The Worst Thing I've Done

A Novel

The Worst Thing I've Done

Friends since earliest childhood, Annie, Jake, and Mason have a special bond. When Annie's parents die on the same night that she and Mason get married, the three friends decide to raise Annie's infant sister, Opal, together. But their bonds of intimacy, already entangled, become dangerously close, on the line. One fateful night, the three friends goad one another into crossing that line with shocking consequences.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416543763 | 
  • September 2008
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Reading Group Guide

The Worst Thing I've Done
By Ursula Hegi

In this remarkable and incandescent novel of devastating beauty, set on the East End of Long Island, a young woman embarks on a poignant voyage of self-discovery and comes to terms with the aftermath of one horrible choice that changes everything.
Friends since childhood, Annie, Jake, and Mason had a special bond that transcended all other relationships. When Annie's parents die in a car accident on her and Mason's wedding night, the three friends decide to raise Annie's infant sister, Opal, together. Jealousy and possessiveness entwine with love and friendship, and Annie struggles to be both a sister and a mother to Opal. And then, on one fateful night, the friends step over a line that has shocking consequences.
Beautifully written and brilliantly vivid, this truthful and engaging novel of friendship and premature death, love and suicide, and, ultimately, resilience and understanding will resonate long after each character tells his or her story.
The Worst Thing I've Done is a subtle and heart-rending novel of uncommon grace. It is another great achievement in Ursula Hegi's literary career.

Discussion Questions:
1. The novel opens with Annie listening to two radio psychologists while driving at night. How do Dr. Francine and Dr. Virginia address their callers differently? Which psychologist's style does Annie prefer, and why? Do you agree with Annie's preferen see more

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About the Author

Ursula Hegi
Photo Credit: Gordon Gagliano

Ursula Hegi

Ursula Hegi is the author of The Worst Thing I've Done, Sacred Time, Hotel of the Saints, The Vision of Emma Blau, Tearing the Silence, Salt Dancers, Stones from the River, Floating in My Mother's Palm, Unearned Pleasures and Other Stories, Intrusions, and Trudi & Pia. She teaches writing at Stonybrook's Southhampton Campus and she is the recipient of more than thirty grants and awards.