If You Could See Me Now
by Cecelia Ahern
In her third novel, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern introduces us to two sisters at odds with each other. Elizabeth’s life is an organized mess. The organized part is all due to her own efforts. The mess is entirely due to her sister, Saoirse, whose personal problems leave Elizabeth scrambling to pick up the pieces. One of these pieces is Saoirse’s six-year-old son, Luke. Luke is quiet and contemplative, until the arrival of a new friend, Ivan, turns him into an outgoing, lively kid. And Elizabeth’s life is about to change in wonderful ways she has only dreamed of.
With all the warmth and wit that fans have come to expect from Cecelia Ahern, this is a novel full of magic, heart, and surprising romance.
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1. Did you have an imaginary friend as a child? How old were you, and what are your memories? Do you recall how your friend came to be?
2. Why do you think children have imaginary friends? If you have children, have your own children ever had imaginary friends? How did you feel about it?
3. Elizabeth's mother and her sister are incapable of caring for their children for various reasons. Did you find them sympathetic or unsympathetic?
4. Elizabeth responds to the instability of her childhood by imposing order on everything around her. Could you relate to this? How easily did you warm to her as a character?
5. At one point, Elizabeth acknowledges her similarities to her seemingly distant father. Did you notice such similarities? Discuss the different parental models we see in the novel, and what their strengths and weaknesses are.
6. In the novel, the characters who were abandoned--Lucas and Elizabeth in particular--looked upon the parents who left as adventurous free spirits. In part, this is to protect their own emotions, but it also speaks to the way we value what we can't reach over what we have, and the way steady and reliable isn't viewed as quite as much fun as unsteady and unpredictable. In fact, Elizabeth's character needs to learn to be a little less predictable. Speak to this balance?
7. At the end of the book, Elizabeth finally confronts her childhood. How does that change how she thinks about life? How did her childhood memory align with what really happens? How can memory cloud your reality?
8. Who was Ivan sent to befriend--Elizabeth or Luke? Who's life does he change more?
9. What do you think the future will hold for Elizabeth?
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