The Kilbourn Public Library Book Discussion Group book selection for August is All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin. In this thought-provoking novel a woman is forced to choose between her family and her most deeply held values.
Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville's elite. Her husband's tech business is booming, and her adored son, Finch, is bound for Princeton.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs. His adored daughter, Lyla, attends Nashville's most prestigious private high school on a scholarship. But amid the wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn't always fit in.
Then one devastating photo changes everything.
Finch snaps a picture of Lyla passed out at a party, adds a provocative caption, and sends it to a few friends. The photo spreads like wildfire, and before long an already divided community is buzzing with scandal and assigning blame.
In the middle of it all, Nina finds herself relating more to Tom's reaction than to her own husband's--and facing an impossible choice. (From the publisher.)
Think about the title, All We Ever Wanted. How do you think it relates to the overall story? How does it apply to each of the characters in the book?
Both Nina and Kirk have different ideas about what the "right path" is for Finch. How do you think each parent justifies their actions?
Tom is furious about the transgression against his daughter, and believes she deserves justice. How do Tom's responsibilities as a parent come into conflict with the ethics of respecting Lyla's wishes?
As the book progresses, Nina finds herself siding with Tom's values rather than her husband's. Do you feel that Nina is betraying her family by aligning with Tom? Is she betraying herself if she does not stick to her beliefs? Whom does she owe her loyalty to more?
In chapter eleven, Melanie tells Nina that it's a mother's responsibility to stand by her child "no matter what." Do you agree with this assertion?
Why do you think Lyla is so willing to trust and even begin dating Finch? As you were reading, did you believe Finch's claim that Polly stole his phone and took the picture of Lyla? If so, was there a point at which you began to doubt Finch?
This book poses the question of what lengths one should go to in order to protect one's family versus preserve one's values. What would you have done in Nina's position? In Tom's?
In the epilogue, Lyla tells Finch that Nina "saved" them both. What do you think she means? Do you think this is an accurate statement?
(Questions issued by the publishers.)
Let us know what you think of All We Ever Wanted.
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Welcome to the internet home of the Kilbourn Public Library (KPL) Book Club. The KPL Book Club meets at the library once a month. A book is chosen for each month and then members of the book club meet the last Monday and Wednesday of every month for lively discussion and treats. While we can’t offer you treats via the internet, this KPL Reads blog was designed for those of you who would like to participate in the book club but don’t have time to join us at meetings. Each month KPL staff will post discussion topics and questions to get you “talking”. Join in the discussion by adding a post to the blog. Click on the word comments below the post you want to "talk" about and write your comment. Be sure to check back often to see feedback and comments.