As the story begins, we find out that twenty-three-year-old Bethany has unsuccessfully tried out for a TV talent show. She has thoughts of returning to Carolina and looking for a new career. How exactly is she feeling? Do you think Bethany could be happy back home and in a career other than music?
After having thoughts she believes are wrong, Bethany says she had “a bit of a combustive feud—almost like the devil and angel resting on my shoulders.” What role does religion and Bethany’s belief system play in this novel? How strong is Bethany’s religious faith?
Bethany and Ryan fall for one another while working/writing together. Have you ever had a work relationship that turned into something more?
Why is Ryan attracted to Bethany? Do you think his reasons are the same as Bethany’s?
What do you think of the choice Ryan and Kari made regarding not announcing the divorce? Do you think they were right in keeping it a secret from the public?
Bethany’s parents sheltered her growing up. What were the different ways? Were they right or wrong to do so? Did you lead a sheltered childhood? Or, on the opposite end, were you given too much freedom?
Describe Kari and Ryan’s relationship with one another. How is Ryan as an ex-husband and as a co-parent? How is Kari as an ex-wife and as a co-parent?
How are Joel and Sallie affected by their parents’ divorce? Do you have any experience with children and divorce?
What are your thoughts regarding Andre? Why did he and Bethany get together? Have you ever been with someone that was a bad decision? If so, why was it not a good thing? Were you able to salvage anything from the experience?
At the daycare, Bethany doesn’t understand why Ryan won’t let Kari fend for herself. Does Ryan’s explanation make sense? How much of it has to do with the kids … how much about Kari and the press?
Both Ryan and Kari’s upbringings have molded them into the adults they are. What are the positive outcomes? What pressures do they feel from their families?
Why does Bethany get angry at Ryan toward the end of the novel? Do you think her anger is justified?
Two of the big themes in this book are rejection and trust. Which characters have felt rejection and how or by whom? How does trust affect Bethany and Ryan’s relationship?
Bethany makes an important choice at the end of the novel. Would you have made the same decision if you were in her position?
In what ways does Bethany change over the course of the novel? In what ways does she stay the same? Make predictions about what will happen to her, Ryan, and the kids in Book Two.