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  1. Who did you identify with more, Josie or Meredith? Why? Did that change at all over the course of the novel?
  2. Josie almost writes off her relationship with Pete because she doesn’t feel enough of a spark, but he argues that chemistry can develop over time. Do you agree with him? 
  3. Nolan tells Meredith he initially decided to hide the truth about what happened the night Daniel died because it wouldn’t have helped anyone. Would you have done the same in his position? When is keeping such a big secret from a loved one justifiable?
  4. Daniel’s death is a source of great guilt for many of the characters in this novel. Compare and contrast the different ways that guilt manifests itself in their choices. How do you think Meredith and Josie’s lives might be different if Daniel were still alive?
  5. Do you think that Josie and Meredith have been passive in their lives? In your opinion, have they dealt with the tragedy of Daniel’s death, or has that event defined the adults they have become? 
  6. Discuss the theme of motherhood in the novel. What does being a mother mean to Meredith, to Josie, and to Elaine? 
  7. Many of the characters in the novel are struggling with the idea that the life they’re living doesn’t look like the one they imagined or hoped for themselves. Have you ever felt this way? Using examples either from the book or from your own experience, discuss how that feeling can be both a negative and a positive force.
  8. Another theme running through the book is the illusion of perfection, especially in our current Instagram/Facebook-filtered world. Discuss which characters in the book struggle the most with this phenomenon. How do Josie’s and Meredith’s assumptions about other people’s lives affect how they live theirs? 
  9. What do you think it is that allows Josie to finally get over her feelings for Will, after holding on to them for so many years? Do you have a Will in your past?
  10. Imagine for a moment that your best friend or sister tells you they are having a baby on their own, as Josie does in the book. How would you react? What would you say to her? What would you want to hear if you were the one making that decision?
  11. Why do you think Meredith decides not to leave Nolan right away? Would you have made the same choice in her position? Do you view her as strong or cowardly?
  12. At the very end of the book, Josie thinks to herself that love and forgiveness are often one and the same. Do you agree or disagree with that sentiment? What are some examples of forgiveness in the novel?
  13. Meredith struggles with the idea of taking time for herself, worrying that both her family and her career won’t survive without her. Do you think this is a common fear for women today? What do you think of Amy’s argument that “If you end up happier…this could really be a gift to Harper in the long run.”(p. 230)?
  14. This novel doesn’t end with a neat “happily ever after” – both Meredith and Josie make their decisions, but the reader doesn’t know what the ultimate outcome for each will be. Why do you think the author chose to end the novel where she does? What do you imagine happens next for these characters?