Crossing Paths – Questions for Book Clubs and Groups

1. This story is a sequel to its predecessor, Family Bonds. If you have not read that book, do you feel you should have done so in order to understand Trish’s marriage and her past relationship with Denis, the father of Chet? Why or why not?

2. Trish has known about her husband’s infidelities for some time. What has prevented her, until recently, to divorce him?

3. What about her family situation is hidden not talked about, and how do these secrets inform how Trish interacts with others? Which of these secrets has she shared with her next door neighbor, Bitsy?

4. What does Trish’s relationship with her sons, Chet and Eddie, tell you about her?

5. How is it possible that Trish never acknowledged Eddie’s sexual orientation until after she meets Alex?

6. Trish and Denis were lovers more than a quarter-century earlier. What is holding her back from re-establishing that relationship with him?

7. What about Denis’s conversations with his cousin, Noreen, informs the reader about his relationship with Patricia? What can you discern about his relationship with York and little Beatrice?

8. What was your reaction to how Richard treats Eddie at the office? What does it inform you about Richard’s life view?

9. Trish first meets Alex when she goes to Eddie’s condo after being locked out of her house by Richard. In what way(s) is her reaction to Alex realistic? How would you have reacted in a similar situation? Why?

10. What do you think of Malvina? What can you derive of her personality from Trish’s encounters with her? Should Trish have followed her advice and secured an official separation from Richard in addition to suing him for divorce? Why or why not?

11. What do you think of Erik Beebe? When did you suspect that he wasn’t entirely truthful with Trish?

12. What about Imogene Sharp, Trish’s other neighbor? In what way(s) is she different from Bitsy and Trish?

13. Denis observes Erik Beebe with Patricia, and concludes he is kissing her. How does that make Denis feel?

14. Beau James and his architecture partner learn of the real conditions of the land parcel for which Ed has invited them to make residential plans. Do you agree with their decision to pull out of the project? Why or why not?

15. Ed confronts his father about the land parcel. Should he have resigned the company? What might you have recommended to him had he asked your advice?

16. In what way(s) has Richard created an untenable situation for his son by not being truthful with him? How is his relationship with his son further eroded when Richard learns that Ed is gay, and why is that so difficult for Richard to accept? Do you know any men who would harbor a similar reaction?

17. When Noreen tells Trish not to come to San Francisco to see Denis, how does Trish respond? What would you have suggested to Trish to try to win over Noreen?

18. What do you think of Richard and Denis’s encounter when Richard suddenly shows up during Denis’s visit with Trish? Should Denis have reacted as he did and what does this tell you about him?

19. Should Trish have made love to Denis when he visits her? Or should she have waited until after her divorce from Richard is final?

20. After the divorce is final, Trish goes back to the cottage, but her conversation with Denis results in misunderstanding and she flees his cottage. Should she have stayed and asked for clarification? Why do you suppose she reacts as she does to his reaction to her anger?

21. Trish almost drowns when her kayak is swamped and Denis pulls her out of the surf. In what way(s) is a metaphor for what almost happened to Denis 25+ years earlier?

22. How does her almost-drowning clarify Trish’s thoughts about herself, about Denis, and about their relationship?

23. What do you think of Ed and Alex’s wedding scene? Should Trish have invited the man she sees in the trees to join the rest of the wedding party? Why or why not?