We are so excited to bring you the second installment of the Random House Reader’s Circle for The Everygirl. This month’s selection, Then Again, is officially one week underway! Diane poses thoughtful questions worthy of careful contemplation.
We’ve posted some questions below, but feel free to share your own thoughts, questions, and opinions. And remember that our commenting programming allows you to reply directly to one another’s comments and get e-mail alerts when new comments are posted, allowing everyone to engage in conversation. That way time zone and location is not a concern, and the conversation can continue all week!
If you read ahead, be sure not to address anything that happens after page 78. No spoilers please!
What are your initial reactions to Diane’s intimate relationship with her mother? Why do you think Diane chose to incorporate her mother’s story while also telling her own?
Diane first discovers one of her mother’s journals in the mid-seventies. She chooses to put it away and does not open any of her mother’s 85 journals until after her mother’s death some thirty years later. Why do you think Diane reacts this way? Would you have made a similar choice if you were in her situation?
Seeing her mother be crowned Mrs. Highland Park is an especially indelible childhood memory for Diane—one that solidified her dream to pursue the performing arts. What childhood memories have significantly influenced your life?
Dorothy writes, “I always say this family is my life, and that’s the truth.” Diane later asks, “What would have happened to my dreams of being in the spotlight if hers had been realized?” What are your thoughts about Diane’s question? Based on what you’ve read so far, do you think Dorothy cast aside too many of her own ambitions in order to care for her family?
At a young age, Diane formulated the belief that it would be better to be adored by many people rather than by one person. She says she was looking for an audience. What are your reactions to Diane’s feelings about intimacy? How does her relationship with her parents influence this belief?
Diane says, “Why is happiness something I thought I was entitled to? What is happiness anyway? Insensitivity. That’s what Tennessee Williams said.” How do you define happiness?
Dorothy writes in one of her journals that “Every living person should be forced to write an autobiography.” Why do you think she says this? Do you agree? What value is there in writing about our own lives?
What are your reactions after reading the first 78 pages of the book? Is there anything that surprised you?
Week 2 Assignment:
Read up to page 134 for next week’s discussion! Come back on Monday, August 20, when we’ll post new questions.
It’s not too late to join in! Grab a copy of Then Again and join us next week as we continue discussing the book!