A Hundred Summers discussion questions

A Hundred Summers discussion questionsI’m a big fan of last month’s book club pick, A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams. It was a nice change of pace from the heavier, more psychological books we’ve been reading, but it wasn’t all lightness and fluff.

At its core, A Hundred Summers is a love story. But it’s also one about friendship and betrayal and secrets and lies. Jumping back and forth between 1931 and 1938, we watch Lily Dane fall in love while we simultaneously watch her deal with heartbreak.

A couple of twists and turns leave readers wondering what exactly happened and what is actually happening. Some of our book club girls saw what was coming. I, for one, was totally duped.

Here are some of the questions we’ll be discussing in our Facebook group (spoilers ahead!):

  • The friendship between Lily and Budgie forms the backbone of the novel. What did you think of their relationship? How did it change and develop in the course of the narrative? Was Lily right to accept Budgie’s overture of friendship after her marriage to Nick? Would you call this a toxic relationship? Who do you think needed the other the most?
  • What did you think of Lily? How do you think she developed as a character during the course of the novel? Did you find her essential innocence a strength or a weakness? How did her thoughts and actions in Seaview compare to her thoughts and actions in the other settings?
  • What do you think motivates Budgie? Do you consider her a bad person or only a troubled one? Do you think she really cares for Lily? Did the author convey her character effectively, or was she too ambiguous?
  • What did you think of Graham Pendleton? Did he really love Lily? What do you think both Budgie and Graham were looking for in their relationships with Lily? Would Graham have been able to reform if he married Lily?
  • Until the end of the book, Lily’s mother remains off screen, or viewed from a distance. Why do you think the author chose to keep her veiled and ambiguous? What did you think of her? How do you think Lily’s character was influenced by her relationship with her mother?

If you’d like to read along with us and talk about books in an incredibly laid back environment, we’d love for you to join us in our Paperback Posse group on Facebook! At the end of each month, we have a vote to decide on the next month’s read. November’s pick is Lauren Groff’s Fates and Furies.

Written by Jennifer Garry
Jen is a freelance writer and girl mom from New York. When she's not knee-deep in glittery crafts and girl talk, you can probably find her sprawled across her couch in the middle of a Netflix marathon with dark chocolate smeared on her face. The struggle is real.