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A Palm Beach Wife by Susannah Marren is a tale about a woman’s picture-perfect life coming unraveled. The following book club questions will have spoilers so if you haven’t read the novel yet, check out my review first.
Amid the glamour and galas and parties of Palm Beach, Faith knows that image often counts as much if not more than reality. She glides effortlessly among the highest of the high society so perfectly that you would never suspect she wasn’t born to this. But it wasn’t always so; though she hides it well, Faith has fought hard for the wonderful life she has, for her loving, successful husband, for her daughter’s future.
In this town of secrets and gossip and rumors, Faith has kept a desperate grip on everything she holds so dear, built from so little. And yet even she―the only one who knows just how far she has to fall―never suspects from which direction, or how many directions all at once, betrayal will come.
Let’s get into the book club questions
- Why do you think Edward chose to tell Faith about their money issues during the gala? What does that say about Edward?
- What was your impression of the descriptions of Palm Beach; from the clothing to the plastic surgery to the mansions? Have you ever been to Palm Beach?
- Why do you think Faith married Edward? How did he fail her time and time again? What did you think about Faith and her character arc?
- Once it becomes apparent the couple won’t dig out of their financial hole, Faith begins to sell many of their prized items. But she’s not sentimental about it. Are you surprised that action didn’t cause her to become more upset?
- What did you think about Faith’s relationship with Katherine? In the beginning it seemed that she was pushing the Palm Beach lifestyle onto her but at the end, she has a different tune. What changed for Faith about Palm Beach? Why do you think she decided to stay around the area?
- We find out that Faith got pregnant at 15 and gave up her baby who was eventually named Denise. Thirty years later, she comes back to Faith. What did you think about this storyline for Faith? Do you think Faith, Katherine and Denise will continue to get closer? In what ways is Denise more like Faith than Katherine? And finally, why did Faith keep Denise a secret all these years?
- Let’s talk about Faith and Lucas. So it sounds like Lucas broke up with Faith right as they made their way to Palm Beach. Does Faith still have feelings for them? Did they sleep together that first time they met up or did they only make out? Were you surprised he didn’t play a larger role in the novel?
- Why do you think Faith was so committed to the consignment shop?
- And on that commitment note, are you surprised Faith stuck with Edward? Do you think she was going to tell him she wanted a divorce when she met him the last time at the health facility?
- Now let’s talk the ending! Did Edward die? Was he using again?
- What happens next for Faith, Katherine and Denise?
- Do you think there were any lessons from the novel?
Here’s some more recommendations about novels that focus on the cracks beneath the perfect veneers of high societies.
All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin is a page-tuner with three distinct characters, all in the setting of an affluent Nashville community. Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.
Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school. Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.
Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame. At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.
You can order the book on Amazon here. Find my discussion questions here.
When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger revisits many beloved characters from The Devil Wears Prada series. This one is a standalone and you’ll meet plenty of other characters, too. This one focuses on the character of Emily, the other assistant to Miranda Priestly, which was a star-making role for Emily Blunt.
Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.
Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.
When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.
In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.
So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.
Order the book on Amazon here. Check out my book club questions here.
Feel free to discuss A Palm Beach Wife below!