Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Bookclub Menu Suggestion

To Eat:
Glazed ham
Potatoes Grand Mere
Strawberry Avocado Salad
Lemon Meringue Pie

Sisters Like Us Reader’s Discussion Guide

Please note: these questions contain spoilers. You should wait to read them until after you've finished the book.

  1. With which sister did you identify most strongly? Why?
  2. When asked what inspired this novel, Susan Mallery said:

    I watched a documentary called "The Last Man on the Moon" about astronaut Gene Cernan, and it got me thinking about all of the astronauts in the early years of NASA, and how much their families must have sacrificed. The rewards were heady, I'm sure, but a kid still wants her daddy at her birthday party. In Sisters Like Us, the sisters' maternal grandfather was an astronaut, and their mom resented the time he spent away from home, and that he was willing to die and abandon his family forever. Those feelings about her childhood colored how she raised the girls, of course, leading to their struggle with questions of what is the right amount to love your job. How much can you give to your work before you start taking away from your family?

    I was interested in the idea of legacy, of how events of the distant past impact events of today in a thousand subtle ways. Sisters Like Us isn't about astronauts at all. In fact, their grandfather is only mentioned a couple of times. But his impact on their lives is huge because of the way their mother perceived her childhood. How did this play out in the story? Are there any other ways that their grandfather's time as an astronaut affected Harper and Stacey's lives? What events from your parents' childhood do you think affected yours?
  3. Why was Becca so unhappy at the start of the book? Do you think she had a right to be? Why or why not?
  4. Sisters Like Us has three main characters: Harper, Stacey, and Becca. What were the major turning points of each character's story? Did the events of each storyline affect the others and, if so, how?
  5. What did you think of Lucas? If you've read the first book in which he appeared, A Million Little Things, did your opinion of him change? Why do you think Lucas was attracted to Harper, and vice versa? How did you feel when he brought another woman to Harper's house, despite his promise not to? Harper forgave him—did you? What did you think of his relationship with Becca?
  6. Why did Harper choose to work as a virtual assistant? Do you think she made the right decision? What would you have done differently?
  7. Discuss Becca's reaction to finding out that her friend was no longer a virgin. At what age do you think a girl is too young to lose her virginity? Do you have a different opinion about how young is too young for a boy?
  8. Bunny has some very firm ideas about men and women. How have gender roles changed over the years? Do you think Stacey and Kit's marriage is unusual, in the roles each plays in the family? Why or why not?
  9. Were you happy with the ending? Why or why not?
  10. On her Facebook page, Susan Mallery sometimes invites readers to suggest names for characters or pets, then promises to include in a book the last name of the reader who made a suggestion she chose. The name Bay was suggested for one of the dogs by a reader with the last name Szymanski, who was sure Susan would never use her name in a book. Not only did Susan use it, but for a main character, which means it appears prominently in the cover copy. What did you think when you first read this last name? How did you pronounce it? Why do you think Harper kept her ex-husband's last name instead of going back to Bloom? Have you ever seen your last name in a book?

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Download PDF Discussion Guide


A Million Little Things by Susan Mallery

Bookclub Menu Suggestion

To Drink:
Margaritas (of course!)

To Eat:
Miguel's Steak Fajita Quesadillas
Black beans
Chips and salsa

A Million Little Things Reader’s Discussion Guide

Please note: these questions contain spoilers. You should wait to read them until after you've finished the book. Download a printable PDF below that you can hand out at your book club meeting.

  1. The three heroines—Zoe, Jen, and Pam—had three distinct storylines, but they impacted each other. Talk first about each heroine's character arc, and then discuss the points at which they intersected. How did the events of one character's life change the events of another's? Which story created the most emotion in you? Why?
  2. Why do you think Jen was so convinced there was something wrong with her son? Did you applaud her efforts to get him help, or did you think she should have done something different? Did your feelings change throughout the course of the story?
  3. Do you think the relationship between Zoe and Jen was a friendship of equals? Why or why not? What about the friendship between Zoe and Pam?
  4. Did your feelings about Pam change because of how she behaved after she found out that Zoe was pregnant? What made you understand why she felt the way she did, if anything? What do you think made her come around?
  5. Toward the end of the book, Pam says of her son Steven, "I can't protect him from everything." How was this theme illustrated in the story? Did you recognize any other themes as you read?
  6. Discuss the line between protective and overprotective. How did the characters cross that line? Have you ever gone too far when trying to protect the people you love?
  7. What did the characters learn because of what happened in the story? Which character grew or changed the most? Do any of those lessons apply to your life?
  8. Discuss the men in the book—Steven, Kirk, Miguel, Lucas, and Chad. Did each heroine end up with the right man? Why or why not? Which man did you like the most, and why?
  9. What did you think of the relationship between Jen and Lucas? Did you expect something different to happen? Did you like the way this relationship was handled? Why or why not?
  10. Pam's story started in The Girls of Mischief Bay. Did you read the first Mischief Bay book? If not, do you want to go back and read it now? If some people in your group did read the first book and others did not, discuss how your perception is different.


Join the mailing list at to receive an email when Susan releases a new Mischief Bay novel.

Download PDF Discussion Guide


The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

Bookclub Menu Suggestion

To Drink:
A Merlot

To Eat:
Chicken Enchilada Casserole from Supper's in the Bag

The Friends We Keep Reader’s Discussion Guide

Please note: these questions contain spoilers. You should wait to read them until after you've finished the book. Visit for a printable PDF you can hand out at your book club meeting.

  1. The Friends We Keep has three intertwining storylines—one each for Gabby, Nicole, and Hayley. What are the common themes that tie together these three plots?
  2. What does the title mean to you?
  3. How did the events of the story change Gabby, Hayley, and Nicole? What lessons did they learn? Do any of those lessons make you think differently about something that's happening in your own life?
  4. Susan Mallery is noted for her keen insight into our inner lives, and her ability to elicit deep emotions from her readers. Which scenes were the most emotional for you? Which parts made you laugh?
  5. Susan makes a promise to her readers that they can relax into the reading experience knowing that the characters will pull through, even after facing the hardest of circumstances. Did you find the ending satisfying for each character?
  6. Which of the three stories was your favorite, and why? Which of the three women is most like you? Did your opinion of any of the characters (including secondary characters) change as you read the book?
  7. Did you feel that Gabby was being selfish by refusing to raise Makayla's baby as her own? What would you have done in her situation? Have you or has anyone close to you had a baby at such a young age?
  8. Did Hayley's husband do the right thing when he left her? Why or why not? What else could he have done to get through to her?
  9. Did you expect Hayley to adopt Makayla's baby? Do you think that ending would have been better or worse than what happened in the book? Explain.
  10. What did you think of Jairus? Why do you think Nicole was so reluctant to meet him, and then to go out with him? Go around the room and state whether you read the start of Nicole's journey in The Girls of Mischief Bay. Does the perception of those who read that book differ from that of those who did not?


Join the mailing list at to receive an email when Susan releases a new Mischief Bay novel.

Download PDF Discussion Guide


The Girls of Mischief Bay by Susan Mallery

Bookclub Menu Suggestion

To Drink:
A California Chardonnay

To Eat:
The Farm Table’s Chicken-Spinach Salad
with Strawberries and Maple Vinaigrette

The Girls of Mischief Bay Reader’s Discussion Guide
  1. Nicole, Shannon, and Pam are very different. Why do you think they’re friends? What do they have in common? Do you think age matters when it comes to friendship? Do you have a close friend from a different generation? What makes your friendship work?
  2. What did you think of the setting of Mischief Bay, California? Did the setting affect the characters and the story and, if so, how?
  3. Nicole was angry with her husband for quitting his job in order to pursue his dream of writing a screenplay. Did she have a right to be angry? Did your feelings change as the story progressed? How should Nicole and Eric have handled things differently?
  4. As you were reading, did you feel that Shannon really wanted children? Why or why not? How would you have handled Char at her birthday party?
  5. Pam does something surprising to breathe new life into her marriage with John. What did you think of the couple’s retreat? How did their relationship change after that? Would you ever sign up for a weekend like that?
  6. What did you think of Pam’s plan when she went on the cruise that John had booked? What surprised you about the cruise?
  7. Which heroine did you relate to the most, Nicole, Shannon, or Pam? Why?
  8. How did each woman change by the end of the book? What were the turning points that prompted these changes?
  9. Susan Mallery’s working title for this book was The Beginners Class. “Every time you learn something new, you have to start in the beginners class,” Nicole says in Chapter Thirteen. How is this relevant to each woman’s story? How is it relevant in your life?
  10. Nicole will be a main character in the next Mischief Bay novel. What do you hope will happen?
Download PDF Discussion Guide