Simply one of the most powerful books I have ever read. I simply wept at the end, that’s how much this book touched me. And Stac…never again will one second of my life go by without you in it. We really are best friends forever!!!
1. One of the first things Tully says to Kate is a lie. Indeed, Tully is quick to lie throughout her life. Do you think this trait is her way of hiding the shames in her past or is it a willful reinterpretation of self? Do these lies and manipulations, big and small, help her ultimately to be more honest about whom she is or do they undermine her ability to face her own shortcomings? Tully is ashamed of her life and that is why she lies. She lies to cover up things so people won’t judge her. She understands who she is at the end of the book…and owns herself and her life when she goes on the air live with no make-up.
2. From her earliest memory, Tully feels abandoned by her mother and father. How does this sense of being unwanted influence her life? How does her troubled relationship with her mother lead to the decisions she makes in her life? Do children have an obligation of some kind to forgive their parents, even in the face of repeated disappointment? How much do you think childhood heartaches make us who we are? Tully was never wanted by her mother, so she needed to be wanted by everyone else, that’s why she chose the career she did. As adults, we can not change who our parents are. Either you accept them and love them anyway, or you simply cut them out of your life. Childhood heartaches mold us into the very people we are.
3. The Kate-Johnny-Tully triangle is one of the fundamental underpinnings of the novel. How does Johnny really feel about Tully? How does Tully feel about him? Still to the last page of the book, i expected something to happen between them. I am impressed and awed that Johnny truly stuck his ground and loved only Katie. Johnny admires Tully, but loves Katie.
4. Kate believes she is Johnny’s second choice for love. How does Johnny contribute to her insecurities? How did Tully? How much of a relationship is set in the beginning and how are changes made as we grow? Johnny contributes by allowing his admiration and adoration of Tully cloud his judgements at times. Tully secretly wants what Katie has even Johnny. How much of a relationship is set in the beginning…amazing question…which I have no logical answer.
5. When Chad leaves Tully, she rationalizes away her broken heart by saying,”if really loved me, he would wait for me.” What does this reveal about Tully’s perception of romantic love? How do these perceptions setthe stage for the rest of her life? Do you believe that Tully will ever fall in love? Until Tully learns to love herself and allows herself to be vulnerable, she will never fall in love. She was only herself with Katie.
6. Near the end of the novel, when their friend is on the rocks, both women feel wronged. Certainly Kate has ample reason to feel betrayed, but what about Tully’s similar belief? Do you understand why Tully was upset, too? Do you believe that a friend should always reach out, even when great pain has been caused? Or do you believe that true friends would never hurt each other? I believe a friend should always reach out. True friends will do their best not to hurt each other, but we are human, and eventually someone’s feelings will be hurt and regardless if it’s a hurt feeling or a great pain, a friend should reach out!!
7. If you could think of one word that personified the seventies, the eighties,the nineties, and the new millennium (so far), what would those words be? 70s – freedom; 80s – awesome; 90s – heartbreaking; 20s – stretching. Freedom…because I had no cares in the 70s. Awesome…because i had no idea how much fun i truly had back then. Heartbreaking….because I suffered many heartaches in the 90s. Stretching…growing…expanding…these are all things i have done in the new millennium…painful but intoxicating at the same time.
8. At which moment in the novel did you first notice a hint of tension between Tully and Kate? Who do you feel was to blame for this turning point? When Tully always wanted Katie to work with her as a reporter and Katie wanted to go her own way.
9. Music plays an important role in this novel. What musical memories do you have of your teen years, your twenties, and today? Do you feel, as we get older, that music plays less of a role in our lives? Why do you feel that music so profoundly impacts us when we’re “coming of age?” Music, regardless of my age, plays an enormous part of my life. That’s one of the things i loved about this book, the tribute to music!! Music transcends, takes us back and captures our emotions over and over again.
10. What do you feel Kate was most jealous about with regards to Tully? And what was Tully the most envious of in Kate’s life? Jealousy is often wanting what we cannot have. Do you feel that these characters truly could not have the things they wanted? If not, why not? Katie was jealous that Johnny wanted Tully first. Tully was jealous that Katie had love. Tully could have had love, but she could never let her guard down with anyone but Katie.
11. Under what circumstances do you feel a betrayal is unforgivable? Do you feel that any of these characters crossed that line? There is nothing unforgivable.
12. What role do you see Tully playing in Mara’s life, after the pages of the novel are closed? After the pages of the novel are closed, I imagine that Tully tries to help Marah as much as possible. She will help them all, Johnny, Marah, William & Lucas. She will never fill the void of Katie, but she will take care of them. She is loyal to Katie without question.