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These Discussion Questions contain spoilers. You may wish to review the questions after you’ve finished reading the book(s).
Questions for Discussion: Sister Dear
How much did Eleanor’s upbringing influence her personality, behavior and obsessions? If her childhood had been different, what might have happened instead?
What do you make of Bruce and Sylvia keeping Stan’s identity from Eleanor? In what situation do you think that choice might be justified?
How do you think the story would have unfolded if Eleanor hadn’t taken Victoria’s ring? Did that moment decide her fate, or do you think it was something else? If so, what?
What do you think Eleanor was most terrified of? How did Victoria use those fears to her advantage? What, if anything, was Victoria afraid of?
Victoria and Eleanor both seemed to turn out like their mothers, whether they wanted to or not. Might this be inevitable? Do you think sociopathy runs in either of the families, and if so, what are you basing that observation on?
Did your allegiances switch from Eleanor to Victoria or vice versa—and back again? Why and when? Was there a point where you felt sorry for Eleanor or do you believe she got what she deserved?
What scene was the most pivotal in the story for you? How would the novel have changed if it had been different or hadn’t taken place? What did you expect to happen?
What surprised you the most? What didn’t you see coming? What was obvious?
At what point did you realize Victoria had manipulated Eleanor into doing her bidding? What could Eleanor have done to escape her half sister’s clutches and when?
At the end, Victoria says, “This whole ‘good triumphs bad’ shit is nothing but an illusion, a complete fantasy. It’s what people tell themselves, and each other, to hide from the truth because admitting the world is a despicable place, full of greed and hatred, is too terrifying for most.” What do you make of that?
How do you feel about stories where evil wins, at least temporarily?
What do you expect will happen next to Eleanor, Lewis and Victoria? How do you think Gemma will grow up? How much impact will Victoria have on her? What can Eleanor do to protect her daughter?
At what point in the story did you suspect Grace wasn’t hiding the father’s identity, but the mother’s? What tipped you off, and how did you feel about that twist?
If you were Josh, what would you have immediately done when you realized Logan wasn’t Grace’s child? What would have pushed you to make that choice?
Josh blamed himself for his parents’ and Grace’s deaths. What kept him from spiraling downward after Grace died, and how hard do you think he had to fight to not spiral again? What might have happened if he did?
Josh intended to only give Logan up if his parents were good, decent people. What did you make of that decision? If Logan had been Charlie Abbott or Alex King, what should Josh have done, and why?
What scene was the most pivotal in the story for you? How would the novel have changed if it had been different, or hadn’t taken place? What did you expect to happen?
Given Emily’s circumstances—her family history, and what she thought she did to Alex—how did you feel about her giving Hunter/Logan up?
What might have happened if Grace refused to take Hunter/Logan from Emily? What would you have done if you’d been Grace on the bridge that day?
Emily’s father and husband betrayed her in different but devastating ways. Did that betrayal justify her attacking Tyler, and why? What do you think ultimately made her take her own life?
How do you think Josh will cope with the lies in the long run? Will he ever be able to move past them, and if so, how? What about when he finds a new partner? Do you think he’ll share the truth about Logan?
How do you feel about Josh not telling Logan about his true identity? Can a situation ever justify hiding someone’s reality from them? What might happen if Logan found out five, ten, twenty years later?
If Grace hadn’t died, do you think her relationship with Josh would have survived long-term? What do you think he’d have done if she’d confided in him about Logan?
If Josh hadn’t found Alex’s bones, but had discovered Logan was indeed Hunter, what do you think he’d have done? Could he and Emily have found happiness, why or why not, and if yes, how?
What do you think was the most impactful event in Abby’s life? How did it shape her in the short and long-term?
Abby blamed herself for Tom’s death and pushed Liam away to deny herself true love. Do you know anyone who has punished themselves in similar ways? How has that affected them?
What was behind Nate continually trying to “fix” his wife and restore her happiness? How do you think this impacted his decisions regarding himself and Sarah? Would he have been happier with someone else, and if so, why?
When Liam and Abby meet on the retreat, he tells her he still loves her, and that they’re “married to the wrong people,” but Abby says she owes Nate “everything.” Did that situation justify Liam and Abby having an affair? Why?
What do you think would have happened if Liam had immediately confessed he’d been driving? Or if Nate had told Abby about his sperm test results? How would it have affected the characters and their stories?
Camilla tells Abby one in two marriages end in divorce because people pretend to be something they’re not when they first meet. Do you know anyone to whom that has happened? What did it do to their relationship?
What scene did you think was the most pivotal in the story? How would the novel have changed if that scene had been different, or hadn’t taken place? What did you expect to happen?
All the women in the story have deep-running, emotional issues. What could they have done to help each other, and how could that have changed their outcomes? Do you think women in general support each other enough? What more could be done?
How did you feel when Abby died? Did your feelings change when you found out she wasn’t responsible for Tom’s death? If so, did that change surprise you?
How can Nate deal with his grief, but also try to come to terms with the lies Abby told, and the secrets she kept from him?
Do you think Sarah can keep the secret about Nate’s paternity? What would you advise her to do? How will her decision shape her as an adult, and do you think she’ll see Zac again?
How did you identify with Hayley, and her struggles at the beginning of the story? Were her feelings about her current life, and her daydreams about an alternate one, justified?
What was the biggest issue in Hayley and Rick’s relationship, and how had they got to that point? How would you have advised them to address the issues, and when?
Who was the hero in Time After Time, and did that person change for you during the novel?
Do you think Hayley made the right choice when she married Rick? Which of her other boyfriends would you have picked instead, and why?
What was the biggest or most shocking surprise about any of the characters’ alternate or real lives? What made you angry, laugh or sad?
Hayley’s father, Stan compares relationships to houses, saying, “They need maintenance and if you’re not ready for that you shouldn’t buy one. And if the foundation isn’t solid to begin with, well …” How do you feel about that statement?
What did you expect to happen to Hayley, and how satisfied were you with the ending?
How do you think Hayley and Rick’s relationship will move forward in the future?
What do you think the significance of the title Time After Time is?
If you were offered the opportunity to experience a day in one of your alternate lives, would you take it? Why? Why not? Where would you go, and what would you hope to learn?