Hannah has been running—literally and figuratively—from her life back in Australia. Whenever she’s not working, she’s pounding London’s streets, putting the past behind her. Then she meets a fellow Australian named India, and Hannah’s entranced. For India is confident, exotic, and charming—qualities that Hannah feels she’s desperately lacking.
Pass it on…
India has a secret, too – one beyond any remedy. For it’s a secret that is currently sealed in a love letter and is making its journey across Europe in the most unconventional way—through the hands of strangers as they pass on the street.
And who knows where it will lead…
Before the letter with India’s deepest, darkest secret reaches its destination, can the women find the connection that will take each of them exactly where they need to go….
Book Club Questions for Paper Chains
- What were your first impressions of Hannah? Did that change at all as the story went on?
- Why do you think she was drawn to India? Now let’s talk about our first impressions of India.
- Both women are keeping big secrets about their past. Let’s first discuss what our theories were with relation to these secrets. Were you right, wrong, didn’t have any idea, etc.?
- India incorporates an old-fashion letter style to express her truth to Simon. Why did India chose this style? Do you ever write letters anymore?
- We eventually find out much more about Hannah and that she left behind her husband and children. After the birth of her second boy, it sounds like Hannah suffered from undiagnosed postpartum depression. Do you think her husband should have been more aware? What do you think Hannah could have done differently? Let’s talk about why Hannah decided she must leave her family behind for their safety.
- Do you think Hannah would have jumped off the building if it wasn’t for India?
- What did you think about Hannah’s return to Australia and her husband Liam’s reaction?
- We eventually find out that Hannah and India are connected more than expected—Simon turns out to be Hannah’s stepbrother. What did you think about all these connections?
- We also learn that India lied and that she is suffering from terminal cancer. It’s quite a heartbreaking turn in the story—does anyone want to share their thoughts about that section?
- What happens next for Hannah and her family? Do you think her and Liam are in it for the long haul?
- Let’s talk about the ways that Hannah and India both learned from each other.
- What does the title mean in relation to the story?
What to read next
If you’re looking for more thought-provoking women’s fiction, check out the below titles. Each one features book club discussion questions as well.
Summer Hours by Amy Mason Doan is a novel about the idealism of youth and the first taste of independence.
Becc was the good girl. A dedicated student. Aspiring reporter. Always where she was supposed to be. Until a secret affair with the charming Cal one summer in college cost her everything she held dear: her journalism dreams; her relationship with her best friend, Eric; and her carefully imagined future.
Now, Becc’s past is back front and center as she travels up the scenic California coast to a wedding—with a man she hasn’t seen in a decade. As each mile flies by, Becc can’t help but feel the thrilling push and pull of memories, from infinite nights at beach bonfires and lavish boat parties to secret movie sessions. But the man beside her is not so eager to re-create history. And as the events of that heartbreaking summer come into view, Becc must decide if those dazzling hours they once shared are worth fighting for or if they’re lost forever.
Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner is an incredible book that will make you cry but also hopeful at the same time.
Do we change or does the world change us?
Jo and Bethie Kaufman were born into a world full of promise.
Growing up in 1950s Detroit, they live in a perfect “Dick and Jane” house, where their roles in the family are clearly defined. Jo is the tomboy, the bookish rebel with a passion to make the world more fair; Bethie is the pretty, feminine good girl, a would-be star who enjoys the power her beauty confers and dreams of a traditional life.
But the truth ends up looking different from what the girls imagined. Jo and Bethie survive traumas and tragedies. As their lives unfold against the background of free love and Vietnam, Woodstock and women’s lib, Bethie becomes an adventure-loving wild child who dives headlong into the counterculture and is up for anything (except settling down). Meanwhile, Jo becomes a proper young mother in Connecticut, a witness to the changing world instead of a participant. Neither woman inhabits the world she dreams of, nor has a life that feels authentic or brings her joy. Is it too late for the women to finally stake a claim on happily ever after?
In her most ambitious novel yet, Jennifer Weiner tells a story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world?
If your book club has selected a novel that you need discussion questions for—reach out to me and I’ll some questions together on the site!