1. Discuss how Wiersema weaves together the two storylines in this novel. How did alternating between the two affect your reading? What are some differences between the two narrative styles?
2. Share your thoughts on Chris and Jacqui’s relationship, and the things that have brought them to the brink of separation. What sort of resolution, if any, do they come to by the end of the novel? What do you think the future holds in store?
3. What does Matthias’s presence mean to David as he fulfills his quest in To the Four Directions?
4. Talk about how selflessness, and self-sacrifice, are exhibited in this novel.
5. Some reviewers have characterized Bedtime Story as a horror novel – the story of a parent’s worst nightmare – while others would consider it a work of fantasy, or straight-up literary fiction. How useful are genre labels when you are discussing the novels you read? Would one label or another ever deter you from trying a book?
6. Explore the many parallels between the tale of the king and queen and Dafyd’s quest at the heart of To the Four Directions, and the “real-life” story of Lazarus and Cora Took and Chris’s search for answers.
7. Chris’s search for information about Lazarus Took turns into a crash course in Victorian and twentieth-century occultism. Talk about how Wiersema uses historical details about ritualistic societies like Took’s to ramp up the tension in Bedtime Story.
8. How has David changed by the end of the novel? What do you think his return to everyday life will be like?
9. E-mail, newspaper accounts and columns, journal entries . . . In addition to the novel within this novel, the written word plays a major role in the unfolding of this story. And the fact that David, who is struggling with dyslexia in real life, can in fact read is something he hides from Captain Bream. Talk about the importance of writing – and being able to read – in Bedtime Story.