Heartstrings – Questions for Book Clubs and Groups

  1. cover-Heartstrings-200x300This story deals with a major mistake by a loving husband, one most women would not accept, but the majority (would you believe over eight percent?) continue to stay in the marriage. Why do you think this statistic has remained true for more than thirty years?
  2. What is it about Joel that he succumbs to the urgings of his former girlfriend? And, what prompts Rachel to go after him? Is it simply because what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas?
  3. Angela discovers Joel’s “mistake” quickly. How would you feel in her shoes? Would you walk out on your husband at that point or do what she does?
  4. Joel and Angela are the loving parents of a pair of delightful twins. Are they the only reason Angela returns home with Joel?
  5. Angela is deeply conflicted when she discovers she’s pregnant again, not something she expected in her forties. In her shoes, what would you have done?
  6. Joel takes Angela to the Black Swan Inn to get away from work and to try to make amends with her. How well does this work?
  7. What early signs of depression do you detect in Angela’s behavior? Should Joel have picked up on them and if so, why do you suppose he does not?
  8. Marriage counseling can often help a couple resolve the issues that are pushing them apart. How do these counselors, Gwen and Aaron, begin to help Joel and Angela heal their trust issues?
  9. Angela uses sex to confirm that Joel still loves her. How many women feel this way? What’s wrong with the assumption that making love repairs relationships fraught with dissension?
  10. When Dennison Willoughby comes on the scene, Joel becomes jealous and he demands to know if Angela still has feelings for the man she had trained with years earlier. Does Joel have a right to be jealous?
  11. When Rachel shows up and demands that Joel give her brother a break when he hires Joel as the veterinarian to care for the animals in his gentleman’s llama farm, Angela’s slowing building trust in Joel is shaken to the core. Does she have a right to wonder again if Joel will cheat? How do these questions feed her depressive condition?
  12. When Amanda goes into labor, she realizes she hasn’t cleared with the local docs her preferred birth plan, which goes out the window anyway when she begins bleeding heavily. How well do you think Joel handles the situation, especially when he finds out Dennison is the OB on call the afternoon that Angela is wheeled into the hospital in need of an emergency caesarean section?
  13. After their daughter is born, how does Joel show his love for his new daughter?
  14. What is it about caring for a newborn that spirals Amanda deeper into depression?
  15. Why does Amanda, a family doctor, refuse to take the meds her doctor and friend has prescribed for her? How typical is such behavior among physicians?
  16. How do the family counselors finally get through to Angela about both her relationship with Joel and how he can show her he loves her, and about what she needs to do to regain balance in her life?
  17. How many women do you know who have difficulty maintaining a career and a fulfilling family life? What should these women keep in mind as they balance the many demands made of them?
  18. What, ultimately, keeps Joel and Angela together?

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