End is Bookclubz' Book of the Month.

Use these discussion questions to guide your next meeting.


Duchess Day Radley is a thirteen-year-old self-proclaimed outlaw. Rules are for other people. She is the fierce protector of her five-year-old brother, Robin, and the parent to her mother, Star, a single mom incapable of taking care of herself, let alone her two kids.

Walk has never left the coastal California town where he and Star grew up. He may have become the chief of police, but he’s still trying to heal the old wound of having given the testimony that sent his best friend, Vincent King, to prison decades before. And he's in overdrive protecting Duchess and her brother.

Now, thirty years later, Vincent is being released. And Duchess and Walk must face the trouble that comes with his return. We Begin At The End is an extraordinary novel about two kinds of families—the ones we are born into and the ones we create.


This book of the month and discussion guide is shared and sponsored in partnership with Henry Holt.



Duchess says to Walk, “There’s always a man. Whenever anything fucked up happens in the world, there’s always a man.” (chapter 1, p. 10). Later, Duchess thinks about Darke: “She knew what men could do, all of them, capability was enough.” (chapter 24, p. 199). What do you make of the portrayal of each gender in this book? Are men or women worse in this novel, or might they be equally good or bad?

Star tells her daughter, “Selfless acts, Duchess. They’re what make you agood person.” (chapter 5, p. 42), yet she seems to be entirely selfish in many of her actions. Why do you think this is? Do you agree with Star? What makes a good person good?

Hal asks Duchess, “If the good stand by idle, are they still good?” (chapter 25, p. 204). What do you think? Are there any ostensibly good characters in this novel who lose their goodness by standing by?


We Begin at the End

“Ravishing, pulse-raising suspense.” ―O, The Oprah Magazine


“Couldn’t put it down. Incredible writing, characters so brilliantly drawn they jump off the page. Outstanding.” ―B. A. Paris, bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors


“A beautifully written mystery, packed with unforgettable characters. An intricately woven portrait of small-town intrigue where old and new sins collide.” ―Jane Harper, New York Times bestselling author of The Survivors


“I LOVED this book. From the riveting plot to the beautiful writing. But mostly what kept me longing to get back to it each day were the characters. This is a book to be read and reread.” ―Louise Penny, New York Times bestselling author