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About The Book

When baby Max is kidnapped during Mardi Gras, Jane and Kyle Madison’s life falls apart. What their daughter, Melanie, does next is unthinkable.

Max vanished into thin air while in the care of his teenage sister, Melanie. Six months later, the family is a shadow of its former self: Melanie blames herself and is acting out and rebellious; Jane is obsessed with finding Max; and Kyle, a lawyer, struggles to cope with his own grief—and a persistent suspicion that one of his cases is connected to Max’s disappearance.

With her family in turmoil and her marriage on the rocks, Jane thinks things can’t get any worse. Then when an affair and an unexpected pregnancy threaten to tear the Madisons’ lives apart, an anonymous caller leads to a break in the case. Can a second kidnapping bring their family back together?

Reading Group Guide

The suggested discussion questions for Missing Max by Karen Young 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. 

1.  Jane and Kyle faced parents’ ultimate fear—a kidnapped child.  Do you think a strong faith is essential to coping with tragedy?  What about people who aren’t believers?

2.  Christine tried to persuade Jane that faith would help her through this nightmare, but Jane hardened her heart.  Have you known a friend going through a terrible tragedy?  How did you help?

3.  To cope, Jane volunteered at Child Search, a group who helped other people who’d lost a child.  Kyle felt rejected and withdrew into his job.  Melanie acted out with rebellion and anger.  Each coped in different ways.  Was there a better way to deal with tragedy?  Or was the situation simply too horrible?  How would you cope in a similar situation?

4.  Jane’s career suffered when she neglected her job by throwing herself into volunteering at Child Search.  Have you experienced a situation that affected your job performance?  How were you able to get beyond that?

5.  Max was taken when Melanie turned her back briefly.  As a parent, have you done the same thing?  Looking back, do you recall a careless moment when the unthinkable could have happened, but thankfully didn’t?

6.  Was it believable that Melanie got pregnant to “replace Max?”

7.  Were Jane and Kyle’s reaction to Melanie’s pregnancy typical of most parents?

8.   What theme came through to you when reading Missing Max?

9.  What is your belief when dealing with the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people? 

About The Author

Photograph by Alisa Murray

Karen Young is the international bestselling author of thirty-eight novels. 
She has more than ten million books in print and is the recipient of the coveted RITA award from Romance Writers of America and the Career Achievement and Reviewer’s Choice awards from Romantic Times magazine. She is known as “a spellbinding storyteller who writes with sensitivity about issues facing contemporary women.” Karen's career in writing fiction for women has run the gamut from traditional romance to mystery thrillers to inspirational fiction. In her relationship-driven plots, she creates characters that could easily be her readers, and then places them in extraordinary circumstances while adding suspense to the mix.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Howard Books (June 15, 2010)
  • Length: 336 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781439189405

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Raves and Reviews

“Karen Young is a spellbinding storyteller who explores complex emotions with great skill.”

– Romantic Times

“Young’s romance is suspenseful and entrancing.”

– Booklist

"Readers of modern-day fiction will enjoy this tale of heart-rending emotion, forgiveness, suspense and high drama."

– Christian Retailing

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