Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:
Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for The After Wife:
1. Is this book funny? If so what makes it funny...and should a book on grief even attempt to be family? If you don't find the book funny, why not?
2. Off all the characters in the book, do you have a favorite (or favorites)? How, especially, would you describe Hannah?
3. At one point, Hannah tells us that "When John died Ellie's innocence died. He crawled down a rabbit hole and dragged us with him." Does death strip one of innocence, especially for children but even for adults? Should young children be "protected" from death somehow? How honest, or frank, should one be with youngsters?
4. Rhoda at Ellie's nursery school, Bunny Hill, behaves with shocking insensitivity, even cruelty toward Hannah and her daughter. Compare that to the kindness Stephanie extends with Hannah at the Methodist nursery school. Although those are extreme, people react differently to someone's loss. What does one say to a grieving acquaintance (other than a close friend)? Is it possible, as an acquaintance, to offer comfort? Are you personally uncomfortable around someone who has lost an important person in his/her life?
5. Hannah is urged to begin dating. How soon does one wait to start a romantic relationship after losing a spouse or loved one? Have you ever been surprised by someone who began dating after losing a spouse?
6. Hannah crosses over into the spirit world. Is she hallucinating? Or is this a novel of magical realism (along the lines of Alice Hoffman, or Sarah Allen Addison)? Or is there a spiritual world that living humans can connect with?
7. What do you think of Hannah's first contact with John? What about John's worr—after Hannah has had sex with Tom? Funny? Not funny?
8. Did you guess who Brandon's romantic interest was?
9. What are your favorite passages or sections of the book...and why?
10. What about the end...do you find it satisfying?
11. Have you read anything else by Grazer—The Starter Wife or Queen Takes King? If so, how does The After Wife compare? Does this book make you want to read Grazer's other works?
(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)
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