Family Bonds – Questions for Book Clubs and Groups

  1. FamilyBonds_MEDChet comes from a wealthy family and on the surface, he has everything. But what about his family situation is hidden from others and how does that inform how he interacts with others? With Jane when she meets him at the drugstore? With Frannie?
  2. What does Chet’s relationship with his cousin, Ashley, tell you about him?
  3. What do you think of Bert? Why is he so protective of Jane?
  4. Chet and his father have a less-than-positive relationship. Why would a father beat up his son and then pay the speeding ticket Chet has received?
  5. What about Chet’s return to college informs the reader about his goal for himself? What about his relationship with Jane is differ-ent from his relationship with Frannie?
  6. Jane takes a chance when she agrees to go to Chet’s apartment to celebrate his getting a scholarship. How well do you think she handles Chet’s mother’s unexpected arrival?
  7. After Chet brings her home from a movie and dinner, Bert inter-rupts their kisses and tells Jane he doesn’t trust Chet. What about Jane’s reaction to Bert tells you how she feels about him and about Chet?
  8. Even though in her early twenties, Jane is an innocent. When Chet intervenes in what could have been a bad situation, how does Jane feel about herself? About Chet?
  9. Bert is ill. Who have you known who attempted to hide an illness from you, from his or her loved ones? How did others learn the truth and how did that knowledge affect their relationship?
  10. When Bert runs into Chet and accepts a ride home from him, how does their relationship begin to change?
  11. Chet invites Jane to his family’s barbeque, but Richard Barton is less than welcoming to Jane. What do his remarks to her tell the reader about him? Should Jane have confronted him? Why do you think she did not?
  12. Jane observes a young woman coming on to Chet. How does that make Jane feel?
  13. Bert’s symptoms become more obvious and Jane finds out when a nurse calls the house. How would you feel if you learned a loved one had a serious illness, but was refusing surgery?
  14. Jane decides to ask Chet’s father if he would buy the duplex she has inherited on her mother’s death. What does her encounter with Mr. Barton reveal about her? About him?
  15. Jane learns that Bert may need hospice care. Have you ever known someone who went into hospice? How did other family members react to this situation?
  16. After Jane moves into a new apartment, she finds her mother’s diary. What it reveals is heartbreaking for what it says about Jane’s mother and what it means for her relationship with Chet. Do you agree with Jane that she must break off what she thought was the love of her life? Why or why not?
  17. Chet talks with his mother, but Jane is with him when they tell her about Chet’s father’s actions with Jane’s mother. What does Chet’s mother’s reaction tell you about her?
  18. After Bert dies, Chet takes Jane home so she won’t be alone. She asks him to make love to her. Should she have done so? When Chet’s father shows up, Jane threatens him. What does his reac-tion tell you about him?
  19. Chet’s mother, Trish, has it out with Richard, now that she knows everything. They’ve been married more than twenty years. Should she divorce Richard?
  20. When Chet and Jane go to his family’s beach house, he proposes. Not a surprise, but when they meet a man on the beach who seems to remember Chet’s mother, what is revealed is a shock to everyone. Was Chet right to insist that his mother come down to the beach? Why or why not?

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