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About The Book

The 7 Deadly Sins series that inspired four Lifetime original movies continues with this thrilling novel following a woman who wants more than just a relationship from her newly discovered half-sister—she wants her life.

A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones.

Gabrielle Wilson has the perfect life: a Beverly Hills mansion, a loving family, and a massively successful PR firm. When her father admits that an affair he had years before resulted in a daughter, Gabrielle is shocked, but is actually happy. Could this be the sister she has been praying for all her life?

Keisha Jones’s life is a struggle. Her late mother worked on the streets, and school was its own nightmare. When Gabrielle offers to fly Keisha out of Arkansas to meet the family, Keisha instantly agrees. But Gabrielle doesn’t realize that Keisha has known about the Wilsons for years. Keisha is determined to have everything she has always envied, and nothing can stand in her way.

Includes a reading group guide with an author Q&A and discussion questions for book clubs.

Reading Group Guide

This reading group guide for Envy includes an introduction, discussion questions, ideas for enhancing your book club, and a Q&A with author Victoria Christopher Murray. The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for your discussion. We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.


Keisha Jones is living out of her car. Her mother, who worked as a prostitute throughout her life in order to support them both, has recently passed away, and with no money to pay the rent at the home they shared, Keisha seems to have hit a dead end. Worse still, her every thought is interrupted by repeated memories of a secret childhood trauma. So when a glamorous woman shows up at the salon in Arkansas where she works and surprises Keisha with an invitation to travel to Los Angeles to meet her sister, Gabrielle, Keisha is more than ready to go, even if she doesn’t care much for the messenger. While Gabrielle has only recently learned that she has a sister born from an affair her father had while on the road, Keisha has known all about her sister—and (thanks to Instagram) her sister’s glamorous life with a successful career in public relations, a mansion, and a beautiful husband and child—for some time. When Keisha finally sees it all with her own eyes, she becomes obsessed with plans to claim everything that she believes should have been hers—but how far will envy take her? In this second novel of the Seven Deadly Sins series, the author exposes the toxicity of envying what others have while revealing the importance of family and community and the healing power of love and forgiveness.

For Discussion

1. When Gabrielle’s father asks her to come over at the start of the story, how does Gabrielle respond to what he tells her? Were you surprised by her reaction to the news he shares? Why or why not?

2. When Regan finds Keisha at the salon in Arkansas, what does Keisha say during their conversation that causes Regan to be suspicious of her? Keisha seems aware of how Regan feels in this moment, so why doesn’t Keisha explain herself?

3. How do Regan and Mauricio react to the news that Gabrielle has a sister and that she is coming to Los Angeles? What suggestions do they give Gabrielle? Why do you think their reaction is so different from Gabrielle’s? Whom do you agree with?

4. What did Keisha’s mom, Daisy, tell her as a child when she asked who her father was? Why do you think Daisy acted this way? How did Keisha find out the identity of her father? How did this journey to discover the truth and the knowledge of her father’s identity ultimately shape her life?

5. Why does Keisha feel indebted to Buck? How did the two meet? Would you say that they have a good relationship? Why or why not?

6. Consider how the novel paints a picture of sisterhood—both figurative and familial. How would you say that the novel defines sisterhood? What does it mean to be sisterly?

7. Keisha endures two major traumas throughout the book: years of abuse and an unspeakable loss. Why do you think that Keisha doesn’t share her secrets with anyone in her life? What might have allowed Keisha to feel more empowered to seek help and escape the abuse? How do these traumas affect her years later?

8. What does the Wilson family’s pastor say is the difference between envy and jealousy? Who in the congregation believes that this message is for them and what effect does it have?

9. Gabrielle’s relationship with Justus causes ongoing tension with her husband, Mauricio. Do you believe that Mauricio is simply envious of Justus or do you agree with his point that Gabrielle prioritizes her work above her family? What causes Mauricio to feel the way that he does about Gabrielle’s relationship with Justus? What does he propose will solve the problem and keep their marriage intact? Is it a good solution?

10. Consider how the book creates a dialogue around the theme of forgiveness. What examples of forgiveness are found in the book? What moves the characters to forgive one another—and themselves? Alternatively, what keeps or delays the characters from forgiving?

11. Daisy, Keisha, Gabrielle, and Regan all have very different ideas about motherhood and what it means to be a good mother. How do their motherhood styles differ? How are they similar? How does Keisha’s relationship with her daughter, and the tragedy that follows, shape her view of mothers?

12. What happens at Keisha’s sentencing? Were you surprised by the statements made by Regan and Gabrielle? Why or why not? Does Keisha ultimately show any remorse for her actions?

13. Did your feelings toward Keisha change after reading the final scenes of the novel? Why or why not? Do you feel empathy for her? How do you think her life will change after the sentencing?

Enhance Your Book Club

1. Have you ever experienced envy? What is something that you have felt envious of? Discuss how envy affected your life and sense of self. Did it affect anyone else? How did you overcome the feeling?

2. Read Lust, the first book in the author’s Seven Deadly Sins series, and compare and contrast it with Envy. What themes do the two novels share? What do the characters have in common? Are the characters ultimately able to avoid or overcome the sin that is central to each story? If so, how?

3. Visit the author’s website at to learn more about her and her more than twenty novels, including the NAACP Image Award–winning Stand Your Ground and the popular Jasmine Cox Larson Bush series.

A Conversation with Victoria Christopher Murray

What inspired you to write the Seven Deadly Sins series? Have you decided which sin you will write about next? Is there one sin that you feel most excited to write about?

Actually, another author suggested this to me years ago. And after I wrote Stand Your Ground, I needed to write a book that was very different from that one because it was tough to face the blank page after that. I thought about Lust, which I’d started years before and, with my agent and editor, decided to pursue the deadly sins series.

Why did you decide to tell Envy from two points of view rather than one?

I decided to write Envy from two points of view because I learned that the definition of envy usually involves two people. I was fascinated by that discovery and decided to approach the novel that way.

Did you find that you related to any particular character in Envy more than the others? If so, why?

Hmmm . . . that’s a good question. I really liked both Gabrielle and Keisha. Keisha had suffered so much loss in her life, yet she was surviving. And I loved the way Gabrielle reacted to having a sister. She opened her heart, following the example of her father—there were no strings, it was completely unconditional. I loved that. However, I really liked the feistiness and protectiveness of Regan. She’s a true friend.

Gabrielle and Mauricio are moved by the pastor’s sermon about envy and jealousy, which they feel is a message to them. Have you ever been moved by a message in this same way that felt very personal for you?

Oh my goodness! I don’t know anyone who’s been to church and hasn’t been moved by a service, thinking the message is just for them. I remember vividly sitting in the pews one Sunday in Los Angeles and my mouth being wide open. I had no idea how my pastor had gotten into my life that way but I wanted her out! LOL! No, personal messages are very good things. I think God meets all of us where we are.

Have you ever struggled with envy in your own life? If so, how did you overcome it?

When I was a little girl, my father told me to never compete with anyone else. He told me that if I did that, I’d never be my best because competing with someone else could hold me back. He said always make my today better than yesterday and work on making my tomorrow great. And then, if that wasn’t enough to keep me on the right track, when I found out in Sunday school that envy killed Jesus, I don’t think I’d ever been more afraid—I never wanted to have that in my heart. I’ve tried really hard to live without envy and I think I have. I have been accused of being envious once, and I prayed and really searched my heart to see if that was true. It wasn’t. I haven’t always gotten things right, but I’ve been able to keep envy from my heart.

A major theme of the book is sisterhood. Do you have any sisters or sister-friends? Who are some of your favorite examples of sisters or sister-friends? What would you say defines sisterhood?

I have three sisters—Michele, Lucia, and Cecile—and while I’ve always been close to my sisters, we’ve become so much closer since my mom passed away. That has been the only blessing of her passing and I know my mom (and dad) is really happy about that. She’d want us to look out for one another and we have done that. My closest sister-friend is ReShonda Tate Billingsley. I have a true sister relationship with her because we’ve been through everything together. She doesn’t judge me; I don’t judge her. We understand that we both have good days and bad. (Though she needs coffee every day!) And she’s been a great sister-friend because we can work for hours together and then go right out after that and play. (And who else but a sister-friend would take you to her family reunion in Smackover, Arkansas?) There is no one in my life that I laugh with more than ReShonda.

Who are some of the contemporary storytellers that you find most inspiring or compelling today and why?

I think my three favorite contemporary authors are Eric Jerome Dickey, Bernice McFadden and Tayari Jones. These are authors that I’ve held up to others as examples of who I want to be when I grow up. Not only are they great storytellers, but the beauty of their writing—there is music in their manuscripts and my challenge with getting through their books is that I read sentences over and over again. I read their work and I’m inspired to write.

What was the biggest challenge in writing Envy and how did you overcome it?

This was a story I wanted to write, so it wasn’t hard to get the story to unfold—except my mom passed away right in the middle of me writing this story. It is hard to write through tears and heartache. But the good thing about having a deadline like this while I was grieving was that it kept me out of bed . . . Not completely, but enough so that by the time I finished Envy, I felt like I could breathe a bit more. But it was tough.

Can you tell us about some of the projects that you are currently working on? What can your readers look forward to next?

I am more than halfway finished with Greed which is the next book in the series. The first three books—Lust, Envy, and Greed—have been optioned to become movies, so we’ll see what happens with that, but it’s exciting. And I plan on writing all seven of the seven deadly sins.

About The Author

Rochelle Scott Design and Photography

Victoria Christopher Murray is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Stand Your Ground, a Library Journal Best Book of the Year and NAACP Image Award Winner. Her novel, The Personal Librarian, which she cowrote with Marie Benedict was a Good Morning America Book Club pick.  Visit her website at

Product Details

  • Publisher: Gallery Books (June 19, 2018)
  • Length: 352 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781501183225

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Raves and Reviews

“[Envy] captures the drama of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills while also bringing this well-developed work of urban fiction to a satisfyingly redemptive conclusion.”
—Kristina Giovanni, Booklist

Praise for LUST

"Murray has penned hot, steamy scenes in which her protagonist’s imagination runs wild, followed by the consequences of her realizing her dangerous dreams. A jarring twist at the end has the reader wondering who the good guys really are." —Booklist (starred review)

"Murray mixes quite a bit of passion, a touch of treachery, and some good old-fashioned revenge."

– Library Journal

"A topsy-turvy tale of passion on steroids."

– Essence Magazine


"Stand Your Ground by Victoria Christopher Murray is a fact-to-fiction examination of the human condition. Using a vivid, realistic premise, she takes a 360-degree view to bring all sides to the forefront for us to enjoy, learn from, judge and celebrate. . . . The characters draw us in for debate and conversation long after the final sentence. Stand Your Ground has great literary relevance for our time."

– USA Today

“Murray, winner of several African American Literary Awards for fiction, powerfully captures the nuances and tragedies engendered by stand-your-ground laws. A must-read.”

– Booklist (starred review)

"Murray has written a tension-packed novel around the hot-buzz national topic of an unarmed black youth shot by a white male, an act then subjected to the Stand Your Ground rule as a legal defense tactic. . . . Murray’s writing admirably shows the often overlooked human emotions following racial violence. . . . The pulled-from-the headlines storyline will captivate readers."

– Library Journal (starred review)

“With artful descriptions, Victoria put me inside their hearts and minds. I did not just enjoy this read, I lived it."

– Michelle Lindo Rice, author of the Able To Love series

Praise for FOREVER AN EX

"Murray spices up her story line with plenty of juicy scandals. . . . Readers seeking an emotional tale with broad themes of trust, betrayal, and forgiveness will do well by choosing Murray's latest effort."

– Library Journal


“Murray creates a believable scenario of two people who never wanted to hurt their friends…. With extremely well-drawn characters, the story offers neither blame nor excuses, keenly depicting the heartbreaks caused by both death and betrayal.”

– Publishers Weekly

“Readers, be on the lookout for Victoria Christopher Murray’s Never Say Never. You’ll definitely need to have a buddy-reader in place for the lengthy discussion that is bound to occur."

– USA Today

Never Say Never is a testament to the magnificence of Murray’s storytelling gift! The author creates a surprisingly satisfying ending for each of the characters, even when their ‘sin’ seems unforgivable.”

– RT Book Reviews

Praise for THE EX-FILES

The Ex Files is a moving-on song in four-part harmony.”

– Donna Grant and Virginia DeBerry, authors of Tryin’ to Sleep in the Bed You Made

“Once again, Victoria Christopher Murray has crafted a compelling, intriguing, and page-turning story that stays with you long after you’ve finished the book. This wonderful tale of four different women from vastly different backgrounds shows how we can all be bound by the common thread of faith.”

– ReShonda Tate Billingsley, author of Everybody Say Amen and I Know I’ve Been Changed

“My girl, Victoria Christopher Murray has done it again! I love her work and this book will bless you, so read it.”

– Michele Andrea Bowen, author of Church Folk, Second Sunday, and Holy Ghost Corner


“I think I've found a new author to add to my list of favorites. . . . Murray knows how to tell a story.I can't wait to read other books by this author.”

– Debbie Norrell, New Pittsburgh Courier

“Murray’s characters are extremely likable. . . .This page-turning take on the Faustian theme should satisfy fans and newcomers alike.”

– WalMart BookPage


"Victoria is an exceptional writer who knows how to deliver a story."

– Kimberla Lawson Roby, author of Changing Faces

"Murray has always impressed me with her ability to live the life of her characters and make them come alive with each turning page."

– Indianapolis Recorder


“Realistic characters and a likable heroine make this title a winner for Murray’s strong following.”

– Library Journal

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More books from this author: Victoria Christopher Murray

More books in this series: 7 Deadly Sins