BOOK CLUB QUESTIONS FOR THOSE PEOPLE BEHIND US
1. Were any of the characters in Those People Behind Us similar to people you know or did they remind you of someone you know?
2. Did this book seem realistic?
3. Did you have a favorite character? A least favorite character?
4. How important is it to you that fictional characters be likeable?
5. Several of the characters in Those People Behind Us make reckless decisions. Did those choices prevent you from rooting for them to succeed?
6. Did the multiple points of view help or hinder your enjoyment of the novel?
7. Did you race to the end, or was it more of a slow burn?
8. Are there any characters you wish you could have given advice to? What would you tell them?
9. How did the setting impact the narrative? Even if you don’t live in a beach town, were there other similarities in the book to the place where you live?
10. What was the most memorable or shocking scene or twist in the story and why?
11. Did the book change your opinion about anything, or did you learn something new from it? If so, what?
12. What does “community” mean to you?
13. Who “belongs” in a community? Everyone? Only those who can afford to live there?
14. How would you adapt this book into a movie? Who would you cast in the leading roles
15. What was the most satisfying or disappointing part of the story and why?
16. How did you feel about the ending? Was it satisfying or did you want more?
17. What do you think happens to the characters after the novel concludes?
18. Would you recommend this book to someone? Why or why not (or with what caveats)?
Questions for "The Lockhart Women"
1. Where were you on the night of the OJ Simpson slow speed chase? Where were you on the day he was declared innocent? What was the reaction of those around you?
2. “Flashbulb” moments (like JFK’s assassination, 911, the Challenger explosion, the recent January 6 insurrection at the Capital) are pivotal life moments that everyone seems to remember and wants to talk about. Why do you think that is?
3. Why are we so fascinated by celebrities? Is there a particular celebrity you feel as if you know? Would you want to meet them?
4. Media coverage of the Simpson trial consumes Brenda Lockhart’s life. How does news coverage or today’s social media impact your life? Do you feel like you should limit your exposure, or do you find it necessary to stay connected constantly?
5. Have you ever regretted decisions made early in your life? (getting married, starting a family, choosing a career) How did you deal with this regret? Did you suck it up and carry on or did you make a change
6. Change can be difficult, especially when it’s unexpected. How do you deal with change? Do you find it difficult? Do you have any tips on how to deal with change?
7. Did you find the characters in The Lockhart Women to be likeable or unlikeable? How important is it to you that fictional characters be likeable?
8. The Lockhart women make reckless choices with drugs, sex, and crime. Did their choices prevent you from rooting for them to succeed?
9. All of the Lockhart women keep secrets. Have you ever kept one? Even from yourself?
10. Did the multiple points of view help or hinder your enjoyment of the novel?
11. Allison says early in the story that her only ambition is to be a wife and mother. How would you feel if your child had the same ambition or one that you didn’t understand or condone
12. Have you ever shoplifted or known someone who did? Why do you think people shoplift? Why do you think we have so many euphemisms (pickpocket, light fingered, kleptomaniac, shoplifting) for this kind of theft?
13. What does it mean to be in a family? How do you experience love and connection?
14. Does Peggy ever forgive Allison? Does Allison feel worthy of forgiveness? Do you believe that forgiveness benefits the forgiver or the transgressor?
15. The epigraph to the Lockhart Women recommends keeping our gratitude higher than our expectations. Expectations can cause problems: if they’re too high, we’re disappointed; If they’re too low, we might not challenge ourselves. Where do you generally lie on the continuum, or does it depend on the circumstances? What have you learned about gratitude and expectations in general?
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