Now That You Mention It (Higgins)

Now That You Mention It 
Kristan Higgins, 2017
416 pp.

Kristan Higgins welcomes you home in this witty, emotionally charged novel about the complications of life, love and family.

One step forward. Two steps back.

The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There’s only one place to land: home.

But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn’t necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who’s always been distant, a wild-child sister in jail and a withdrawn teenage niece as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was, Nora has her work cut out for her if she’s going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

Balancing loss and opportunity, dark events from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise … and the chance to begin again. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1965
Raised—Whiteyville, Connecticut, USA
Education—B.A., College of the Holy Cross
Awards—2 RITA Awards
Currently—lives in Durham, Connecticut

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today bestselling author or nearly 20 books. Her works books have been translated into more than 20 languages. She has received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, The New York Journal of Books and Kirkus.

Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband, two atypically affectionate children, a neurotic rescue mutt and an occasionally friendly cat. (From the publisher.)

Book Reviews
(Starred review.) Many readers will relate to the family saga and rough past, and the light romance and humor sprinkled throughout will suit a wide audience. Readers won't want to put down this highly recommended title. —Brooke Bolton, Boonville-Warrick Cty. P.L., IN
Library Journal

(Starred review.) Nora has lots to unpack and sift through, but figuring out who she is…is a powerful, entertaining journey. Balancing emotion, humor, and a redemptive theme, Higgins hits all the right notes with precision, perception, and panache.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add publisher questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, please use our LitLovers talking points to help start a discussion for Now That You Mention It … then take off on your own:

1. How would you describe Nora Stuart? Why is she dissatisfied with her life, a life that would be the envy of many? She has it all, doesn't she?

2. Follow-up to Question 1: How has Nora's upbringing on Scupper Island shaped her life? In what ways is the past (and its people) still a part of her life — even though she'd rather not admit it?

3. As the novel progresses and our knowledge of Nora deepens, what stands out about her most to you? What do you find especially striking about her personality — the way she relates to the world around her?

4. What is Nora's relationship with her mother and with her sister Lily? Describe both women.

5. What about the other characters: Nora's niece Poe, Sully and Audrey, and her school pal Xiaowen? Whom do you like most?

6. Talk about the community's reaction to Nora's return. Why do the islanders dislike, or at least resent, her? Should Nora feel guilty for winning the scholarship and for Luke Fletcher's subsequent downward spiral? Or is guilt a normal human response?

7. Did the book make you laugh? The dinner party on the houseboat, for instance? Or the ham dinner at Nora's mother's house? The witty banter back and forth between characters? Maybe Nora's internal monologues? Does "Oh fuckety fucking McFuckster" qualify? Anything else?

8. How does Nora change during the course novel? How does she eventually make peace with her family, her past, and her own identity? What does she learn?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online and off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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