It's a major event in Oakdale-a black-tie gala honoring the Marron family's fifty years of support for Oakdale's Memorial Hospital. But high spirits are cut short when patron of honor Gregory Marron Jr. is delivered in his limo dead on arrival. Three women in the crowd have reasons to suspect murder. Now Katie, Maddie, and Carly, each of them desperate to protect the man they love, are crossing paths in an investigation that's uncovering more poisonous secrets in Oakdale than they ever imagined. The means, motives, and suspects are shifting with each new twist-and one of these determined women may not live to see the killer revealed.
1. In the prologue and first few chapters of the book, we learn that Katie, Carly, and Maddie each suspect the men they love of murdering Gregory Marron. What are the reasons for each of their suspicions? What events from their pasts contribute to their doubts? Do you think they are justified in believing that Mike, Jack, and Henry may be guilty? Which woman do you think is most justified in her doubts?
2. Katie and Mike are at odds for most of the novel, and it takes the help of other characters, such as Carly, Nancy Hughes, and Ben Harris to help them reconcile. How does each of these characters help Katie or make her realize something about herself and Mike? Were you surprised that Carly is the one to say to Katie: "Tough luck, Katie. Nobody comes with a guarantee. You either love the Mike of today, or you don't?"
3. We learn a great deal about Gregory Marron and his unsavory, selfish behavior. Do you think he deserved to die?
4. Consider the contrast between the lives of the Marron family and the three other families featured in the novel: Jack and Carly Snyder and their children, Katie and Mike, and Henry and Maddie Coleman. The Marrons have wealth and privilege, but they are acrimonious while the "ordinary" families share love and loyalty. In what ways do the Marrons prove their selfishness? In what ways do the others prove their love and support for each other?
5. The three female main characters, Katie, Carly, and Maddie, are flawed, yet they are also sympathetic. Discuss their negative characteristics and how they manage to redeem themselves, if at all.
6. Nancy Hughes is described as "Oakdale's ultimate secret weapon. The woman who knew and saw all." In what ways is Nancy instrumental in solving the murder of Gregory Marron?
7. If you and your group are fans of "As the World Turns," discuss how the book added to your experience of watching the show. What did you learn about the characters that you didn't know before? Did the characters act in ways that you expected from watching them on the show, or were you ever surprised? Discuss how the experience of reading Oakdale Confidential would be different if you weren't familiar with the show.
8. Friendship plays an important role in the book. How does Mike's old friendship with Ben Harris play a key role? Maddie longs for friends and a more "normal" high school experience; what kind of alternative friendships does she find over the course of the book? Carly and Katie don't begin as friends, but by the end of the novel they have become much closer. Do you think that bond will last?
9. The killer admits to having tried to kill Katie twice, first by running her down outside the vet's office (Sadie was killed instead) and then by flipping her car. Why do you think the killer focuses solely on Katie and not the other characters who could implicate him/her: Henry, Maddie, or even members of the Marron family?
10. At the end of his/her confession the killer says, "If it weren't for Katie and company, I'd have let this whole thing go." Do you believe the killer? How did the killer continue to manipulate people even after achieving his/her goal?
11. Towards the end of the book, Carly tells Katie, "People have a lot of different reasons for keeping secrets." What secrets do each of the characters keep? Why? How do those secrets contribute to the suspense and movement of the plot? Consider Mike and Henry's wine bottle scheme, Carly's former affair with Gregory Marron, Aurora Marron's reasons for marrying Gregory, and Henry and Monica's hidden relationship. What other secrets are kept?
12. Katie Perreti wrote Oakdale Confidential -- what do you think her reasons were? Does she want to reveal the truth, or might there be something more self-serving behind it? What do Katie's past actions suggest that her reasons might be? Does anything in her past suggest why Katie decided to write this book?
Enhance your Book Club Experience:
Brush up on the latest "As the World Turns" developments or character bios by visiting the website at http://www.cbs.com/daytime/atwt/.
Tape an episode of "As the World Turns" and watch it with your book club. Compare and contrast the book characters with their television counterparts.
Write the cast or send a photo to be autographed. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or "As the World Turns" Attention: [Actor's name] 1268 East 14th Street Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230