Book Club Questions:
- Sylvie points out the differences in men and women when she is appalled by Dan’s metaphor for their marriage. He compares their marriage to a mortgage (Kinsella 20). Did you note any other differences in the ways these two deal with issues in the book?
- In the text, Sylvie and Dan grapple with the longevity of their marriage. When you think of the marriage vow, “‘Till death us do part,” what do you envision that to mean (Kinsella 23)?
- Dan and Sylvie both note the power of bathtime. What are some routines we have that make our lives livable (Kinsella 26)?
- One of the ways the couple thinks about handling the years they have left together is with travel. What would you do if you had unlimited time and funds (Kinsella 35)?
- The Latin phrase “Vincit qui se vincit” means He conquers who conquers himself (Kinsella 45). How does this play a role in the book and in life?
- The notion of beards being sexy or stupid is brought up by Sylvie. Where do you fall on this idea? (Kinsella 46)
- The next-door-neighbor Tilda is described as “impulsive, demonstrative, opinionated… best friend” (Kinsella 46). What role does Tilda play in Sylvie’s life? Is she a good or bad influence?
- At one point, Sylvie worries that Dan might be “having a midlife crisis” (Kinsella 66). Is this a real thing or only a myth?
- One of Dan’s surprises is a snake. (Kinsella 146) How would you react to such a gift?
- Sylvie struggles to get over the death of her father. She says, “I still wake up some days and just for a few seconds I’ve forgotten, until it hits me in the guts again” (Kinsella 15). Tell of a time you’ve had the same experience.
- Dan’s mother offers Sylvie advice on how to keep her marriage to Dan working. She claims that having separate interests is the key (Kinsella 252). What do you think?
- How would you have felt about the first Mary? Would you welcome into your home your husband’s ex-girlfriend?
- Sylvie invades Dan’s privacy a number of times. She looks into his google searches (Kinsella 275), and she steals his keys (Kinsella 290). Is she right in doing so?
- What do you make of the Lynn- Jess friend-imaginary friend situation? Would you ever act like Sylvie’s mother?
- When it’s revealed that Sylvie’s father may have had an affair with a 16-year-old girl, what was your reaction? Do you believe he did or didn’t? (Kinsella 339)
- In the end, Sylvie says, “If love is easy… you’re not doing it right” (Kinsella 391) and “nothing changes if nothing changes” (Kinsella 409) Agree or disagree?
- It is implied that fear is often greater than reality. Have you ever experienced this in your life?
- Professor and Owen Relationship: – When Sylvie admires the longevity of their relationship, the professor replies, “I’m an early riser, so I watch Owen wake up every morning… love is finding one person infinitely fascinating.” It’s in the small things. Agree or disagree.
- How did you feel about the pacing of this book? Was it enjoyable? Who would you recommend it to?
- The takeaways from this book… dealing with trust and perception.
Next Meeting: Sunday, November 11, 2018, 2:00 PM
Next Book: Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton