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Time Flies (Cook) - Discussion Questions

Discussion Questions
1. Time Flies begins with the sentence, “When my cell phone rang, I’d just finished cutting up my marriage mattress.” When her best friend B.J. asks narrator Melanie what’s up, she blows a sprinkling of sawdust off the phone and says, “Not much. Same old, same old.” How does this opening set you up for the rest of the book? What does it make you want to know?”

2. Melanie became a metal sculptor after moving to Atlanta. “Creativity had consoled me my whole life,” she says, “and conquering a new medium was something I could control. And if I was really, really honest, a part of the draw was that Kurt hated the idea.” Do you think this is part of the normal push and pull of a long-term marriage? Can you share any examples from your own life?

3. When Melanie’s highway driving phobia resurfaces, it takes her by surprise and throws her for a loop. What are you really, really, really afraid of? Can you imagine it ever crossing the line into a full-blown phobia? Why or why not?

4. Melanie and B.J.’s high school class reunion committee has decided they’re not going to mention either the year they graduated or how many years it’s been. They’re simply going to call it The Marshbury High School Best Class/Best Reunion Evah. How many years do you think it’s been? What are the clues?

5. Music plays a huge part in the stroll down memory lane for the characters in Time Flies. Do you think that’s true for everybody? What one song most reminds you of high school? Why?

6. Speaking of memories, Melanie’s son Troy accuses her of turning her memories of his childhood experiences into a Disney movie. What does he mean by that? Do you think all moms have that tendency?

7. Clearly, Melanie and Marion have some deep-seated sister issues. How do you see it? Who’s mostly at fault? Do you think it’s unusual to have a sibling that drives you crazy? Did you ever “borrow” anything from a sibling’s room when you were growing up? Did you get caught?

8. Throughout the book, Melanie and B.J. call each other Thelma, Louise, Romy and Michele. Why? Is there another movie that speaks to you about female friendship? Do you think in some ways Time Flies is a midlife takeoff on Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion? More baggage, more wrinkles, but the same need to impress?

9. When Melanie receives an email from Finn Miller, she jumps almost immediately into full retro crush mode. Why do you think it’s easier for her to do this than it is for her to deal with Ted Brody? What’s the lure of old high school crushes? Who’s yours?

10. What does finally getting a tattoo after all these years signify for B.J.? For Melanie? If your best friend talked you into getting one, what would it be? Real or temporary?

11. Why do you think Melanie and B.J. have stayed friends all these years? What do they do for each other? How would their relationship be different if they met as adults? Do you have high school friends still in your life? Why or why not?

12. Have you ever gone to a high school reunion? Will reading Time Flies make you more or less apt to go to your next one?
(Questions issued by publisher.)

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