Book Club Guide


  1. When Joe leaves Sheila, she is surprised. Based on what you learn about their relationship, do you think Sheila should have been so surprised? If Sheila were your friend, would you have seen that her relationship wasn’t as perfect as she thought? Would you have said anything to her?
  2. Sheila and Ruth knew each other for years but their friendship had not fully developed because Joe didn’t want to spend time with an “old person”. Do you feel the same as Joe about talking with an elderly person or do you enjoy hearing stories about the past?
  3. Ruth enjoys having Sheila visit because she enjoys taking care of someone while Sheila enjoys being taken care of. Which do you prefer?
  4. What do you think drives Alessandra?
  5. Speaking of Alessandra, have you worked for someone like her? If you had a boss like her now would you stay or would you quit?
  6. Do you think Crystal represents the values of most people her age or is she this way because of her privileged background? Do you think Sheila could have handled Crystal in a way to make her behave?
  7. We learn that Baxter gave Paul the General Manager position because Paul’s father asked for a favor and Paul can help Baxter fix his problem. Do you think Paul has been manipulated his entire life or has he had to be protected from his own stupidity?
  8. Both Sheila and Ruth work for bossy, harsh women yet Ruth demands to be respected. Why do you think Sheila couldn’t do that for herself? What do you think Sheila’s upbringing was like?
  9. When Ruth’s family goes to Germany, the events in Europe are unknown to Americans. Do you think that situation could happen in today’s society or has the Internet really allowed us to know everything happening in the world today?
  10. Ruth’s love story with Vincenzo shows Sheila what love is supposed to be and how important it is to move on. Did you learn anything from Ruth and Vincenzo’s love story?
  11. Was there someone in your life, like Ruth, that was a major influence? Who was s/he and in what way?

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