In Robin’s Nest
Book Club Questions/ Topics for Discussion
- In the prologue Robin thinks, “All the rationalizations with which I’d built my house of cards shimmered before me.” Robin had several opportunities to tell Dean about Lark through the years, but each time chose against doing so (pages 103, 116, 142, and 211). Do you think the decisions Robin makes to keep her secret are justifiable? Honorable?
- What are Robin’s flaws/strengths? How do her flaw/strengths affect the story? How is Robin like or unlike women you know?
- In what ways is Robin a good mother? In what ways do you consider her not a good mother?
- How do the descriptions of interiors, the natural world, food, wine, and travel in the novel enhance your reading experience?
- How does the part of the book set in the 1970s/early 80s—the culture of sex, drugs and rock and roll/disco—resonate with you? In what ways can you relate to Robin’s experiences?
- What parts of the book do you find particularly poignant, moving or satisfying? Why?
- Compare and contrast the mother/daughter relationships in the novel: between Robin and Olivia, and between Robin and Lark.
- Compare and contrast the father/daughter relationships in the novel: between Robin and Hank, and between Lark and Dean.
- Discuss the longtime friendship between Robin and Theresa. How does each benefit from the other? How does the friendship between the two change and grow? Do you believe it’s possible to sustain a long-distance best friendship?
- Lark grows up knowing she had a father but believing he didn’t know of her existence. Reread pages 174, 201, and 235-236. Do you think Lark’s response to this is typical?
- In what ways can you relate to Robin’s failed dating experiences?
- Discuss Robin’s relationship with Nick. Can you identify with Robin’s need for Nick in her life?
- Is there an old flame that you have fantasized about seeing again? Robin frets about her fifty-four year old appearance (pages 247-250, 296, 334). How would you feel about the prospect of your old flame seeing you again?
- Did Dean live up to your expectations as an older man?
- Were you surprised that Dean asked Robin to wait to make love until after the two were married? If you were in Robin’s shoes would you want to wait?
- Which character(s) do you believe experienced the greatest redemption in the end? In what ways were their lives redeemed?
- What sort of relationship do you believe Lark and Dean will be able to forge?
- Do you think it’s possible for a city mouse like Robin to become a country mouse and live on a farm the rest of her life? Would you drastically change your lifestyle for the man of your dreams?
- What minor characters did you find particularly colorful, interesting or relatable? (Examples: Ben, Laurent, Billy, Dean’s sisters, Cindy, John Giannangelo.)
- Has this story broadened your perspective? Have you learned something new or been exposed to different ideas about people? If so, how was your perspective broadened?
- If you could ask the author a question what would you ask? Would you like to read other books by this author?
- Was the end of the book satisfying for you? Would you like to read a sequel to the book to see what the characters are up to next?