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Summer Club Discussion Questions

 

  1. How does Meadow Glen’s rundown condition and history of dysfunction set the stage for a summer of disturbing events, suspicious activity and danger? Could these strange goings-on have happened anywhere?

  2. Why do people seem to like complaining about often-trivial matters? Is it a form of entertainment? Venting? A manifestation of boredom? 

  3. Why is having a key to the club so important? Does it represent power? Status? Does this desperate need to have a key occur at your club? Your place of worship? Your office?

  4. Have you encountered overly competitive and/or helicopter parents in rearing your children? How does this make you feel and how do you handle it?

  5. The family dynamic in the Phillips household: Are Lydia and Bill equal partners and do they complement each other? How is the stressful summer affecting the boys? Is Lydia a good wife and mother?

  6. Lydia’s incessant volunteering seems to be a replacement for her high-energy newspaper job. What challenges have you or women you know experienced in balancing career and family?

  7. How do the women in the book—Lydia, Claire, Amanda, Jules, Ernestine and others—show strength and determination? How are they similar and where do they differ in striving to get what they want?

  8. Pete, the club manager, made enough money on Wall Street to retire young. Why would he want to take on the challenges and hard work of managing a struggling summer club?

  9. Warren, Lawrence and others in the book resort to bullying, intimidation and, in some cases, cheating to raise their stature at the club. What motivates them to carry on this way, and how are they ultimately foiled? Are there certain environments that breed this kind of behavior?

  10. Why does Stacie provide so much comfort to Lydia? Do animals have more capability than we know to sense our moods and needs to make us feel better?

  11. Why does the broken ceiling fan bother Lydia so much? Doesn’t she have more pressing problems to deal with?

  12. When the fraud/murder mystery is finally solved, did anything surprise you?

  13. At the end of the book (p. 263), Lydia vows to give up community volunteering. Do you think that will really happen?